What do Immigrant and Refugee ELLs Say About Their Experiences?

by Aydin Durgunoglu and Erin CaryAccording to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), 108.4 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced as of late 2022 ( Although these statistics help illustrate the incredible scale of this problem, it is also important to understand how it is affecting individuals and their families. Recently, we have completed a small-scale implementation of our CILIA-T curriculum with approximately 50 adult English learners in four classrooms. The students came from various…

Educator Spotlight for Teacher Appreciation Week: Jill Ashley-Grochowski and Steve Hunt’s Experiences Piloting the CILIA-T Curriculum

CILIA-T, or “Content-Integrated Language Instruction for Adults with Technology Support”, is a full intermediate/advanced adult ELL curriculum that integrates U.S. history, civics and government content as well as digital skill-building. The curriculum, which is part of the CREATE Network, is completing its third year of development under a team including adult ELL and technology educators, literacy experts and content scholars. A draft of the CILIA-T curriculum is currently being piloted in four adult education classrooms by experienced teachers in Minnesota.…

Developing digital proficiencies of English learners in adult education

Description All around the globe, the development of digital skills is considered a priority because individuals are increasingly asked to interact with digital information. Digital literacy is required to communicate effectively and accomplish social and work-related tasks. Although there is a significant body of literature on the development of digital proficiencies in educational settings from elementary school to university, there is limited research with adults who are continuing their education later in life, usually outside of formal educational systems.  The purpose of this paper is to report results from a study conducted with English learners in an adult education program in the U.S. The study evaluated the digital component of a new curriculum named CILIA-T (Content-Integrated Language Instruction for Adults with Technology Support), CILIA-T is a 16-module curriculum supporting adult learners to build their English skills, US History and Civics knowledge and digital proficiencies.  

Mya Shaftel, CILIA-T research team member, interviewed by MPR News

Check it out! Mya Shaftel, one of the adult educators developing content for the CILIA-T research team and a teacher at Literacy Minnesota, was recently interviewed by MPR News host Cathy Wurzer regarding upcoming changes to the US citizenship test.In the interview, Mya discusses the potential implications for both adult education providers and adult learners. The Content-Integrated Language Instruction for Adults with Technology Support (CILIA-T) team is proud to have Mya supporting the development of their curriculum.Read the article:…

Announcement: Updates from CILIA-T

The Content-Integrated Language Instruction for Adults with Technology Support (CILIA-T) Team recently released an update to their work, outlining their process for identification of digital tools for online learning. They have begun developing their digital skills roadmap and are providing an opportunity for practitioners to give feedback. Check out this link for more information:

Civics/History Curriculum: An Introduction to the CILIA-T Curriculum Project

CILIA-T stands for Content-Integrated Language Instruction for Adults with Technology Support. Funded by the Institute for Education Sciences, this five-year project will build and pilot a standards-aligned, 16-module curriculum designed for intermediate-level adult English learners to broaden their academic vocabulary, morphological skills, and critical thinking application while engaging U.S. history and civics content through a thematic lens. Read More