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Guest Facilitators for Discussion on Adult ESL and Workplace Education

The two adult ESL content experts described below were guest faciliators on an electronic discussion that took place on the Adult English Language discussion list, April 16-20, 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 a summary of the discussion, click here.

Miriam Burt has worked in the field of adult ESL instruction since 1975. She has taught, trained teachers, written curricula, and directed programs both in the United States and abroad. From 1990-1994, she was the director of the Skills Enhancement Training Program (SET) of the Food and Beverage Workers Union Local 32 & Employers Benefits Fund, a U.S.-Department-of- Education-funded workplace-education program that provided instruction in basic skills, GED, ESL, and communication skills to cafeteria worker in Washington DC. She has provided technical assistance to workplace ESL programs in several states including Texas, where she was an advisory board member for Adult Bilingual Center Institute, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide educational services to dislocated workers in El Paso. She has also provided training to trainers and training directors of the International Laborers Organization. She is on the advisory board for the Project on Employers, Immigrant Workers, Intermediaries and Skills Training, The Center for Workforce Success, National Association of Manufacturers. Her publications on the immigrant workplace education include briefs (Issues in Improving Immigrant Workers’ English Language Skills, Evaluating Workplace ESL Programs, and  Assessing Workplace Performance Problems: A Checklist) and monographs (A Guide for Providers: Engaging Immigrant Seniors in Community Service and Employment Programs  and Workplace ESL Instruction: Interviews from the Field.)

Sharon McKay has twenty years experience in adult ESL instruction with the Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP) in Arlington, Virginia.  In addition to teaching general ESL, TOEFL prep, and family literacy, Sharon worked as an ESL instructor and site coordinator in workplace programs conducted in hotels, property management companies, landscaping, hospital  and retirement centers. She wrote and collaborated on multiple curricula and her TESOL Masters' paper is on the topic of curriculum development for Workplace ESL. She contributed this work under a national demonstration grant developed to connect workers with ESL literacy instruction. Sharon is the co-author of the workforce text with video series, English Works! (Addison Wesley).