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Briefing Book: English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Programs in Boston


ACLS — Massachusetts Adult and Community Learning Services
ACLS, a unit at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), oversees and improves no-cost basic educational services (ABE) for adults in Massachusetts. ACLS funds a broad network of education providers/programs in Massachusetts programs which provide educational services to adults with academic skill levels below 12th grade, and/or adults who need English language skills to succeed in our communities. These include local school systems, community-based agencies, community colleges, libraries, volunteer organizations, correctional facilities, as well as family literacy and workplace education programs. The website includes of directory of ABE, pre-GED, GED and ESOL resources and programs.

ALI — Boston Adult Literacy Initiative
ALI consists of Boston adult education providers which receive funding from the ESE and/or from the City of Boston to provide adult education services. These include basic literacy skills, distance learning, ESOL, GED, Adult diploma program, job skills, and transition to college. In honor of its 25th anniversary, ALI has produced beautiful posters that tell the stories of students from Boston ABE programs. Click here to see these stories.

Commonwealth Corporation
Commonwealth Corporation builds upward mobility pathways for Massachusetts youth and adults through public and privately funded initiatives designed improve current and emerging workers' skills; foster career success through lifelong learning; and meet the labor needs of businesses.

Comm-pass System
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Adult and Community Learning Services Unit frequently posts Requests for Responses on the Commonwealth’s Procurement Access Solicitation System (Comm-PASS).  To learn more about these opportunities, go to Comm-PASS at www.comm-pass.com or select ACLS to access posting links to Comm-PASS under Hot Topics.

English For New Bostonians
ENB is a strategic, public–private–community partnership initiated by the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians that focuses the attention and resources of Boston’s leaders and immigrant communities on meeting the needs of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in Boston. ENB partners include philanthropic and corporate organizations, the ESOL community (community leaders, ESOL students, program graduates, ESOL teachers and other practitioners) and the City of Boston.

First Literacy
Founded in 1988, First Literacy (formerly the Boston Adult Literacy Fund) mobilizes private funds and public awareness to meet the literacy needs of thousands of Greater Boston adults and families. We have helped over 35,000 adults reach their educational goals and become more effective parents, workers, and community members.

Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts
LVM trains volunteer tutors to provide free, confidential, and individualized tutoring to adults in basic reading and writing and English as a Second Language.

Massachusetts Adult Literacy HOTLINE
The Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline provides information and referrals for adult learners and volunteers to 300+ adult education programs that offer one-on-one tutoring, small-group, or classroom instruction to adult learners. The Holtline also provides information about basic reading, math, adult basic education, English language training, family literacy, GED preparation, or testing sites.

MassAAL — The Massachusetts Alliance for Adult Literacy
MassAAL assists the adult learner in developing lifelong leadership skills, creates public awareness about the need for adult literacy, and strengthens the adult learner’s voice in shaping public policy for adult literacy services in Massachusetts. MassAAL empowers adult learners by helping them to have a collective voice in how their ABE programs are run.

MATSOL — Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages
MATSOL is a professional association representing teachers, English language learners and their families in K–12 schools, adult learning centers, higher education institutions, and the workplace.

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
Comprehensive website providing information on Massachusetts and federal literacy resources

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
MassBudget provides independent research and analysis of state budget and tax policies, as well as economic issues, with particular attention to the effects on low- and moderate-income people. MassBudget also produces reports on specific topics such as education, health care, economic development and tax policy.

Massachusetts Literacy Foundation
Created in 2003 by the Boston Herald, the Massachusetts Literacy Foundation supports the development of a fully literate population in Massachusetts by recognizing leadership and innovation in the field of literacy, supporting effective workforce and community literacy programs, and building partnerships to strengthen outreach and outcomes.

MIRA — Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
MIRA works to advocate for the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees. In partnership with its members, MIRA advances this mission through education, training, leadership development, organizing, policy analysis, and advocacy.

MWA — Massachusetts Workforce Alliance
The Massachusetts Workforce Alliance unites individuals, organizations, and coalitions to advance sensible workforce development policy that creates true economic opportunity for low-income people.

SABES — System for Adult Basic Education Support
Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Education, SABES promotes high-quality adult basic education services through training, support, and resources that improve the skills and knowledge of practitioners and strengthen programs. SABES services are delivered through five Regional Support Centers located at community colleges across the state. Its resource collection includes bibliographies on family literacy, workplace education, health education, and learning disabilities, a newsletter, publications catalog, workshops, and links to professional development, and external links.


WE LEARN is a community promoting women’s literacy as a tool that fosters empowerment and equity for women. WE LEARN seeks to build a just society and healthy communities. They focus on education, specifically the basic literacy women need to gain access to systems of power and to achieve personal and community empowerment. WE LEARN engages a diverse membership community of adult basic education and literacy learners and alumni, educators, researchers and professional women, community activists and anyone dedicated to moving our mission forward.

The Workforce Solutions Group
The Workforce Solutions Group is a coalition of the Massachusetts Workforce Board Association, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the Crittenton Women's Union, the Mass Communities Action Network, the Mass Business Roundtable, the Center for Labor Market Studies and the Workforce Investment Association of Mass. The WSG advocates for an effective workforce development system that increases workers' skills, advances families to self-sufficiency, and promotes job creation and economic growth.

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