Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages


TESOL Panel on Adult Education

12 Oct 2022 8:20 AM | ORTESOL Communications (Administrator)

TESOL Panel on Adult Education

Submitted by Linda Rasmussen

Ending Family Literacy Week, the Adult Education Interest Section (AEIS) of TESOL International featured a free webinar with a panel discussion on the current status of Adult TESOL. Three TESOL leaders explained the latest developments.

For this attendee, the highlight was “Federal Policy and Investment in Adult English Learners” by Judy Mortrude, who provided links to print, video, and downloadable  resources. AEIS described Ms. Mortrude as “a Senior Technical Advisor with World Education, Inc.,” an organization partnering in educational development, and as “the President of the National Coalition for Literacy.” Her 35+ years’ experience in Adult Ed. in state and national organizations clearly enabled Ms. Mortrude to demystify the current status and US funding of Adult ESOL. 

  • Over 50% of the people now served in Adult Education programs are English Language Learners (ELL’s). 

  • As our students’ advocates, we can join the nationwide effort to increase learning opportunities for all adults with Educate and Elevate

  • Federal funding for adult education is distributed by states and then local agents by applications. For funding per state, Ms. Mortrude referred us to the National Association of State Directors of Adult Education (NASDAE): Oregon

  • To focus the nation on manifesting “integration and inclusion” in education, Biden has issued a Presidential Order to “restore strength and inclusivity” in education. 

  • The Digital Equity Act, “a big investment,” according to Ms. Mortrude, benefits digitally underserved populations, like ELL’s, with $2.7 billion.

  • Toward this direction, World Education, Inc.’s project “Transforming Immigration Equity” focuses on remote learning, which many in Oregon’s TESOL community have found to expand our reach, during the COVID -19 quarantines

The other panelists were Cynthia Kilpatrick, Assistant Professor of TESOL training at The University of Texas-Arlington and Director of the English Language Institute, as well as Hali Massey, ESOL Specialist at Virginia Commonwealth University's Adult Learning Resource Center and the Adult Education Special Interest Chair for VATESOL. Both of their presentations, “MA TESOL & Community ESOL: Partnerships for Future Practitioners & Community Language Learners” and “Serving Refugees in Adult Education in Virginia,” respectively, added much to the discussion. Thus, this brief ends hopefully, that when available, a recording of “TESOL's AEIS Presents: Adult ESOL Education in the US and Canada” will be shared on the ORTESOL website for your complete viewing.


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