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Engaging Adult Learners with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education


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An overview of our instructional model, the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm, and the use of surveys with learners to build different ways of thinking

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Engaging Adult Learners with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education

  1. 1. Engaging  Adult  Learners  with   Limited/Interrupted  Formal   Educa9on   Andrea  DeCapua   The  College  of  New  Rochelle     Helaine  W.  Marshall   LIU  Hudson  
  2. 2. U.S.  teachers  and  learners  assume  that:     1.  the  goals  of  instrucAon  are     a)  to  prepare  learners  for  their  future   b)  to  produce  independent  learners   2.  the  learner  brings  along   a)  an  urge  to  compete  and  excel  as  an  individual   b)  preparaAon  for  academic  tasks        (Adapted  from  DeCapua  &  Marshall,  2011)    
  3. 3. Two  Different  Learning  Paradigms   Aspects  of     Adult  Learners  with   North  American   Learning   Limited  schooling    Classrooms   Immediate   Future        CONDITIONS          Relevance        Relevance         Interconnectedness   Independence   Shared   Individual  PROCESSES   Responsibility    Accountability     Oral  Transmission   WriTen  Word     PragmaAc  Tasks   Academic  Tasks  ACTIVITIES    (Adapted  from  DeCapua  &  Marshall,  2009,  2011;  Marshall,  1994,1998)  
  4. 4. M A L P       Adult  Learners  with   North  American   Limited  schooling   Classrooms          Immediate   Future        Accept    learner          Relevance        Relevance  condiAons   Interconnectedness   Independence  Combine  learner  &    Shared   Individual  North  American              Responsibility    Accountability  processes   with    Oral              Transmission      WriTen  Word  Focus  on  new  acAviAes  with    PragmaAc          Academic        familiar  language            Tasks  &  content              Tasks  (Adapted  from  DeCapua  &  Marshall,  2009,  2010,  2011;  Marshall  1994,  1998)    
  5. 5. BeDy’s  Class  •  Ages:              18-­‐61  •  Educa9on:              None  to  5th  grade  •  Classes:         –  ESL     –  Hmong  Literacy   –  Life-­‐skills  Math   –  Problem  Posing  •  Origin:              Hmong  from  Laos  
  6. 6.  Class  Survey:  Crossing  the  Mekong  •  Interviewing  at  home  •  Sharing  data  in  class  •  Drawing  map  &  flags  •  Entering  data  in  table  •  Using  sentence  frames  •  Responding  to  quesAons  
  7. 7.  Paj  Ntaub  
  8. 8. Prototypical  MALP  Project   Class  Surveys              Characteris9cs  that  foster  MALP    •  Interpersonal    •  Relevant  topics  likely  to  emerge  •  Natural  movement  from  oral  interacAon  to  wriTen   product  •  Provision  for  both  group  and  individual  task  delegaAon  •  InstrucAon  in  academic  ways  of  thinking    
  9. 9. Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm – MALP © Teacher Planning Checklist A. Accept Conditions for LearningA1. I am making this lesson/project immediately relevant to students.A2. I am helping students develop and maintain interconnectedness. B. Combine Processes for LearningB1. I am incorporating shared responsibility and individual accountability.B2. I am scaffolding the written word through oral interaction. C. Focus on New Activities for LearningC1. I am focusing on tasks requiring academic ways of thinking.C2. I am making these tasks accessible with familiar language and content.DeCapua,  A.  &  Marshall.  H.  W.  (2011).  Breaking  new  ground:  Teaching  English  learners  with  limited  or  interrupted  formal  educa9on  in    US  secondary  schools.  Ann  Arbor,  MI:  University  of  Michigan  Press.    
  10. 10. Survey:  Students’  Free  Time  
  11. 11. Survey:    Immigra9on  Issues  
  12. 12. More  MALP  Projects  •  Newcomer  Booklets    •  Murals    •  Timelines  •  Autobiographies  •  Social  Bookmarking  •  CollecAons      
  13. 13. Apple  Collec9on  
  14. 14. Benefits  of  Collec9ons  •  Building  definiAons  •  Learning  ways  to  categorize  objects    •  Developing  vocabulary       –  academic  terms   –  descripAve  adjecAves    •  CollaboraAng  on  a  class  project    
  15. 15. Talking  &  Wri9ng  about  Collec9on  Talk/write  about  the  items  in  the  collecAons  using  sentence  frames           My  apple  is  a/an  ____key chain________.     It  is  ___________,  ___________  and  ________.     It  is  a/an  ________,  ________,  _________  key chain.    
  16. 16. More  about  MALP?  •  Our  books  (University  of  Michigan  Press):   Mee#ng  the  needs  of  students  with  limited  or  interrupted  formal  educa#on  (2009)   Breaking  new  ground:  Teaching  students  with  limited  or  interrupted  formal   educa#on  in  U.  S.  secondary  schools  (2011)   Making  the  transi#on:  Culturally  Responsive  Teaching  for  struggling  second   language  learners    (summer  2013)    •  Our  websites:       hDp://   hDp://  •  Our  ar9cles:                              TESOL  Journal,  ELT  Journal,  Preven#ng  School  Failure,  Urban  Review  and  more  •  Our  email: