Supporting Adult English Language Learners' Transitions to Postsecondary Education

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Mathews-Aydinli, J.
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
English as a Second Language (ESL), transitions, college-bound, immigrant
Number of Pages: 
Product Type: 
Training Or Professional Development Material
Target Audience: 
Local Program Administrators, Researchers, Teachers, Curriculum Or Program Developers
Required Training: 

None. Further training and study is needed to supplement this introductory piece.


This article focuses on classroom and program (administrator) practices that promote successful transitions for L2 learners to postsecondary education. The brief covers research and theory related to instructional strategies useful in supporting adult ELL students' transition to college. This is followed by a review of the professional wisdom from program strategies currently in use. At the classroom level, the author focuses on language (accuracy, vocabulary development), reading and writing genres, and developing thinking skills. For administrators, the author addresses academic and non-academic factors such as building student portfolios, future job identification, and community building. This article provides excellent practical and theoretical resources.

What the Experts Say: 

This resource is helpful to administrators and teachers of college-bound ESL students who want a broad review of some of the strategies that either are known to or hypothesized to help these students succeed in college. (Note: The program strategies that are listed have less documentation of their success than do the instructional strategies.)

This brief is easily translatable to classroom practice because it provides numerous concrete classroom strategies and describes successful programs. It looks at the subject of transition comprehensively by addressing both classroom practice and administrative support. Furthermore, it provides an extensive resource list and has clear links to successful programs.

Further Resources Suggested by Reviewers:
Jump Start to Resolving Developmental Immigrant Students' Misconceptions about College from Research & Teaching in Developmental Education, Spring 2006 by Godlschmidt, Myra M, Ousey, Debbie LambGeneration 1.5 Students and College Writing at:
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