About the Adult English as a Second Language (ESOL) Program

Learn more about our program and its approaches

Learn more about the Adult ESOL Program and its approaches

As an integral part of Adult and Community Education (ACE) of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the mission of the Adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program is to provide opportunities for adult English language learners (ELLs) to acquire the proficiency in English and cross-cultural communication they need to succeed in their roles as workers, citizens, family members and lifelong learners.

The FCPS Adult ESOL program is dedicated to providing adult students with the practical English language they need in their everyday lives, as well as English skills that will help them advance into postsecondary education and career and technical training.  Because our students come to us with diverse learning needs and goals, we utilize approaches and practices that integrate students’ voices in the instructional process.  We regard teachers and students as partners in the learning experience.  Our students are expected to be actively engaged and responsible for their own progress.  Our teachers are facilitators who provide opportunities and guidance.  Above all, we strive to create a supportive and challenging learning atmosphere where a community of learners can grow and achieve their goals.

Our Teaching Philosophy

The Fairfax County Adult ESOL program has adopted an approach to teaching adult ESOL that draws on a variety of best practices in the field, including communicative language teaching, instruction based in learner needs assessment, authentic integration of the four language skills, contextualized language instruction, and performance-based assessment.  Teachers in the Fairfax County Adult ESOL program plan lessons that can be described in the following ways:

  • are student-centered with a focus on student needs, styles and goals;
  • are based on curricula that include and value the input of the students;
  • are collaborative and interactive with students working together in groups and pairs while the teacher circulates to help and guide;
  • balance fluency and accuracy in instruction and practice;
  • integrate instruction and practice of reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • incorporate assessment and self-reflection as part of the instruction process
  • utilize authentic materials, language and situations to inform language use
  • orient language practice and learning in the contexts of adults’ roles as workers, community members, parents and life-long learners