New Briefs from CAELA Network
Three new briefs are available online. The first is written for teachers of adult English language learners and two have been written for administrators in programs serving adults learning English.
Teaching Grammar to Adult English Language Learners: Focus on Form describes the focus-on-form approach to language learning, provides research-based evidence for drawing learners' attention to form while remaining focused on meaning, and offers examples of instructional activities to raise learners' awareness of English structure.
Supporting and Supervising Teachers Working with Adults Learning English discusses the knowledge and skills that administrators need in order to support and supervise teachers of adult English language learners and provides a model of collaborative supervision.
Observing and Providing Feedback to Teachers of Adults Learning English addresses three types of observations: formal, walk-through, and alternative. Each type is described, and examples are provided for implementation within a collaborative approach to supervising teachers working with adults learning English.
Improving Adult English Language Learners’ Pronunciation discusses the research on pronunciation and older learners and elements of pronunciation to focus on with this population. It suggests evidence-based strategies for instruction and recommends further research on the topic.
Managing Adult English Language Educational Programs is the third in a series of briefs for administrators. This brief reviews the skills program administrators need to have including knowledge of learner needs assessment, progress assessment, and communication skills to work with stakeholders both inside and outside the classroom and the program.
Update on CAELA Network States
CAELA Network staff work with 12 states to develop high quality professional development systems and approaches within the states. Here we highlight the work of three of the states. In future issues we will spotlight the work of other states.
Update from Iowa
Iowa increased its professional development capacity with a Training of Trainers in Des Moines for seven experienced adult ESL practitioners April 9-10, 2009. The workshop, Teaching a Multilevel ESL Class, was facilitated by CAELA Network staff and focused not only on the fundamentals of teaching multilevel classes – needs assessment, lesson planning, appropriate instructional activities, and evaluation – but also on effective training techniques. These new trainers will provide professional development workshops for adult ESL practitioners throughout Iowa in the coming years.
Professional Development on working with learners at literacy and preliteracy levels.
Update from Texas
Texas is providing professional development for instructors teaching adult English language learners at beginning literacy levels. Two experienced trainers and material developers have built modules for use by literacy instructors throughout the state. CAELA Network staff reviewed draft beginning literacy modules that are being pilot tested in several sites.
Update from Utah
Utah has developed a preliteracy adult ESL module geared for instructors working with populations that have no literacy skills in their first language. The training is being piloted this year in the Salt Lake City area.
CAL staff moderate the Adult English Language Learners Discussion List for practitioners working with adults learning English, supported by the National Institute for Literacy’s Adult English Language Learners.
From May 18-29, the discussion list hosted an online study group on using games and other ways to teach the present continuous tense. The purpose of the discussion was to share ideas on teaching a grammar point (always of interest to ESL practitioners) and to see how this list can function as a sort of online study group. Activities included focused discussion of teaching grammar points such as the present continuous verb tense, reading a short article online on the affective filter in learning languages, and viewing and responding to a brief online video.
To see the video, go to www.mlots.org/vermont/louisgiancola.html.
Visit the archives for complete transcripts of these discussions and all discussions on the list.
Higher Level Reading and Writing Assessment
Over the years practitioners working with adult English language learners have spoken of the need for a new reading and writing test for adult English language learners that would assess proficiency with reading and writing skills needed for purposes such as pre-academic study. This becomes increasingly important as the emphasis on transitions – preparing adult English language learners for further study in post secondary institutions, in technical institutions, or for the workforce itself – continues. Look for more information on this topic in upcoming issues of Network News.
For information on transitioning adult English language learners to the workforce or to further study
Workplace Instruction and Workforce Preparation for Adult Immigrants
Supporting Adult English Language Learners' Transitions to Postsecondary Education