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

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: Promoting Independence and Establishing Relevance in Teaching and Learning

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

GED® or HiSet?

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?

Keeping Track of Our Scholars’ Success

It’s standard practice for us to keep track of First Literacy Scholarship recipients. We love to see how a little leg-up from us helps our Scholars reach big milestones and achieve their goals. But our staff member Michael Feher has been keeping track on one of our Scholars since long before he even applied. Before he became our Director… Read More Keeping Track of Our Scholars’ Success