One of the frequently recurring topics that comes up in this discussion is how to effectively and appropriately teach adult English language learners who have had access to limited (or no) formal education.
Last year we had a panel discussion on this topic (Summary). This past spring the NIFL Special Topics discussion list hosted a discussion led by Heide Wrigley and Larry Condelli related to their study, "What Works for Adult ESL Students." This discussion is archived here. Archives of both discussions (and all of the lists) are available here. Nonetheless, several of you have asked for more discussion and information on the practicalities of working with literacy-level adult English language learners. So, from December 10-14, 2007 MaryAnn Cunningham Florez and Betsy Lindeman Wong will guest facilitate a discussion on hands-on strategies, techniques, and activities for working with this group of adult ESL learners.
As you can read in the bios (below) MaryAnn and Betsy have had much and varied experiences related to teaching the literacy- and beginning-levels. However, it is also true that many of you (almost 900) subscribers also have experiences to share, and I hope that might constitute the bulk of the discussion. Also, I hope those of you who are new to teaching literacy-level or multilevel classes or adult ESL generally will ask specific "how-to" questions that the facilitators and others can respond to.
As an example: A poster writes, "How can I get the students in my first level class to communicate independently?" A responder could share his or her own specific "how-to" in using LEAs, line dialogues, conversation grids, or other activities. Or a respondent could share what didn't work and why.
There is a great deal of information available related to teaching literacy-level adult English language learners, so I am citing one general resource that will lead to a host of others, the CAELA online collection on Working with Literacy-Level Learners
I hope you will plan on joining the discussion.
MaryAnn Cunningham Florez. Before moving over to DC Learns, MaryAnn was Lead ESL Specialist, Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP), Arlington, Virginia. Before going to REEP, MaryAnn was lead ESL specialist in Fairfax County (VA) adult ESL. When MaryAnn was Assistant Director at the National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE) she moderated the NIFL-ESL list.. MaryAnn is the author of Lifeprints Literacy (New Readers Press) and "Beginning ESOL Learners' Advice to Their Teachers". She also is also coauthor of Working With Literacy-Level Adult English Language Learners. MaryAnn has also had a great deal of experience as a teacher and administrator in a program that served many literacy-level English language learners in a church-based program in Falls Church, VA.
Betsy Lindeman Wong. One of Betsy's many jobs in adult ESL has been as online facilitator, ESOL Basics, Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. In this role, Betsy has had experience working very closely with teachers who are new to adult ESL. Betsy has taught adult ESL in several programs in Northern Virginia--specializing in classes geared for literacy- and beginning-level learners-- and developed EL/Civics, ESOL family literacy, and other curricula for Fairfax County and Virginia. As lead teacher in an adult ESL program in Alexandria, Betsy has opportunities to mentor teachers who may not be familiar with appropriate strategies, techniques, and resources for working with literacy-level and other adult English language learners.
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