The U.S. Department of Education’s EL/Civics Education initiative enables adult education programs to provide targeted instruction to English learners who intend to seek U.S. citizenship. To be effective, this instruction needs to promote language learning along with knowledge of civics content. In addition, with the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), programs are required to connect EL/Civics instruction with workforce preparation.
CAL’s English for Civic Life professional development workshop enables educators working with adults at all levels of English proficiency to integrate language learning objectives with content learning objectives so that learners acquire both the knowledge of civic rights and responsibilities and the reading and oral skills they need to become engaged, empowered members of U.S. society. CAL has updated the workshop to include strategies for combining work readiness and career pathways material with existing civics and citizenship content. Workshop participants thus become able to prepare their learners for both citizenship and employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency.
The workshop begins with a discussion of the differences between EL/Civics and Citizenship, focusing on instructional methods, expected outcomes, and the content that EL/Civics instruction should include. Through readings, activities, and strategic planning, participants prepare to assess their learners’ strengths and needs in civics content, design instruction that integrates language skill development with content learning, and assess learners’ progress. They explore online and print-based sources of information on U.S. history and government, civic participation and responsibility, and obtaining citizenship, and develop strategies for using these with their learners. They also explore strategies to help learners acquire the linguistic and cultural information needed in various work environments and examine elements of language needed to ensure success in various career pathways.
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to
- Describe the essential content of EL/Civics classes and cite print and online resources that provide information and strategies to use with learners at all levels of oral and reading proficiency from beginning through advanced
- Explain needs assessment strategies they can use to determine their students’ EL/Civics and workforce preparation strengths and challenges
- Identify strategies for integrating language and culture instruction in the EL/Civics classroom and describe how they might use these strategies in their own instructional contexts
- Define connections between EL/Civics content and career pathways content, and explain how they would use those connections in their own contexts
- Discuss desired outcomes of EL/Civics instruction and how those outcomes can be assessed
CAL can work with you to customize a workshop or series of workshops to best meet your needs.