Mujeres Teaches IT Tech Skills in Pilot Class

By Lenore Balliro, Director of Programs Mujeres Unidas Avenzando, a community-based organization supporting Latina students and their families since 1979, took digital literacy several steps beyond the basics in their First Literacy Lab project “IT Tools Tech Free-Way.” Instructor Bonnie Rivers, whose experience working at a national tech company informed her First Literacy Lab project design,… Read More Mujeres Teaches IT Tech Skills in Pilot Class

From Garden to Garden: Learning English in the Weeds

By Lenore Balliro, Director of Programs, First Literacy After attending a Teaching ESOL Through Community Gardening workshop at First Literacy, Gillian Burleson realized that even though she is a self-proclaimed “brown thumb,” the idea of teaching English through gardening was especially appropriate for her program. Gillian coordinates (and teaches in) the adult ESOL program at… Read More From Garden to Garden: Learning English in the Weeds

Gardening as a Theme for Teaching ESOL

By Lenore Balliro, Director of Programs, First Literacy Using themes is an effective way to design curriculum for English language learners. Organizing instruction around topics of interest to learners allows the teacher to integrate all four language skills—reading, writing, speaking, and listening—in a coherent manner and increases students’ comprehension. Common themes in ESOL curricula include… Read More Gardening as a Theme for Teaching ESOL

The “M” Word

By Lenore Balliro, Director of Programs, First Literacy  I had the great pleasure of observing a recent two-session workshop at First Literacy called Math Instruction for High School Equivalency: De-mystifying Algebra for the Math Phobic. I should say that the pleasure part kicked in after my fear and trembling subsided. The highly skilled facilitator, Marilyn… Read More The “M” Word

Using WhatsApp

After attending the workshop “Digital Resources to Create Independent Learning Opportunities for ESOL Students” at First Literacy on February 3, Mary Ellen D’Angelo of Jackson Mann Community School chose the free app WhatsApp to try out with her adult students. WhatsApp uses the phone’s Internet connection for messaging and is more suitable than texting for group… Read More Using WhatsApp

Know Your Rights

Informed communities are cornerstones of a participatory democracy. An important aspect of adult literacy instruction is helping people become more informed about how democracy works: what our constitution says, how we can communicate with our elected officials, what basic rights protect us all. Last Friday, First Literacy sponsored a “Know Your Rights” workshop for teachers… Read More Know Your Rights

Guiding Student Reflection in the Classroom

This post was written by guest contributor Tanya Lane from the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center in Boston, MA. After attending the first session of the “Fostering Independence” workshop at First Literacy, I decided to use my classroom agenda and reflection activities more purposely. My goal was to help students—a mixed level beginner level ESOL class—take… Read More Guiding Student Reflection in the Classroom

Student Goal Setting

On January 27, Sarah Lynn facilitated the final session of First Literacy’s Professional Development Workshop, “Fostering Independence: Helping Students Become More Effective Self-Directed Learners.” The workshop was over-enrolled with a waiting list, which attests to teachers’ interest in the topic and First Literacy’s responsiveness to meet teacher needs. One of the underlying themes of the… Read More Student Goal Setting