Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)




Some adult English language learners (AELLs) have weak English listening and speaking skills in relation to their reading and writing literacy skills. Little information about this discrepancy is available to teachers of AELLs. The purpose of this project was to learn what research exists on the topic and find hands-on strategies to address it in the AELL classroom. Methods included an extended literature review and a survey of AELL teachers in two upper-Midwest urban Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs. Studies of college and university students who are learners of English as a second language (ESL), show that listening and speaking skill deficiencies exist in a broader context of adult ESL education. The literature shows a lack of effective listening and speaking instruction in traditional approaches to ESL. Communicative Ianguage teaching (CLT) and cognitive listening strategies have been developed to address these. Survey responses showed a relatively high number of ABE teachers observe a Iistening/speaking skills weakness for some AELLs. Responses included teaching strategies feedback. Based on the literature review findings and survey responses, a manual of listening and speaking instructional activities was developed for the AELL classroom. A tuture examination of this language skills balance is recommended, after College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) have been fully adopted in ABE programs.


SC 11.MAE.2016.Steinrueck.JK