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Teaching Pre-Literate Adults: A Treasure-Trove of Resources Andrea Poulos, University of Wisconsin- Madison Jen Sell, Literacy Network of Dane County, Madison Patsy Vinogradov, University of Minnesota
Agenda for this session Clarifying “pre-literate” learners Balanced literacy Student generated writing and reading materials Extensive reading Published materials Teacher resources Where to find these treasures?
Pre-literate? Non-literate? Low-literate? We prefer: emergent readers, or more specifically- emergent adult ESL readers
Our approach: Balanced Literacy Instruction: Phonics is important and needs to be taught explicitly to low-literate adult ESL learners, but it is best taught in contextualized, meaningful lessons. Adult learners have tremendous resources for learning; teachers need to tap into their life experiences, strengths, and interests in order to develop language and literacy effectively.
Whole-part-whole Method of teaching reading that starts with a whole text then pulls out specific parts (ex: vocabulary from thematic unit or a story) to analyze for phonics/phonemic awareness skills, then goes back to the text to practice in context.
NIFL/NCSALL ALRWG Webcast 6 After Scarborouth, H. (2001)
Balanced literacy with adult emergent readers In every lesson, keep going up and down the ladder. Remember that phonics should only be one part of a much larger, engaging, comprehension-focused reading curriculum.
Student-generated writing and reading Language Experience Approach (LEA) Literacy Network “HOME Project” Life Writing and Literacy Narratives wiki Journal entries and responses Picture stories and photo books Student newsletters
Language Experience Approach (LEA) Students tell a story (often a shared experience) Instructor (or another scribe) writes the story down verbatim Why do it? Connects the spoken and written word Values life experience; versatile and motivating Provides material for countless reading activities Making it Real: Teaching Pre-literate Adult Refugee Students, by AlysanCroydon http://literacynow.info/Page.aspx?nid=58
Published materials Look for published resources that feature… research-based, systematic instruction top-down and bottom-up activities text that is free from stereotypes content that is interesting and meaningful to adults
Published Student Books Very Easy True Stories, Sandra Heyer Ventures,Cambridge University Press Picture Stories, Fred Ligon and Elizabeth Tannenbaum Sounds Easy, Sharon Bassano Tailored Tales, Lia Conklin English for Everyday Activities, Lawrence Zweier
Decodable textbooks Talk of the Block Ann Haffner Sam and Pat Jo Anne Hartel, Betsy Lowry, Whit Hendon
Teacher Resources Teacher training video: Building Literacy with Adult Emergent Readers www.newamericanhorizons.org
LESLLA: Low-Education Second Language and Literacy Acquisition (for adults) www.leslla.org 2011 LESLLA Symposium September 29 – October 1, 2011 Minneapolis, Minnesota Proposals being accepted NOW until May 25, 2011. Conference website: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ci/LESLLA/default.html
3 Key Readings: Bigelow, M., & Schwarz, R. (2010). Adult English language learners with limited literacy. National Institute for Literacy. Available: http://nifl.gov/publications/pdf/ELLpaper2010.pdf Vinogradov, P. (2008). "Maestra! The letters speak.” Adult ESL students learning to read for the first time. MinneWITESOL Journal, 25. Available: www.minnewitesoljournal.org Vinogradov, P., & Bigelow, M. (2010). Using oral language skills to build on the emerging literacy of adult English learners. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. Available:http://www.cal.org/caelanetwork/resources/using-oral-language-skills.html
Treasure map? www.multilingualminnesota.org Click on: For Teachers of Adult Low-literate ESL Visual on next slide!