Looking for References on Where the Vast Majority of EFL Adult Learners Come From


     Good day! I am looking for a few good references on where the vast majority of EFL adult learners come from, e.g., culture and geographic region. By good I mean, something I can use in a dissertation, e.g., peer-reviewed, Bureau of Labor, Department of Education, or book. I have a reference, but it's not peer-reviewed. 

     Thank you very much! Any more information on adult learners regarding this topic would be nice. I want to keep this post to one idea, but I do need some assistance on instruments and norming. I think I'll make another post for that.



 Jaros-White, G. (2017). English Literacy and Immigration. Pearson. Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://longmanhomeusa.com/blog/english-literacy-and-immigration/


 Thanks, John, for the information on ESL students.

     To clarify further what I might be looking for, the EFL/ESL adult learner population might include all those 18+ years old either in the U.S. or globally (maybe hard to find this). I must narrow the population most likely to the U.S. However, the problem I’m exploring has to do directly with native EFL/ESL teachers (e.g., from the U.S.). Specifically, how EFL/ESL teachers might apply the results of an Intercultural Competence (IC) self-report assessment test to inform their teaching practices. Information about English learners in public schools is good, but it does not account for all the EFL/ESL adult learners. The IC test instrument I'm using is the Inventory of Cross-Cultural Sensitivity (ICCS) version two (ICCSv2) from Mahon & Cushner (2014). It was normed on pre-teacher university students. Two of the five constructs have less than desirable alphas (<.75), but I need to make this work.

     I might not be expected to know certain population groups who may not be accounted for. Still, there are those not in public schools that might be considered part of the population of EFL/ESL adult learners and legal. Even a good source that has estimates of these populations might suffice. For example, Batalova & Fix (2019) suggests that this immigrant population could exceed 30 million in the next five years. Lastly, could I say that most EFL/ESL adult learners in the U.S. are adults? Globally?



Batalova, J., & Fix, M. (2019). Credentials for the future: Mapping the potential for immigrant-origin adults in the United States [Report]. Migration Policy Institute.

Mahon, J. A., & Cushner, K. (2014). Revising and updating the inventory of cross-cultural sensitivity. Intercultural Education, 25(6), 484-496. doi:10.1080/14675986.2014.990232


I think you have a good start with the Migration Policy Institute. I found that following pertinent references in articles would lead me to other, sometimes better, sources. Your Longman post has some good leads to follow.

You can also check out gao.gov for the Government Accountability Office or dol.gov for the Department of Labor. 

TESOL also has interest sections for teaching adults and native vs nonnative teachers, plus their peer-reviewed journal and books. Here is a quick link I found that mentions some populations: https://www.tesol.org/docs/books/bk_CP_AdultLL_615

Other journals I've found useful include ELT Journal, Adult Education Quarterly, Language Learning & Technology, International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies, and The Modern Language Journal.

LINCS Issue Briefs are also well-researched and can lead you to other sources if they don't provide the primary information you are seeking. 

Adult ed test publishers like the Center for Applied Linguistics sometimes provide a place to start looking.

I invite you to check out the Literature Review section of my master's project in case you find any useful sources there. Best of luck.