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Low-Literacy Adult ESL Study Circle II: Next Steps in Designing Balanced Instruction

This study circle is a professional learning activity for teachers of low-literacy adult ESL students.
Author(s): 
Kristin Perry
Patsy Egan Vinogradov
Kristin Klas
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
ATLAS (ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement Systems)
Hamline University
Published: 
2017
Resource Type: 
Product
Number of Pages: 
71
Abstract: 

This study circle is a professional learning activity for teachers of low-literacy adult ESL students, i.e., learners with little or no first-language literacy. With a special focus on balancing instruction to meet the complex needs of these learners, teachers explore relevant research and its implications for best practices in the classroom. Participants engage in at-home reading and reflective classroom tasks that inform and deepen discussions and allow for maximum professional growth.

The study circle is designed to be delivered in a total of nine hours, delivered through three, 3-hour meetings spread over six to eight weeks.

The study circle objectives are that participants will:

  1. Identify the varied roles teachers play in order to cover the wide range of content taught in low-literacy adult ESL classrooms.
  2. Become familiar with frameworks and strategies for building balanced instruction into big picture planning and daily lessons.
  3. Become familiar with frameworks and strategies for building balanced instruction into big picture planning and daily lessons.

Clear objectives are also identified for each topic. Additionally, ways in which the study circle exemplifies the core featrures of effecrive professional develop are presented as well as the expectations of the facilitator and participants.

What the Experts Say: 

This resource is designed to be a professional development guide for teachers of low-literacy adult language learners, an often overlooked segment of the adult learner population. It provides practical guidance for facilitators with multiple activities for participants. These activities include a review of research and practice, practical application in classrooms, and reflection and discussion. Step-by-step guidance is provided for establishing and running a study circles as well as discussion questions and processes.

The guide relies on, and is informed by, evidence-based practice and research in the areas of balanced literacy instruction for both children and adults. Explicit links to research and practice provide the foundation for the activities. It is a model that facilitators could use with other topics.

While it is designed for facilitators, it also provides sufficient materials and readings suggestions for work and study to be undertaken independently.

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