There is a wealth of professional development opportunities available online. Many are aimed specifically at volunteer ESL educators, and work to provide you with a more comprehensive background in the endeavor you have undertaken. There are also many opportunities for you to further develop your classroom and teaching practices! We encourage you to explore the links below and find a professional development opportunity that appeals to you.
The English Language Learner University is a project of Literacy Information and Communication System. It is a free professional development network for ESOL practitioners. The resources
developed through this federally-funded initiative are designed to broaden, deepen, and strengthen the knowledge and skills of educators working with adult ELLs. There are 5 (free!) online
You will need to create an account with LINCS to access these trainings.
This online course was developed by the United States Department of Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education. It is a broad overview of issues in adult literacy for instructors with limited formal training or experience teaching adult literacy learners. Some in-depth coverage of topics is also provided for more experienced instructors. The course if free and available to anyone wishing to improve their support of adult literacy learning!
The course is divided into five modules: The Adult Learner; Orientation & Assessment; Curriculum Development; Instructional Techniques; Adult Literacy Classroom.
Each module contains:
CLEAR at Michigan State University is a federally-funded project through the United States Department of Education. All of their online resources are freely accessible with registration. The main work produced by clear is the VAULTT project.
VAULTT is Video Assistance for Understanding Language Teaching Techniques, a collection of original videos highlighting various aspects of language teaching in the classroom. Each short video is accompanied by supplementary information (in a PDF) explaining the techniques and relating them to best practices in language teaching. The videos are produced at a level accessible for teachers with little or no pedagogical training!
The New American Horizons Foundation created a series of 12 videos titled Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches in Action. The videos are all available for free viewing online. The four volumes of videos contain the following: