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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

About Curriculum and Instruction

Curriculum Matters

Teachers in Massachusetts adult education programs have a critical role in preparing all adult learners for their next steps, whether those steps are to attain a high school credential, score well on the Accuplacer, or succeed in postsecondary education and/or training. The focus is on supporting students to achieve these outcomes, with the ultimate goal leading to family sustaining employment and a career.

The Massachusetts adult education system is built on learning standards to which curriculum, instruction, and assessment are required to be aligned. Massachusetts educators provide high quality instruction that is aligned to the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE) for ABE and ESOL instruction.

For FY18, programs offering ESOL instruction are required to use curriculum aligned to the standards and benchmarks of the Massachusetts ABE Curriculum Framework for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and the standards, level-specific standards, and instructional shifts of the CCRSAE by June 30, 2019. ESOL curriculum and instruction must reflect the CCRSAE instructional shifts and align with the CCRSAE levels A through D-E.

For FY19, programs offering ESOL instruction are required to use curriculum aligned to the CCRSAE and supported by the standards and benchmarks of the Massachusetts ABE Curriculum Framework for English for Speakers of Other Languages. These standards provide clear expectations for students and teachers, and reinforce higher and deeper levels of learning for students.

Research indicates that teachers are the single most important factor in student success.1 To help teachers provide effective instruction, this web page contains a variety of support materials: student learning standards, professional standards for teachers, information about evidence-based reading instruction, and other resources to aid in curriculum development and instruction. Educators are also supported by professional development (PD) and technical assistance opportunities. ACLS funds SABES, the System for Adult Basic Education Support, which offers programs free, high quality technical assistance and PD using national presenters. See SABES for a variety of PD offerings, relevant research, and other resources for teachers of ESOL, English Language Arts (ELA), and Math, among other topics.

What is curriculum? Curriculum refers to the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn, which includes the learning standards they are expected to meet; the units and lessons that teachers teach; the assignments and projects given to students; the books, materials, videos, presentations and readings used in a course; and the tests, assessments, and other methods used to evaluate student learning.2

Questions? Please contact Jane Schwerdtfeger, Curriculum Specialist in Adult and Community Learning Services, at janes@doe.mass.edu.

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Last Updated: August 21, 2017
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