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QEd: Scientific Evidence for Adult Literacy Educators, Issue 1. Kruidenier, John R., Editor (2007). Washington, DC: National Institute for Literacy. This is the first in a five-issue series for the adult education community published by the National Institute for Literacy. The series will cover ideas and information on the expanding scientific research base on how adults learn to read. This first issue tells the story of how researchers are using the high quality, scientific standards that adult literacy deserves and demands. The issue also discusses another publication, Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults: First Steps for Teachers (available as a separate title from the Clearinghouse). The series will also offer other useful resources and discussion lists.
Implications of NCSALL Research for Program Administrators: NCSALL Seminar Guide. NCSALL (April 2006). Cambridge, MA: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy. Seminar Guide was created to assist program administrators in accessing, understanding, judging, and using research for themselves and for their staff. Participants explore the “Program Administrators’ Sourcebook: A Resource on NCSALL’s Research for Adult Education Program Administrators” and other training materials available from NCSALL. Professional developers may want to use this seminar in place of a regularly scheduled meeting, such as a statewide training. Seminar design assumes a 3-1/2 hour seminar for between 15 and 25 adult education program administrators/coordinators.
English Literacy and Civics Education. Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (February 2006). Washington, DC: Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. This brief, written by CAELA staff members, explains the purpose and content of the U.S. Department of Education’s English Literacy and Civics (EL Civics) Education program. The brief also describes some ways that teachers can develop EL Civics classes appropriate for learners at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of English proficiency.
ESL GED Civics Curriculum CD , Version 1.0. Simmons, Jane (July 2007). Tyler, TX: Literacy Council of Tyler, Inc. This curriculum promotes civic responsibility while also integrating other instruction for the typical ESL student. Some examples of these skills are sentence structure, parts of speech, and vocabulary building. The GED lessons also cover other instruction needed by the typical GED student. Some examples of these skills are reading comprehension, essay writing, and mathematical analysis. As the curriculum is distributed and used in the field, it will continue to be revised and other lessons added. The CD (available free on request) contains both PDF and Publisher files. The PDF files duplicate the best but cannot be changed; however, the Publisher files allow you to change the names of elected officials to reflect the people serving in your local area.
Problem-Based Learning and Adult English Language Learners. Mathews-Aydinli, Julie (April 2007). Washington, DC: Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. This brief describes how problem-based learning aligns with research on second language acquisition, gives guidelines for teachers and administrators on implementing problem-based learning in classes or programs for adults learning English as a second language (ESL), and outlines the benefits and challenges of using a problem-based learning approach with adult English language learners.
Understanding Adult ESL Content Standards. Young, Sarah and Smith, Cristine (September 2006). Washington, DC: Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. Adult education programs serve learners who are native English speakers and those whose first, or native, language is not English. Native English speakers attend adult basic education (ABE) classes to learn the skills needed to earn high school equivalency certificates or to achieve other goals related to job, family, or further education. English language learners attend English as a second language (ESL) or ABE classes to improve their oral and written skills in English and to achieve goals similar to those of native English speakers. This brief is written for adult ESL teachers and program administrators, as well as educational researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders who work with adult English language students in ESL classes or in mixed ABE classes (with native English speakers and English language students).
Workplace Instruction and Workforce Preparation for Adult Immigrants. Burt, Miriam and Mathews-Aydinli, Julie (September 2007). Washington, DC: Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. Adult educators across the country are seeking ways to ensure that foreign-born adults will be successful in gaining English proficiency and in entering and advancing at the workplace. This brief reviews the three venues in which federally funded instruction to help immigrants become successful at work is offered – at the workplace, in vocational classes, and in adult English as a second language (ESL) classes. Basic program features and the strengths and challenges of each type of program are described, and recommendations are given for addressing the challenges. This information will help program administrators and teachers select, establish, and improve programs for the adult immigrants they serve. Brief is written for adult ESL teachers and program administrators, as well as educational researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders.
The Transition from Adult Literacy ESL Programs to Academic Reading and Writing: Next Steps for English Language Learners. Flores, Lisa Gardner and Chlup, Dominique T. (2005). College Station, TX: Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning. During her year as a fellow at the Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning (TCALL), researcher Lisa Gardner Flores has chosen to research how to successfully transition English language learners into content area classrooms. She began her research work with a sample of teachers at a community college located in Washington State. Her research in Washington State is serving as a pilot study for subsequent work in Texas. In this report, Flores documents the research she conducted in Washington State and her findings after working closely with twenty practitioners to discover how they are addressinging instruction across the language curriculum. While Flores’ research is specific to one state and practitioners at one community college, it is hoped that her findings from this initial pilot study will be useful more broadly for instructors and administrators working with ELL students across the country. Available on the TCALL Website.
Narrative and Stories in Adult Teaching and Learning: ERIC Digest. Rossiter, Marsha (2002). Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education. Narrative and stories in education have been the focus of increasing attention in recent years. The idea of narrative is fertile ground for adult educators who know intuitively the value of stories in teaching and learning. Narrative is deeply appealing and richly satisfying to the human soul, with an allure that transcends cultures, centuries, ideologies, and academic disciplines. In connection with adult education, narrative can be understood as an orientation that carries with it implications for both method and content. This Digest presents a brief overview of a narrative orientation to teaching and learning and then explores how stories and autobiographical writing promote learning.
Journal Writing and Adult Learning: ERIC Digest. Kerka, Sandra (1996). Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education. Several themes prevalent in adult learning--coming to voice, developing the capacity for critical reflection, and making meaning--are reflected in the way journals can be used in adult education. This Digest focuses on several types of journals, exploring their value in assisting adults through their learning journey and summarizing advice from the literature on effective ways to use journals.
Integrating Reading and Writing into Adult ESL Instruction: ERIC Digest. Rabideau, Dan (March 1993). Washington, DC: National Center for ESL Literacy Education. Reading and writing play a larger role in language instruction for adult learners today than they have in the recent past. Reading and writing were never completely removed from adult English as a Second Language (ESL) curricula, but during the early 1980s there was a shift toward oral/aural instructional goals and practices. That shift was motivated by learners’ needs; many adults had a limited amount of time to spend in a program, and their most immediate need seemed to be oral communication. Some learners came to adult programs with very limited formal schooling, and an oral/aural approach allowed them more opportunities to participate in class. In fact, oral communicative ability is still a primary goal of much adult ESL instruction, but the pendulum is swinging back toward a greater emphasis on reading and writing.
Connecting with Parents in the Early Years: Executive Summary. Mendoza, Jean, et al (December 2003). Champaign, IL: Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative. This 8-page document summarizes the book Connecting with Parents in the Early Years from the Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative. (Book is available as a loan item.) This review of interdisciplinary literature concerns parent/teacher connections in the early years. Communication strategies for families that are difficult to reach are highlighted with suggestions to strengthen family connections. School readiness and early childhood programs are discussed with the focus on involving the family.
Making a Difference: A Framework for Supporting First and Second Language Development in Preschool Children of Migrant Farm Workers. Stechuk, Robert A. and Burns, M. Susan (2005). Washington, DC: Academy for Educational Development. The authors share the research base, important findings, and recommendations for teaching practices and program policies related to first and second language development in preschool children. Information is presented as responses to four key questions: 1) Can we facilitate children’s acquisition of English without the loss of Spanish (i.e., their first language)? 2) How can we understand the how and when of developmental processes related to first and second language acquisition? 3) Does it matter how adults use English and the children’s home language when they talk to children? 4) When we continue development of the first language and facilitate English, what does it look like day-to-day?
Promoting ELL Parental Involvement: Challenges in Contested Times. Arias, M. Beatriz and Morillo-Campbell, Milagros (January 2008). East Lansing, MI: The Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice. This policy brief analyzes the factors involved with generating effective parental involvement of English Language Learners (ELLs). Parents of ELLs face daunting barriers when they attempt to become informed and involved in their child’s school. This, in turn, limits communication and participation. Given the achievement gap between ELLs and English proficient students, it is critical to identify practices that improve ELL parental involvement and, in turn, student achievement. While diversity speaks to the need for both traditional and non-traditional models, with a dual-model approach variation in language proficiency is acknowledged, communication is facilitated and communities are recognized and integrated within the school culture. The center recommends that policymakers fund the implementation of non-traditional parental involvement programs that reflect a reciprocal involvement in the school/parent community.