Part I: Background Information
Part I presents information for program staff about the population of adult English language
learners in the United States. It describes the size of the population, countries and languages
of origin, distribution in cities and states, first language background, English language and
literacy levels, education levels, employment and income status, reasons for attending adult
education programs, the challenges they face, and the strengths they bring to the learning
setting. This section also describes types of programs that offer adult ESL instruction, the
challenges that programs face, and some characteristics of effective programs.