[Assessment 1199] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions orComments?!

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Miriam Burt mburt at cal.org
Fri Feb 8 15:04:13 EST 2008


Noa and others,

I like the idea of the snack bar very much, but I'm curious about how
the concept of buying and wearing second hand clothing from strangers,
if you will, is received by the students. My experience is that the idea
purchasing and wearing someone else's second-hand clothes and items is
actually one that doesn't always translate across all cultures. True,
the idea is highly positive among middle class here in the U.S. where
it is seen as a way of saving money, being "green," and not wasting
resources -- and this is demonstsrated by the prolitferation of trendy
2nd hand boutiques in cities and ads on Craig's list to sell gently used
baby clothes (even diapers! ) and toys. However, some cultural groups
may find the idea of buying and wearing someone else's clothing as
"charity" (as Jodi says below) or something somewhat distasteful.
Perhaps the fact that all items are 50 cents takes that edge off? Has
anyone else had this experience with the concept of 2nd hand items and
other cultures?

Great discussion here!
Miriam
**********
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
Center for Applied Linguistics
4646 40th Street NW
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 362-0700
(202) 363-7204 (fax)
mburt at cal.org <mailto:mburt at cal.org> (email)

________________________________

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Jodi Crandall
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 1:18 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1192] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No Questions
orComments?!
Importance: Low



Noa,

These are fabulous ideas. I especially like the emphasis on how
literacy level students can help those who are more educated and also
cooperate and compete with them in the snack bar and boutique.

You have provided clear guidance on how to maximize both groups'
strengths and also encourage them to learn from each other.

By the way, "boutique" is so much more positive a name than the
usual "closet" or another name that sounds like it's charity.

Do others have suggestions of ways of accommodating literacy
level and more educated students in the same class.

Jodi

On Feb 8, 2008, at 11:59 AM, Sadan, Noa wrote:


Jodi,

The classroom mix of the highly educated literate
students who didn't know English with the literacy level beginning
English students was often a challenge. The first (unstated) task was to
help the educated students realize that they might learn a great deal
from those who picked up oral language faster than they did.

Techniques for dealing with the mixed levels:
The Key: fostering a sense of community within the
class
Main technique: Group work - teacher as enabler,
moving around the groups

* extra reading help in reading given
while class was working on either written assignments or group projects
* groups were mixed

* always by language
* occasionally by gender
* rarely by ability (only when
reading lessons specifically for the literacy group were held)

School Job: The Refugee Center has a working Snack
Bar, and Boutique (donated clothing - everything sells for fifty
cents/item).

* students polish their abilty to work
together
* students learn chain of command
(literacy level students are supervisors just as often as the highly
educated, since they often have a verbal advantage)
* literacy-level students could make
coffee, serve as a cashier, and give excellent customer service
* a highly educated accountant who cannot
get out an English sentence orally, could create a cost-accounting
spreadsheet see if it was less expensive to buy bulk sugar or packets
for coffee.

Other projects are used as well - making recipe books,
making student profile books. Today, with the use of the computer, the
possibilities are endless for activities for mixed classes.

Noa


________________________________

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Jodi Crandall
Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 12:59 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1152] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE:
No Questions orComments?!


Noa,

Thanks for sharing this. How wonderful to have had 20
hours per week for these students. Besides mutual respect (which is
very important), were there ways in which students could use their
complementary skills to help each other. If you could describe some of
the activities that you or others used that were helpful, that would be
great.

If others of you could share your experiences with mixed
classes, and how you coped with them, I think a lot of us would be
interested.

The change to separate Listening, Reading and "Homeroom"
classes is also a very interesting way of meeting the needs of this
diverse population. I know that many community colleges separate their
instruction in adult ESL to oral language skills (Listening/Speaking)
and written language (Reading/Writing) skills. Are there others out
there who could share your experiences in this regard?

The presence of World English speakers and Generation
1.5 speakers in adult ESL has further complicated the situation. I'd be
interested in knowing how others have dealt with such diverse students
in adult ESL/ESOL.

Jodi



n Feb 7, 2008, at 12:16 PM, Sadan, Noa wrote:


Years ago, the Montgomery County Refugee
Training Program (Montgomery
College, Silver Spring, MD)had highly educated
people with no English,
in class with literacy level students. It was
certainly difficult
meeting the needs of all students, but in this
intensive 20-hours/week
program, a tremendous mutual respect was
fostered between the groups.
Typically, the highly educated students raced
ahead with reading and
writing, while the literacy students sped ahead
with oral language. The
Somali mother of nine would say to the Russian
engineer, "I wish I could
read and write like you!", while the Russian
woman would reply, "I wish
I could speak like you."

All this ended with a slightly different
solution. The Refugee Center,
then under the direction of Donna Kinerney,
divided that school day into
separate Listening,Reading and "Homeroom"
classes. Homerooom took in all
skills, plus the introduction to the American
workplace. This model was
in place when we began to get World English
speakers who were not
literate. It provided a solution in which they
could study in a
literacy-level reading/writing class, and
interact in a higher level
Listening and Homeroom class.

-----Original Message-----
From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 3:10 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1139] Re: {Dangerous
Content?} RE: No Questions or
Comments?!

Jackie and Forrest,

I think most large programs separate literacy
level students from others
who are at a beginning level. I know that back
in the 1980s when there
were large refugee ESL programs, several
community colleges created
parallel ESL classes for the beginning levels
and even into intermediate
levels, with one set of classes for students
with limited literacy or
prior schooling and another for more educated
students. The reason was
that the students with less education made
slower progress. Some of
this is undoubtedly due to the way in which we
teach English (requiring
literacy), but it is also because students need
to become accustomed to
attending classes, learning to hold and use a
pen or pencil, and a wide
range of basic skills that come with being a
student in a class.

Those of you who have separate classes for those
who need literacy:
Can
you tell us what kind of classes or program you
provide?

Those who teach both literacy and more educated
learners in the same
class: Can you let us know how you manage?
What are some ways in which
you accommodate both sets of needs?

Jodi

Forrest,
I like the idea of separate classes
for those with a literacy
background and those without. These two
groups have such different
needs. Having both in the class make it
difficult for a teacher to
meet the needs of either group well and
I find that often the stronger


students dominate the class, and their
drive push the teacher forward.


If the instructor does not keep up with
the students who are learning
at a faster rate, they often become
frustrated and leave or mentally
check out. However, if the instructor
keeps up with those students,
the others are unable to keep up and
they get frustrated.
I think that literacy could perhaps be
separated out. And regardless


of how you do it, well-trained
instructors are essential.
Jackie


On 2/5/08, Forrest Chisman
<forrest at crosslink.net> wrote:


To all of you who commented on level of
prior education as a factor
in student performance:



Everyone with whom Jodi Crandall and I
talked believes that more
highly educated students do better in
terms of persistence, learning


gains, and transitions. And learning
theory would lead us to expect
this.
Regrettably
we found very little hard data about how
much difference prior
education makes, because too few
programs track the level of prior
education of their students and
correlate it with outcomes. DO any of


you do this? That is, do you have any
data on HOW MUCH difference
level of prior education makes?
Or
any strong impressions? And are there
"cut points" in prior education


that seem to make a difference -- e.g.
students who are completely
illiterate, students who at least
reached high school, high school
graduates, college graduates, etc. --
or is level of prior education


pretty much of a continuum?



More importantly, what can programs DO
to narrow the gap between
highly educated students and those with
less prior education?
Presumably students with very low levels
of education are more likely


end up in the lower level ESL courses
(Literacy or Low-Beginning
levels) why are (almost by
definition) in the business of teaching
basic literacy and sometimes


math.
Why isn't this enough? In your
experience, does the "gap" exist at
these levels too, or mainly at higher
levels? At any levels, would it


be desirable to place less highly
educated students in separate
classes from those with more education
and adjust the
curriculum/support systems for them
accordingly? Some programs have
tried "native language literacy" or the
Spanish GED. What has been
the experience of any of you with these
approaches? Any other ideas?
IS there an adult ESL equivalent of
"bi-lingual education" that
should be tried?



It seems to me that we need to come up
with better ideas. Because the


people who study immigration tell us
that the level of education of
immigrants has been falling. And if
Immigration Reform mandates large


numbers of undocumented people to "learn
English" (whatever that
means), ESL programs may be swamped with
students who have very
little education in their native
countries and too little money to
serve them. So anyone who has any ideas
about how to bridge this
"education gap" could help us a lot by
posting ideas about how to
close it on this discussion list.



Forrest Chisman

Vice President

CAAL







*From:* assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
*On
Behalf Of *Tina_Luffman at yc.edu
*Sent:* Tuesday, February 05, 2008 1:32
PM
*To:* The Assessment Discussion List
*Subject:* [Assessment 1109] Re:
{Dangerous Content?} RE: No
Questions or Comments?!




Hi Jackie,

Thank you for this information. I
believe this research must be what
my former Spanish teacher was basing her
argument on for bilingual
education in the K-12 school system.

Tina

Tina Luffman
Coordinator, Developmental Education
Verde Valley Campus
928-634-6544
tina_luffman at yc.edu

*"Jackie Coelho"
<jackie.coelho at gmail.com>* Sent by:
assessment-bounces at nifl.gov

02/05/2008 11:13 AM

Please respond to
The Assessment Discussion List
<assessment at nifl.gov>

To

"The Assessment Discussion List"
<assessment at nifl.gov>

cc

Subject

[Assessment 1108] Re: {Dangerous
Content?} RE: No Questions or
Comments?!






Hi Tina,

This has been researched already and is
the basis for the arguement
in favor of bilingual education, a good
idea that was not implemented


in the best way. For many years people
have known that a good
foundation in literacy in the first
language will facilitate learning


in a second or third language.

Another interesting twist is the
existence of languages that are not
written.

Jackie


On 2/5/08, Tina_Luffman at yc.edu
<Tina_Luffman at yc.edu> wrote:

Hi list members,

My experience teaching ELAA students in
the GED class is similar to

that
of

Gail. If the student has a solid
educational background in the
country

they

came from in their native language, they
tend to advance rather

quickly
and

get their GED. Those coming with 6th
grade educations from their

country
or

lower tend to stay in the GED class for
years and do not make much
advancement.

This experience relates well to research
done among Native American

tribes

teaching them English. Those Native
Americans who were first taught

literacy

skills in their own tongue learned
English much quicker than those
who

tried

to learn literacy skills in English
without that background in
their

own

tongue. I also found similar problems
when I was learning Spanish.
The concepts I could mentally translate
from English to Spanish
were much

easier

to grasp and learn than those I didn't
know in English. Perhaps
this

is

something deserving more research.

Tina
Tina Luffman
Coordinator, Developmental Education
Verde Valley Campus
928-634-6544
tina_luffman at yc.edu

-----assessment-bounces at nifl.gov wrote:
-----

To: "The Assessment Discussion List"
<assessment at nifl.gov>
From: "Gail Burnett"
<gburnett at sanford.org> Sent by:
assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
Date: 02/04/2008 06:34PM
Subject: [Assessment 1104] {Dangerous
Content?} RE: No Questions or


Comments?!


Warning: This message has had one or
more attachments removed
Warning: (not named).
Warning: Please read the
"AttachmentWarning.txt" attachment(s) for

more

information.

In our small adult education program, my
experience (just about
three

years)

is that students with solid educational
backgrounds advance,

particularly if

they're not working too many hours.
Those who advance the slowest,
if

at

all, are immigrants who are barely
literate in their first
language. I

would

say that lack of education is a bigger
factor than lack of time; a

student

who works full-time and is exhausted
often will still succeed
because

he/she

is familiar with academic work, and is
goal-oriented. What we do is

try
to

get our low-level students to come up
with goals, but that's a hard

concept

in a second language.

This does not mean that the factors
mentioned in the research don't

play
a

part, though. I'm one of those
barely-trained teachers
(transitioned

from

another career, got trained mainly
through workshops rather than

classes).

My skill level very well may contribute
to students' slow

advancement.

It's

hard for small adult education programs
to get highly skilled ESL

teachers.

The pay is low and there are no
benefits. But my program is

encouraging
me

to get extra training and has me on a
plan of improvement. I think

we're

making some progress.

Does this address any of the issues? And
am I submitting it right?

________________________________

From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov on
behalf of Marie Cora
Sent: Mon 2/4/2008 6:50 PM
To: Assessment at nifl.gov
Subject: [Assessment 1103] No Questions
or Comments?!


Hello everyone,

I'm so surprised! No one has anything
to comment on regarding your


program's effectiveness at helping ESL
students advance?? I was
very curious to know if subscribers
experience the same types of
issues

that
Dr.

Chisman and Dr. Crandall found in their
research: a lack of
intensity

of

instruction/few protocols for
transitioning students/few
opportunities

for

professional development.

What are the issues in your program that
you feel inhibit the ESL

student

from advancing? What do you try to do
about that?

Please post your questions and comments
now.

Thanks!

Marie Cora
Assessment Discussion List Moderator


Marie Cora
marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com
<mailto:marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>
NIFL Assessment Discussion List
Moderator
<marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>


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--
JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall
Professor, Education Department
Director, Ph.D. Program in Language, Literacy &
Culture Coordinator,
Peace Corps Master's International Program in
ESOL/Bilingual Education
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
1000 Hilltop Circle,
Baltimore, MD 21250
ph: 410-455-2313/2376 fax:
410-455-8947/1880
email: crandall at umbc.edu
www.umbc.edu/llc/
www.umbc.edu/esol/
www.umbc.edu/esol/peacecorps.html



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JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall
Professor and Director
Language, Literacy and Culture Ph.D. Program
Director, Peace Corps Master's Intl Program in ESOL/Bilingual
Education
University of Maryland Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
tel: 410-455-2313
fax: 410-455-8947
eml: crandall at umbc.edu





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