Mujeres Teaches IT Tech Skills in Pilot Class

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, envisioned the class as a simulated… Read More Mujeres Teaches IT Tech Skills in Pilot Class

From Garden to Garden: Learning English in the Weeds

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 The Welcome Project, located at the Mystic River Development… Read More From Garden to Garden: Learning English in the Weeds

Gardening as a Theme for Teaching ESOL

  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 health, work, and family. When themes get… Read More Gardening as a Theme for Teaching ESOL

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… Read More Using WhatsApp

Guiding Student Reflection in the Classroom

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

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

First Literacy Lab: ABCD’s Summer ESOL Gardening Class

ABCD developed this hands-on project after observing that many of their ESOL students had an interest in and experience with gardening, but did not know what plants grow in Boston and in many cases did not have enough room to garden.
“We experienced this disconnect last summer when we brought our conversation class to City Natives for a tour. The students spent an hour and a half comparing plants in their home countries and here, learning the names of edible, medicinal, and decorative plants, and talking about the gardens that they had at home. They were excited about the topic and this engagement helped them to interact with our tour guide almost entirely in English.” … Read More First Literacy Lab: ABCD’s Summer ESOL Gardening Class