Summary - Practical Strategies for Working with Literacy-Level Adult English Language Learners December 10 - 14, 2007

Summary of Online Discussion on Practical Strategies for Working with Literacy-Level Adult English Language Learners

Announcement | Guest Facilitators

Below is a summary of an electronic discussion that took place on the Adult English Language discussion list on December 10-14, 2007. The discussion list is part of the National Institute for Literacy's Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) and is moderated by staff at the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition at the Center for Applied Linguistics.

For information about subscribing to the adult English language discussion list or to read current and past postings, go to To read about the guest facilitators for the discussion, click here.

If you wish to read or reread the individual postings from this discussion you can access them from the National Institute for Literacy’s Web site at and click on 2007 in the archives section.  From there you can search by date, thread, subject, or author. The official dates of the discussion were December 10-14, 2007, and the posting numbers roughly from 1949-2032.

This discussion was offered in response the many requests for practical, hands on information about working with literacy-level adult English language learners. This discussion was wide-ranging and included such topics as using picture dictionaries and other visuals, the role of phonics and phonemics, and the pros and cons of reading aloud in adult ESL classes.

Several postings described classroom and programmatic responses to mixed-ability or multilevel classes. Some postings focused on the issue of learners with widely differing levels of education and familiarity with school settings working together in the same class. Other postings related to varying proficiencies--within individuals and classes--in the four skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Subscribers also discussed acquisition of vocabulary and the importance of developing a comfortable classroom learning environment. In this discussion approximately 35 individuals shared their expertise, practical applications, resources, questions, and answers.

Lynda Terrill

Adult English language discussion list moderator

February 2008

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