Hello Colleagues, I'm wondering what work has been done related to supporting adult ESL teachers to work with the College and Career Readiness Standards. I am aware of the Transitions Integration Framework developed by our wonderful colleagues in Minnesota, which, although not specific to ESL, does articulate some of the necessary transition skills that are embedded within the standards.

What other efforts are you aware of for preparing adult ESL teachers to work with the CCRS standards so that all levels of adult English learners are prepared for post secondary education and the workplace?

Many thanks, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Assessment CoP


Hi Susan,

Just popping in to say that Lori Howard and Sylvia Ramirez have been doing excellent work on helping ESL instructors in CA unpack the standards and correlate instructional practices and materials that support standards integration. I'm looking forward to the collaborative and constructivist opportunities CCRS provides for ESL programs. Much as ELL instructors in K12 needed to identify the differentiation and scaffolding needed for CCSS-- we in adult ESL have to do the same.


Hi there,

Jayme - I'd love to know more about Lori and Sylvia's work.  Do they have anything available electronically that describes their PD work around ESL and CCRS?

Susan - thanks for the kind words about the TIF.  Much more to come in the coming year around our Academic, Career, and Employability Skills (ACES) initiative in MN!

As far as helping teachers with the language demands of CCRS, we are working to de-silo our ESL & GED/Basic Skills practitioners and respond collaboratively, pooling all our strengths around language development and academic literacy instruction.  Academic language is everybody's business, after all.  Complex issues like this require lots of big thinking from a variety of perspectives and training!  We've formed a 'Language and Literacy Advisory Team' of both ESL and GED/basic skills educators to help inform our PD efforts, and this week we are meeting to plan statewide fall workshops around academic language.  We are pulling much from Jeff Zwiers and recent work in K-12 ELL.  There is much to do, but getting the right people in the same room and calibrating our own definitions around academic language seems a logical place to start. 

Eager to hear others' responses!

Patsy Vinogradov

ATLAS, Hamline University, Minnesota




Hi Patsy!

Lori and Sylvia's handout is on the 2014 CASAS Summer Institute Website (Building College and Career Readiness for ESL Learners...from the Start)  There are some other materials that address integration of CCRS into ESL  (including my offering Rigor and Reason from the Beginning). Lori and Sylvia  may have their ppt slides up somewhere, I'll check.  They will be doing a Webinar for CALPRO soon, as well.

What you're doing in MN is exactly what I hope we can do out here. BIG thinking indeed...I find that the most exciting aspect of this process. 

(When you calibrate let us know!)


Jayme Adelson-Goldstein

Lighthearted Learning, Northridge, California


Hello Jayme and Patsy, Thanks for adding to our discussion. I will check out the link to Sylvia and Lori's work, and I'm sure others will, too.

Here's another question for everyone. Many states have developed ESL content standards outlining language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing for adult learners across the levels. What are your thoughts about the role these standards may play in light of the new College and Career Readiness Standards?

Our adult ESL standards in PA do not do enough to outline the academic language needed for learners to successfully transition to college and careers, but they do offer guidance to teachers on basic language outcomes across the levels. I'm thinking these standards could still be useful, especially if they were updated to better correspond to the CCRS.

If you have been using a set of adult ESL standards in your state, what are your thoughts about this?

It's great to have a community where we can share our questions and our thinking, as well as our resources!

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Hi again,

Jayme - can't wait to check out the resources you linked to on CALPRO.  Looks like a terrific set of smart thinking to plunge into!

One more resource to mention - the Minnesota TESOL affiliate, MinneTESOL, just issued its newly revamped online journal, and the first edition is all about academic language. You can find more here:  Good stuff here!

I wish I had a great answer to Susan's excellent call for support around ESL and CCRS, but I await others' wisdom on this one, as we are still grappling as well.  I keep hearing the question asked (Jayme and I have talked about this, too!), and I suppose formulating the right questions is the first step toward progress. :)


Patsy Vinogradov, PhD

ATLAS, Hamline University

St. Paul, Minnesota

I was reading a previous post and searching for articles from this journal.  Then I read your post, Patsy, and found the link.  Thank you so much.  These articles are truly inspiring.  I think we are all grappling with ESL and CCRS and CCR Standards for Adult Education, but I think the conversation is helping us focus on how important it is to promote college and career readiness skills for all our adults - not just the ones who know they are continuing their education and career training.   I dropped out of college to marry my high school sweetheart, and I never dreamed I would go back.  Then at 35, I returned to study (with 5 children) and earned my AA, BA and Master's degree.  It was so difficult, but I was academically prepared to meet those challenges.  Our adult ESL students may enter programs with the familiar goal  "I just want to learn English."  However goals change, and we want our adults to be prepared to meet academic and career challenges when they are ready.    The "how" is the tough part...:-)

Hi, Silvia and all,

Susan, thank you for beginning this conversation for all corners to weigh in and for us to share and collaborate together.  I will be introducing CCRS to our teachers of adult ESL (and CTE) in PD cohorts this year and need all the help I can get.  I am indebted to Silvia, Jayme, Lori, CASAS folks, and others in leading me in the right direction.  I look forward to contributing more over the course of this year.

Silvia, I just want to take a moment to say how meaningful your personal story was to me.  I find that it reflects that of many of our students.  It points to the fact that we must have bigger vision in the classroom for our students than "learning English".  

Part of the reason for short-sightedness or small visions for our students is lack of knowledge, but also lack of skills in differentiating and scaffolding for learning, as Jayme suggests.  As we create supports and strategies for teachers and, as Patsy describes, build connection and articulation with higher levels, we will be successful in expanding vision and college and career readiness.  

Here's to learning, with appreciation for being a part of this group!


Hi Dave, Thank you for your inspiring post! I know all of us working in adult literacy want to support the learners we work with to achieve their goals. Raising the bar is an essential step. The CCRS gives us the opportunity to rethink how we are structuring our programs and our teaching.

Having a community of professionals where we can share our ideas as well as our struggles with these changes is so valuable. I will look forward to hearing more from you and from others as we forge ahead into new and exciting practices in support of adult learners.

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Hello everyone, Thanks to Patsy  for posting the link to this excellent issue of the MinneTESOL journal. I found each article to be very useful as we continue to think together about the essential role academic language plays in our instruction.

It is my understanding that adult education programs are expected to look to our individual state's K12 standards to be sure we in adult education are addressing the same academic standards as our K12 colleagues.. Most states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, and the CCRS for adult education grew directly out of the K12 Common Core standards. When it comes to standards for K12 language learners, states are, in addition, using various English Language Development (ELD) standards. Many use the WIDA standards {available here}, which have been aligned to the Common Core State Standards.

The expectation to look to K12 has resulted in the development of the CCRS for adult education. This leaves me wondering about the English Language Development standards in K12 and how those might be adapted for our work in adult ESL. I'm wondering if anyone has looked at the ELD standards in their state. If so, how do those standards compare to the adult ESL standards in your state? Might there be implications for our practice in supporting adult English learners to reach their career and academic goals?

Please share your thoughts and ideas with the community!

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Hi Susan and All,

Susan, thank you for introducing this thread of discussion, it's been enlightening to me even though I don't teach adult ESL. I invite those of you following this thread to please also consider one or more questions I've raised in a July 11 post. Though my question is not ESL-specific, I'm wondering what PD resources are available to teachers in helping all adults transition to college / career.

"Which states are adopting the CCR or considering adopting them? What is your program or state doing to help teachers get up to speed with CCR Standards?... It appears that other subject areas are embedded in the ELA Standards.  So do practitioners also need a deeper understanding of science, history, and social studies content as well?"

The full post is online at:

I welcome your thoughts,


Hi Jackie and all, Pennsylvania has adopted the CCRS and is officially rolling them out to the field at our Summer Institute in August. This 2-day training event, which will be modeled, in part, on the training provided this spring by OCTAE, is the first step in supporting Pennsylvania adult educators in understanding the CCRS and how to teach the standards. The Professional Development System in PA, of which I am a part as the ESL Content Specialist, will be working with programs throughout the year in a variety of ways to deepen teachers' understanding of how to teach to the standards effectively.

While the implications for adult ESL have not yet been spelled out, it is important for adult ESL providers in states that have adopted the CCRS to be at the table. I am grateful that this is the case in Pennsylvania. ESL teachers are also included at our Summer Institute, and we will focus specifically on what these standards in both English Language Arts, as well as Mathematics, could look like when applied in an ESL context.

Thanks for posing the question, Jackie. It would be great to hear what other states are doing and what professional development strategies are being implemented to support teachers.



Moderator, Assessment CoP

Good Morning Susan,

I work in Philadelphia and I would love to hear about the professional development opportunities through the summer institute.  I am an adult educator in a correctional institution.

Thank you for sharing,

Lynn B.