The English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards for Adult Education (AE) are intended to address the urgent need for educational equity, access, and rigor for adult English language learners (ELLs). States are adopting challenging academic content standards for adult education with the goal of ensuring that adult learners are adequately prepared for careers and postsecondary education. This trend is in response to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (Pub. L. 113-128) mandate that requires states to "align content standards for adult education with state-adopted challenging academic content standards." It is also a response to a growing body of evidence about what makes instruction effective (American Institutes for Research, 2015).
The ELP Standards for AE are essential to ensuring that adult ELLs receive the focused and effective instruction they need to access states’ academic content standards. To that end, the ELP Standards strongly emphasize the academic language needed by ELLs to engage with and meet state-adopted content standards. When the language demands inherent in state-adopted academic content standards are understood, more effective instruction can be delivered to adult ELLs. Use these standards to design effective lessons that promote rigorous instruction for adult ELLs. The ELP Standards for AE were identified to help ELLs acquire the language knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their postsecondary and career goals.