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
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
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
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
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
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
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: Promoting Independence and Establishing Relevance in Teaching and Learning
On Friday January 20, First Literacy held an information session about two nationally recognized standardized tests that offer high school equivalency credentialing: the new GED® test and HiSet. The room was packed, which reinforced our assessment that many programs and teachers have questions about which test is best suited for their students. Both tests are… Read More GED® or HiSet?
I’d like to share a free resource with adult ABE/ESOL teachers, one that has inspired me for years: Teachers and Writers Magazine. It’s a publication of the Teachers and Writers Collaborative (TWC). In their own words, “Teachers & Writers Collaborative (T&W) seeks to educate the imagination by offering innovative creative writing programs for students and… Read More Educating the Imagination
First Literacy is delighted to welcome Lenore Balliro as our new Director of Programs. Ms. Balliro has worked with adult basic education teachers and programs across Massachusetts for many years: as an instructor, program director, staff and program developer, and consultant.