Helping someone learn a new language is a challenging endeavor. Teachers must have the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to attract, engage, and retain students. They need to know not only how English works but how to help their students grasp and apply these understandings.

Of course, there is no single right way to teach English. There are simply too many variables for any single method or set of strategies to apply universally: student characteristics and goals, program goals and limits, and the teacher’s own unique skills and limits.

Nevertheless, there is a growing body of research that points to an approach and a series of strategies that can significantly simplify and improve the quality and effect of ESL instruction in nearly all situations.

ESL by Design is based on this research. It is an integrated strategy-based approach to teaching adult ESL. New teachers and those seeking new ways to impact their students will find it particularly useful.

We suggest using a consistent lesson flow that is designed to engage students and simplify teacher decisions in presenting a range of information and activities. Within the framework of the lesson flow, a wide variety of strategies can be used to provide learning opportunities. Current strategy descriptions are simply summaries. Over time we are expanding these descriptions to provide more detail. In addition, we are videotaping teachers to illustrate how many of these strategies are taught. Instructional materials provided in the Materials section will also be cross-referenced to the strategies.