from the English Literacy Civics Resource Center:
Professional Development and Community Building
In every issue of Literacy Links we update you on new developments at the English Literacy Civics Resource Center and highlight some featured web sites. For those of you who are not aware of the Resource Center, please come and visit our virtual home! The English Literacy Civics Education Resource Center is a website designed for EL Civics teachers and students and is made possible through an English Literacy Civics Education Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Texas Education Agency. The Center is administered by Brenham Community Education (a partnership between Brenham Independent School District and Blinn College), in conjunction with the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University, with support from the Texas Center for Adult Literacy and Learning at Texas A&M University. This site is now an archive and is no longer hosted on the TCALL website. Resources for EL Civics can be found at http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/litresources/elcres.htm
For this issue of Literacy Links I would like to take a closer look at two types of resources you can find at the Center. First, I would like to draw your attention to the professional development resources available and then discuss some of the community building resources you will find.
Just as a reminder, the bulk of the site is found in the "Resources" section, and consists of links to online resource materials, organized by both topic area and type of material.
Topic areas include:
Civic Participation and Community Action;
Immigration and Naturalization;
Voting and Government;
Parent and School Involvement;
and Workforce and Workplace Education
Within each of these topic areas, you can access a wide range of materials including:
Lesson plans for teachers and tutors;
Professional development materials for teachers and tutors; Web collections that have been compiled by other people and organizations;
Ideas and information about innovative programs;
Online interactive activities for adult learners;
Online interactive activities for parents and children;
and Links to agencies and other source materials
Professional Development Materials
In each of the content areas listed above, you will find professional development materials for teachers and tutors. These materials consist of articles on a variety of topics related to teaching English Language Civics, background information about civics education and adult learners, and even online professional development activities. Below are some sample professional development links you will find on the website.
ESL Articles compiled by NCLE http://www.cal.org/caela/esl_resources/index.html. This page has links to almost 80 full-text articles of interest to ESL and EL/Civics teachers, covering topic areas such as ESL Methods and Approaches, Family and Intergenerational ESL Literacy, Language and Culture, and Workplace and Vocational ESL.
PBS ESL/Civics Link http://civicslink.ket.org/login.xml. PBS ESL/Civics Link is an online professional development service designed to help adult education and ESL teachers increase their knowledge and skills for teaching English to adults and to better integrate English literacy instruction and civics. Teachers will be able to complete online units covering topics such as "Meeting Learners Needs and Goals," "An Overview of Selected Teaching Approaches in ESL," "Integrating Civics and English Literacy," "Exploring Citizenship," and "Teaching a Citizenship Class." The site is still under construction, and units should be available very soon. For now, you can visit the site to learn more about what it will offer, and you can sign up for free email updates to keep you informed about the progress of the site. You can also try a sample activity here: http://civicslink.ket.org/sample/main.htm.
Adult Civic Involvement in the United States http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=97906. This report, compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics, presents data on the civic involvement of adults in the United States, including sources of information, community and political participation, and attitudes toward government and democratic principles. The data are from the 1996 National Household Education Survey (NHES:96), Adult Civic Involvement component.
Civics Education for Adult English Language Learners, and ERIC Q&A http://www.cal.org/caela/tools/instructional/civics.html In this comprehensive article, Lynda Terrill gives an overview of the different conceptions of civics education and provides historical background of civics education. She also provides ideas for activities teachers can use in different levels of classrooms, and links to a multitude of references and resources available on the web.
Using Case Studies for Professional Development in Civic Education http://www.civics-online.org/teachers/cases.php. On this page, hypermedia case studies are used to provide teachers the opportunity to explore and seek solutions to problems they may encounter teaching civics education. Four case studies are presented, along with questions for discussion and reflection. Although these case studies are based in K-12 education, the issues presented are also relevant to adult educators.
Citizenship Preparation for Adult ESL Learners. This ERIC digest (from June 1997), written by Thomas Nixon, Visalia Adult School, CA and Fran Keenan, National Center for ESL Literacy Education, focuses on the educational requirements of the naturalization process, discusses different approaches to citizenship education, and provides ESL teachers with ideas for practical activities they can use in their citizenship classes.
Adult Learning Resource Center http://www.thecenterweb.org/. The center provides assistance to citizenship educators in Illinois and throughout the U.S. Services provided include: staff development workshops; educator interest groups; on-site electronic and phone consultation; customized training; and materials development in English and Spanish. On this site you will find some great citizenship resources and materials to use with students, including sample entrance tests, INS 100 Questions, INS Dictation Sentences, INS practice interviews, and classroom materials.
Community Building Resources
In the "Community" section of the site, teachers, learners, and parents will find ways to connect with others around a variety of issues related to English Language Civics Education. The links in this section are designed to bring teachers, parents, and community members together, and include online discussion groups, listservs, and newsletters. Here are some sample links you will find in this section of the site:
National Institute for Literacys Online Discussion Lists. Subscribe: http://lincs.ed.gov/discussions/subscribe_all.html. Read descriptions: http://lincs.ed.gov/discussions/discussions.html. LINCS sponsors a variety of online discussion groups that allow adult literacy professionals and learners opportunities to "discuss the literacy fields critical issues; share resources, experiences, and ideas; ask questions of subject experts; and keep up-to-date on literacy issues." There is a separate list for each of the following topics: Assessment, Equipped for the Future (EFF), English as a Second Language (ESL), Family Literacy, Focus on Basics, Health & Literacy, Homelessness & Literacy, Learning Disabilities, Poverty, Race, & Literacy, Technology & Literacy, Women & Literacy, Workplace Literacy.
NCLEnotes. http://www.cal.org/caela/esl_resources/digests/Citizen.html. NCLEnotes is a newsletter targeted primarily to ESL literacy teachers and program administrators, containing news from the field, tips for teaching, and policy updates. It is published two times a year by the National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE). You can sign up to receive a free paper subscription or read it online.
Community Update. http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OIIA/communityupdate/page1.cfm. Published by the U.S. Department of Education, Community Update is a monthly newsletter for parents, educators, and community partners involved in the education of children. It features model programs from around the country, putting its readers "in touch with resources, services, and publications for increasing student learning." You can access the newsletter online and read stories from teachers, researchers, and others involved in the education of children.
Field Notes. http://www.sabes.org/. Field Notes is published quarterly and provides a place "to share innovative practices, new resources, information, and hot topics with the field of adult education." It is published by the Massachusetts System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES) and is primarily written for adult literacy educators and researchers, and features policy updates, classroom teaching ideas, and reports of research.
e*Literacy. http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/eliteracy/archive.html. e*Literacy is published monthly by the National Institute for Literacy. Written primarily for adult literacy teachers, admini-strators, and policy makers, it features the latest news from the field of adult literacy, policy updates, and listings of current workshops, conferences, and other literacy-related events.
Adult Learners Network Newsletter. http://www.caliteracy.org/. Adult Learners Network, a project of California Literacy, Inc., sponsors a monthly newsletter for adult literacy students. These newsletters, written expressly for adult learners, feature articles on different topics relevant to learners lives, complete with vocabulary help and contact information for relevant agencies and offices. The most recent issue discusses how to get a job. On this site you can read the newsletter as well as join the Adult Learners Network, an organization designed to develop relationships between literacy students in California.
Literacy Update. http://www.lacnyc.org/resources/publications/update/. Literacy Update is published eight times a year by the Literacy Assistance Center of New York City. Literacy Update is written primarily for literacy teachers, administrators, researchers, and policymakers, and features articles on current issues in adult literacy education.
Focus on Basics. http://www.ncsall.net/index.php?id=31. Focus on Basics is published quarterly by the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NSCALL). Focus on Basics presents best practices and current research on adult learning, as well as discussions of how research is being used by adult literacy teachers, counselors, administrators, and policy makers. You can find downloadable full-text versions on-line.
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