When we met Yamileth Lopez, she had already come a long way, both literally and figuratively. Yamileth was in her fourth year of college in Venezuela when a family tragedy brought her to the United States. Despite not knowing English, she worked hard for years running her late father’s convenience store to support her family. Her dreams of college and an accounting career were put on hold.… Read More The Sky Is the Limit
It’s Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, the one week in the year that celebrates the impact that adult education has on children and families. Adult educators are accustomed to feeling like they work in a forgotten branch of education. To many “education” is something that happens when you’re younger. Say “education” and many people… Read More Not a Branch, But the Root
Whenever my colleague Alison Simpson and I collaborate in facilitating professional development for ESOL teachers, we always seem to end up discussing our favorite materials, methods, and approaches from “back in the day.” Both of us started teaching adult immigrants in the 1980s, when resources for teaching ESOL were few and far between. But we… Read More Retro, Vintage, Time-Tested
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 Ginberg, shared hands-on approaches for teaching algebra with… 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… Read More Using WhatsApp
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 responsibility for their own learning. I started by being explicit about the word “reflection” and why we do… 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
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.