[Assessment 1234] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No QuestionsorComments?!

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Mary Lynn Simons macsimoin at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 9 15:15:15 EST 2008



Sounds as if this really works, congratulations!

Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 11:25:26 -0500
From: Noa.Sadan at montgomerycollege.edu
To: assessment at nifl.gov
Subject: [Assessment 1232] Re: {Dangerous Content?} RE: No QuestionsorComments?!








Miriam, Mary Lynn and others,

The
boutique at the Refugee Center has a history. People used to come and donate
clothing. Some students would take a huge amount and others wouldn't touch the
pile, citing that they did not want to "take charity".

In the
mid 1990's I came up with the idea of a project for my class: arrange the
clothing, bring in other items, and set up a boutique in which everything cost
ten cents. The fact that students were paying for their boutique
items erased the one impediment that had been there before - the idea of
"taking charity".

We have never run into any opposition to
the idea. Quite the opposite - it grew, often with student input in terms of
ideas, and later clothing, toys and household items. Students worked with a flow
chart - Can the item go on the floor? Does it need sewing or ironing?

If
there were any students who had reservations about wearing used clothing, it was
not apparent. Even teachers would shop in the Boutiue, and that lent another
level of comfort and legitimacy. Now, former students come in with their
donations to the boutique, and gleefully talk to us about yard sales. Our
current students often go on field trips tp neighborhood thrift shops,
sometimes comparing their offerings to ours.

If we
receive large items, such as computers, musical instruments, play stations,
televisions, dinnerware, and such, we handle it by lottery, having all those
interested in the item participate in a drawing.

The
concept has also expanded to a video rental library run by yet another class, in
which donated VHS and DVD videos are borrowed (at no charge). The students have
itemized the offerings in a spreadsheet, and are currently using the internet to
write synopses about each movie. We have also invited one of the College's
Business Institute directors to talk to the class about microenterprise, and how
they can open their own businesses.

Sometimes, a tiny idea used to sovle a problem can spiral into something
entirely new!




From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Miriam
Burt
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2008 3:04 PM
To: The
Assessment Discussion List
Subject: [Assessment 1199] Re: {Dangerous
Content?} RE: No QuestionsorComments?!



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
(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?!




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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>
http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/assessment





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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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