LR/RI produces a bulletin roughly every two weeks in order to inform area practitioners of news, events, and calls for participation and also as a forum for posing questions, issues and discussion topics. The current bulletin is posted below. To read previous bulletins, go to Bulletin Archives.
October 29, 1999
Notice of upcoming professional development events, conferences, meetings, new online resources and employment opportunities. To post information, please contact me at LR/RI or leave a message (863-2839).
Understanding Learning Disabilities in Adults including Legal Issues -Workshop Facilitators: Lisa Beade, Lili Snieckus, Elaine Stafford, Judy Titzel. The first in a series of trainings for adult education practitioners -- administrators, counselors and teachers -- about adults with LD to be presented throughout RI. The first workshop will be held Saturday, Nov 13th from 9 AM to 2:00 PM at the International Institute of Rhode Island, 645 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. Lunch will be served. Through the New England LD Partnership, a series of trainings will be offered to RI adult educators on issues concerning adults with learning disabilities, beginning with Awareness and Legal Issues. Other topics to be covered in future workshops include assessment, program and instructional planning, and teaching strategies. The trainings will be held in various locations throughout RI and will be based on the Bridges-to-Practice Guidebooks developed by National ALLD Center.
Please RSVP to LR/RI by November 5th. Supported by the New England Partnership for Adults with Learning Disabilities, whose mission is to ensure that adults with learning disabilities receive the instruction and support necessary to achieve their educational and career goals. Funded through National Institute for Literacy. For information, call LR/RI or email Judy Titzel at JATDP@aol.com
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO LEARN
The Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center can help you get the education or special training you need. Our trained counselors will work with you to: Select a career or educational program, Find the right school for you, Find financial aid to pay educational costs, Fill out admissions and financial aid application, Find other services such as day care & tutoring. All our services are free. Bi-lingual assistance is available in Spanish, Hmong and Laotian. Call 455-6028 for an appointment with one of our counselors, or stop in our main office in room 250 of the Providence Campus of CCRI (One Hilton Street Providence, RI 02905). The Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education through the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). CCRI does not discriminate in admissions, recruitment, services or employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, or handicap.
The Rhode Island Adult Literacy Council will meet on Wednesday, November 3, at 1PM at the International Institute of RI. The agenda includes time for discussion of legislative and public awareness of adult education issues, as well as reports and updates from groups also working on adult education issues in the state. Membership in the council can be renewed (or initiated) by contacting LR/RI or Ann Piascik at 222-5778.
accountability: On Thursday, November 4, a number of people who attended Lucille Fandell's workshop, Setting standards for adult learning: Accountability: Where do we start?, will meet to share information about assessment and standards and to see how this work connects to that of the Adult Education Commission's Standards Committee. The meeting is open to all; please join us, particularly as we work towards developing program standards for adult education in Rhode Island. ( on standards, below)
Network '99 - The Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education (MCAE) presents its annual conference, November 3 - 4 at Ramada Rolling Green, Andover, MA. Registration must be postmarked by October 22 for best prices (MCAE members, $45/day; non-members, $70/day). For a full schedule of workshops, membership and/or registration information call MCAE at 1-800-339-2498. This is one of the closest large and comprehensive adult education conferences offered in the area, and one which is repeatedly well attended, with positive response from the field.
Sharing/discussion session for adult educators with an interest in intergenerational literacy, Tuesday November 9, at 2:00 pm, at the International Institute of Rhode Island Terri Coustan will be sharing findings from her recent minigrant project, through which she made home visits to adult literacy learners in order to learn more about ways in which literacy practices in the home affect learning in the school setting.
Sharing/discussion session for adult educators with an interest in ESOL Tuesday, November 16, 3 PM at the Genesis Center (720 Potters Avenue, Providence). Please come with a question, a teaching technique or approach to share, and/or just join us as we continue this ongoing sharing session around issues relevant to learning and teaching English.
NEW ON LINE
- In September of 1993, the National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE) published a digest entitled Language and Literacy Education for Southeast Asian Refugees. A new publication is now available to those working with refugees-- from Africa, Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe -- at the end of the 20th century. Peggy Seufert of the Refugee Service Center at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) has written Refugees as English Language Learners: Issues and Concerns. This 4-page brief answers such questions as who are the refugees?, what overseas training do they receive before coming to the US?, what are recommended curricular approaches to use with refugees? and how can ESL programs, working with limited funds, offer the kinds of support services, curriculum innovations, and technology access that refugees need? It is likely that the information contained in the digest is pertinent for those working with adult immigrants as well, as many adult English language learners have limited time to study, need for "early employment," and language and culture issues and concerns. Online or, to order the free Q & A in hardcopy, contact NCLE at NCLE@cal.org (202) 362-0700, extension 200.
National Assessment of Adult Literacy 2002 Home Page http://nces.ed.gov/naal/ The National Center for Education Statistics has posted a new Webpage devoted to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy 2002 program which will assess the current status of the English-language literacy skills of adults in the US. The site offers a description of the purposes and goals of the program; posted and forthcoming working papers on adult literacy assessment; and previews of the published reports the program will produce over the next 3 years, including data on national, state, and inter-national comparisons of literacy, results by major population subgroups, and relationships between background variables and literacy attainment. The site also provides links to related literacy sites and a link to the full text of the 1992 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, which includes an overview of all of the program's adult literacy statistics and conclusions about long- and short-term literacy trends.
from David Rosen: I have created a new Web page on advocacy for adult literacy/basic education/ESOL. It includes Web links to good resources for national adult literacy public policy and advocacy, and some information from two states: Massachusetts and RI...[I]f you have suggestions for additional links or advocacy articles or materials useful for adult literacy advocacy, please e-mail them to DJRosen@ world.std.com. I am especially interested in online or digital format articles about adult literacy advocacy from other states, or materials useful for adult learners and teachers as advocates. If you send me suggestions on Web pages to link, please send me the specific Web address for the advocacy materials, not the general Web site address. The highlights of the Advocacy page now are the public policy pages on NIFL LINCS, the LR/RI Web pages, and some information on advocacy for adult literacy in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts and Rhode Island pages include materials by and for adult learners as well as teachers. The Web address of the Advocacy Page is http://www2.wgbh.org/mbcweis/ltc/alri/advocacy.html
Conference on Labor-Management Relations - November 19. Economists Lester Thurow (MIT) and Richard Freeman (Harvard U.) will be keynote speakers at the14th Annual RI Conference on Labor-Management Relations at the RI Convention Center in Providence. The Conference also features a panel discussion on the "Future of Labor-Management Relations" moderated by Thomas Kochan, Professor of Management at MIT and author of several books on labor relations. 10 workshops are also scheduled. Registration fee is $95, $85 for members of RI IRRA. For information or a conference brochure, call 401-463-9900 or 401-874-2239.
The 2000 Adult Education program directory is available through LVA-RI. If you need copies, please call 861-0815.
call for substitute teachers - LR/RI began a substitute teacher roster in 1997, but it's sorely in need of being updated. As well, I would like to be able to post the list on LR/RI's website so that program administrators have independent access to the information. This means that if you would like to add yourself to the list of teachers to be called to substitute on an as-needed basis, your phone number and general information (what you teach, hours available) would be public knowledge. If this is a problem, I will also consider reverting to the former system of responding to calls from program directors and acting as a clearinghouse for information. Please call or email, letting me know if you'd like to be on the sub list, and also, if you'd prefer that the list be posted on line or not. Either way (on line or not), the list will be maintained in an ongoing manner.
Practitioner Survey: LR/RI's practitioner survey is online.Please complete it and send it back via fax (863-3094), mail or email. Your input is critical to the process of evaluating LR/RI's usefulness and future directions. Program directors and others receiving the survey via fax and hard copy are asked to distribute it to your staff, and/or contact LR/RI if you need more copies. If you have questions about the survey, please contact LR/RI. Although the deadline of October 5th has passed, you can still submit surveys through the end of this month.
employment opportunity: VESL opening in JTPA Office Assistant Training Program at International Institute of RI, 645 Elmwood Avenue, Providence. 3 years ESL experience in community-based ESL instruction. Employment-related communicative skills, basic computer instruction (MicroSoft Word), job development. Monday-Friday, 9 AM - 1:30 PM. Job description available at International Institute or call 784-4602.
from Thursday Notes 10/28/99 From the Desk of Ronald S. Pugsley, Director, DAEL Office of Vocational and Adult Education Editor: Sarah Newcomb Production: Rose Tilghman Special Issue: Business Supports Literacy GTE Launches Check Into Literacy
GTE's Chairman and CEO Charles R. Lee and Communication Workers of America President Morton Bahr joined ED officials and literacy groups on October 27 to announce GTE's Check Into Literacy! program. GTE is the first private company in the nation creating a phone bill check off system to help support literacy efforts for adults and children. More than 16 million GTE customers can use it to donate to literacy groups, and GTE will match the first $1 million donated. GTE has established a public charity to distribute funding to literacy providers for adult literacy, family literacy, computer literacy and English literacy programs. GTE's human resources activities also will focus on literacy volunteering and marketing efforts will help spread literacy awareness. The new initiative is one of several the company is involved in including partnerships with the National Institute for Literacy and Literacy Volunteers of America. Search for literacy at http://www.gte.com or contact 972/718-1918.
say thank you - Carey Reid and others on the NLA list have suggested that we thank GTE which is funding adult literacy through their new invoice checkoff and matching fund program for adult literacy. GTE has set up a new Web site for the new literacy fundraising effort, http://www.gtereads.org. To contact GTE on line to thank them for their support of adult literacy, complete the form at http://www6.gte.com/servlet/Feedback
more on standards: The letter on below outlines some of the connections between Equipped for the Future and the National Reporting System currently being developed. In an effort to sort things out, I'm also beginning work on a web page that posts websites and other resources related to assessments, standards and outcomes. That site should be up and running early next week; it will be a work in progress and will benefit from feedback and input.
The following letter, from the National Institute for Literacy and the Division of Adult Education and Literacy, U.S.Department of Education, has been broadly distributed. It is of interest to us all as we continue to consider standards, outcomes and other reporting measurements for adult education.
October 12, 1999
Many of you have asked about the relationship between DAEL's National Reporting System (NRS) and NIFL's Equipped for the Future (EFF). Recently the directors and staff of both DAEL and [continued] NIFL spent the better part of a day discussing the two projects in order to refine our mutual sense of the ways in which they can complement one another. By the end of our meeting we all felt we had a richer understanding of the projects and the contributions each can make to a stronger, more effective adult education delivery system. We want to share the highlights of our discussions with you.
One important conversation centered on the kinds of standards NRS and EFF currently offer. Here we acknowledged a fundamental distinction. The NRS project focuses on program performance standards that reflect how well adults perform, while EFF has developed content standards - standards that specify what adults need to know and be able to do. Basically, NRS will collect information from programs that reveals how learners are progressing in the core indicator areas defined by the Workforce Investment Act. The EFF project seeks to define the skills and knowledge adults need in order to carry out their roles as parents, citizens, and workers.
The projects' goals are clearly related. Some of the core indicators NRS must measure reflect mastery of the skills EFF has identified as essential content knowledge. In addition to profiling employment and training attainments, NRS records progress of adult learners in 12 levels of language and basic skills development. EFF is developing a performance continuum for each of EFF's 16 content standards, and plans to develop assessments of learner progress, all of which ultimately may prove useful to NRS. The projects' paths cross, and we can ensure they do so in sensible, mutually beneficial ways.
Our discussion identified three primary areas in which each project's next steps can help support development of the other. The first area involves defining and measuring performance for NRS core indicators and EFF's content standards. We agreed we should work to make NRS performance levels required by the Workforce Investment Act and EFF mastery of essential content knowledge compatible. In this way evidence collected to document student mastery of EFF standards can also be used to respond to NRS reporting requirements where the EFF standards meet the statutory requirements of the Act. We don't want programs to have to make multiple kinds of measurements.
The second area involves assessments. Both projects acknowledge the need for improved forms of assessment capable of accurately determining learner performance. Among the items EFF and NRS are considering is how to make both standards more inclusive of persons with disabilities. As EFF and NRS staff proceed with this work, they will share their findings. Program improvement was the third common area identified. Although the primary purpose of the NRS is to collect data to improve program accountability, DAEL staff is exploring how to put the data to additional use to support program improvement. EFF approaches program improvement directly by linking teaching and learning to what adults need to know and do to be effective parents, citizens, and workers. Evaluation of EFF, which will begin within the next six months, also may contribute to program improvement by identifying factors that support effective teaching and learning.
We hope this letter sheds some light on how DAEL and NIFL staff are thinking about NRS and EFF. If you have any further questions or thoughts about the projects and how they might support one another, we invite you to let us know.
Sincerely, Andrew J. Hartman Executive Director, National Institute for Literacy and Ronald Pugsley, Director Division of Adult Education & Literacy
VALUE e-list: VALUE has established a valuelearners mailing for email users, hosted by the Western/Pacific Literacy Network, part of the National Institute for Literacy Information and Communication Network System (LINCS). This "e-list" is a way for adult learners who are members of VALUE to communicate with each other. Only adult learners who are members of VALUE can subscribe to this e-list. VALUE is the national organization for adult learners (current or former participants in adult basic skills programs) in the United States. VALUE provides training and other supports to adult learners who want to be more effective leaders in their education programs, communities, and states. This e-list is being managed by members of VALUE's Communications Committee. Subscribers are encouraged to communicate about information, ideas, questions, or problems of interest to them. If you are a member of VALUE and need help subscribing, please contact LR/RI. If you're not a member, but would like to become one, contact LR/RI or visit the VALUE website at http://literacynet.org/value.
- LR/RI's list serv does not require membership, and eagerly welcomes additional participants. To join the list, please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone with an interest in adult learning is encouraged to join.
ALSO ON LINE
New discussion groups on Alphaplus: Learning, work and gender equity. Six discussions have been started on these topics: A future for women's literacy? impacts of trauma on learning; Technology and women's learning; Supporting women's learning and Older women learning and changing. To register for the discussions please go to http://alphaplus.ca: Follow the steps to register. After you have registered, choose "AlphaCom discussions". Click on "English Public" for a list of all the English-language, public discussions. Choose the title of the discussion you want to join. (These instructions also appear on LR/RI's women and literacy page).
New report: INTERNET USE BY TEACHERS: Conditions of Professional Use and Teacher-Directed Student Use answers questions such as :How often do teachers and students use the Internet, andhow do they use it? How accessible is the Internet to teachers? The full report is posted at: http://www.crito.uci.edu/TLC/findings/Internet-Use/startpage.htm ["Internet Use by Teachers: Conditions of Professional Use & Teacher-Directed Student Use." By Henry Jay Becker. Teaching, Learning, & Computing: 1998 National Survey, Report #1. Center for Research on Information Technology andOrganizations. The University of California, Irvine, The University of Minnesota February 1999]. Although dealing with K-12 issues, the report could be of interest to adult educators hoping to learn more about intergenerational use of technology and also to gain a sense of how our K - 12 colleagues are working to integrate technology into learning.
From October 21 - 23, the Learning Disabilities Association of California will host its annual state conference, in Concord, California at the Concord Hilton. Featured speakers include Glenn Young, Reed Martin, top US special education rights attorney, John Corcoran (author of "The Teacher Who Couldn't Read") and Stanford student Sam Ogami. Full Conference Programs are available by calling (916)486-5580 or at http://www.ldaca.org
- A positive parenting seminar for parents of kids with AD/HD and learning disabilities is among the 20 plus sessions offering information for parents, adults with learning disabilities, educators and other professionals. Adults with learning disabilities and/or ADD can participate in their own Adult Issues Strand facilitated by Jonathan Scott Halverstadt. Special sessions on literacy issues, medical aspects of LD, workshops for educators, parents and professionals and more. The Learning Disabilities Association of California (LDA-CA) is a state organization devoted to defining and finding solutions for a broad spectrum of learning problems. Originally formed by a group of concerned parents, LDA-CA does crucial work on behalf of children and adults with learning disabilities.
SCALE's 10th Anniversary Literacy Summit October 28-31, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -- The Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education (SCALE) works with college students, faculty, administrators, community leaders, literacy practitioners, and New Readers to help create and support campus-based literacy programs. SCALE celebrates its 10th Anniversary and is holding a Literacy Summit to offer a unique learning opportunity to those working in campus-based literacy programs, through two Literacy Institutes: Youth Literacy/ Mentoring or Adult Literacy.
Presenters for the 5 Summit Strands include:
Advocacy & Social Justice: David Rosen, Adult Literacy Resource Institute, Leslie Haynes, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Working Films, Charlotte NC Diversity: Andy Pates, Peppercorn Press Jane Hugo, Laubach Literacy, Participatory Education Techniques: Archie Willard, VALUE, Motheread, Joye Norris, Global Learning Partners, Hal Beder, Rutgers University Community and Community Partnerships: Mary Morrison, Volunteer Center of Tuscon Participatory Program Management: Ed Chaney, NC Youth for Tomorrow, Mary Siedow, NC Literacy Resource Center. Whether you're a volunteer, AmeriCorps member or program coordinator, the Summit is designed to provide support to enhance professional development and help you make real program improvement. Registered participants will: develop goals and action plans for program growth and change; receive a toolbox of resources related to literacy and social justice; establish networks with other literacy leaders, and receive proactive SCALE technical assistance for 1 year. The Summit is geared for all who are interested in offering leadership to campus-based literacy programs (committed tutors, community partners or program coordinators). We encourage you to come with colleagues and form working groups to maximize the potential of the visioning and action planning sessions for your program. While working groups are ideal, we welcome individual participants representing their campus- or community-based literacy programs.
For information, please: call (919) 962-1542, e-mail us at email@example.com, or at http://www.unc.edu/depts/ scale Please note: website lists conference hotel options; you can secure a discounted room rate if you make reservations soon - David Falk Campus Support Coordinator/Regional Mobilizer (SCALE) firstname.lastname@example.org
Literacy Volunteers of America annual conference, Nashville, TN November 10-13, 1999.Information available online at http://www.literacyvolunteers.org/conference/index.htm
relatively new on the website:
- Research Agenda for Adult ESL The National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education, in collaboration with National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy and with additional sponsorship and support from Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, has published a Research Agenda for Adult ESL. Its objectives are to provide funders with clear priorities for funding; to provide researchers with support for proposing specific projects; and to provide a focus for dis-cussion about how to improve adult ESL programs. The document incorporates feedback from learners, instructors, program administrators, policymakers, and researchers, and is available, free, from NCLE, 4646 40th street NW, Washington, DC 20016; (202) 362-0700 extension 200, or can be downloaded from NCLE at http://www.cal.org/ncle (and is also linked to LR/RI's ESOL page).
from previous bulletins: REMINDERS, RESOURCES:
The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy has recently released a set of informative fact sheets outlining for practitioners and others the projects with which NCSALL researchers are currently engaged. Project histories, plans, and implications for practice are all highlighted in the fact sheets. Projects include studies of Learner Motivation, Impact of Literacy Programs on Adult learners, Adult Multiple Intelligences, Home Literacy Uses, Adult Development and Literacy Learning, Staff Development, Assessment, GED Impact, Health and Literacy, and Reading Diagnostics, Anyone interested in reading about one or all of the projects or anyone who may be interested in project participation information may receive copies by contacting David Hayes at (401) 331-9261. (The PDRN bulletin, including a link to the NCSALL fact sheets is also available online.
LEARNER is intended primarily for adult learners. LITERACY is a general list for adult literacy practitioners and others. Information on these electronic lists is below.
LEARNER To subscribe to LEARNER, send an email message to: email@example.com
Skip the message header and in the body of the message, type: subscribe LEARNER Yourfirstname Yourlastname All submissions to LEARNER should be addressed to: LEARNER@nysernet.org Questions regarding the list should be sent to: Beverly Choltco-Devlin Moderator, LEARNER firstname.lastname@example.org
LITERACY To subscribe to LITERACY, send an email message to: email@example.com
Skip the message header and in the body of the message, type: subscribe LITERACY Yourfirstname Yourlastname All submissions to LITERACY should be addressed to: LITERACY@nysernet.org Questions regarding the LITERACY list should be sent to: Beverly Choltco-Devlin firstname.lastname@example.org
Welfare to work listserv: from Glenn Young - For those interested in the subject of welfare reform and learning disabilities, there has been a listserv created through NIFL. To sign up, please send a message to: email@example.com write in the body of the message subscribe nifl-wtwld and your name. Do not write anything in the subject line and do not use any dots or dashes other than between nifl and wtwld. (Click here for more information on listservs).
women and literacy listserv.
To participate, subscribe by sending an email message to: LISTPROC@LITERACY.NIFL.GOV with the following request in the body of the message: subscribe NIFL-Womenlit firstname lastname Substitute your first and last name spelled exactly as you would like it to appear. For example, to subscribe to the NIFL-Womenlit list Sue Smith would type: subscribe NIFL-womenlit Sue Smith There should be no other text in the message (e.g., your signature block). It is recommended that the subject line be left blank if possible.
Professional development initiative: Lastspring I spent time at the RI Dislocated Worker Program, facilitating classes for teachers there so that they could have an opportunity to observe one another's classes and to reflect on their learning and teaching. (The full text of their reflections is available on the LR/RI web site at Writing from the Field - or contact LR/RI for a hard copy). Please let me know if you would like to participate in this process of professional development. All that's required is your willingness to share your reflections about the observation/learning process for others. I hope to build a block of writing and thinking about this and other forms of our own professional development both through the bulletin and the web site.
PROJECT BASED LEARNING AND ACCESS TO THE INTERNET
How is the internet being used in adult education? What are some helpful uses, and how do we sort through the huge amount of material available on line? Susan Gaer is interested in helping programs link to one another, and has been doing so through an email project homepage on-line, at http://www.otan.dni.us/webfarm/emailproject/email.htm. If you have or know of similar learner work on line, please contact Susan at SusanG2@aol.com.
David Rosen has asked that we have a look at the inquiry maps on the Adult Literacy Resource Institute's home page. As he explains, "[a]n Inquiry Map is a group participatory research process on a topic of high interest to the group. Participants (in this case, adult learners) make their own questions, and then set about finding answers to them. The Inquiry map is a process which is never finished. Many of the questions go unanswered, are only partially answered, or have only one answer given where other points of view are possible. So, there is room for other participants to join in the process at any time, to add their answers, their comments on the answers already given, and questions which they might also choose to research." Questions, answers and comments can be posted to David Rosen <DJRosen@world.std.com>, and he'll add them to the inquiry map. So, it keeps on being an inquiry process with each new person who reads and adds to it. He welcomes additions of questions and answers; as you may know, many internet sites run threaded conversations on a variety of topics. The ALRI sites are: http://www2.wgbh.org/MBCWEIS/LTC/ALRI/I.M.html and http://www2.wgbh.org/MBCWEIS/LTC/ALRI/IM3.html (How to make inquiry maps).
Please contact LR/RI if you have information, questions or announcements to share with adult educators in Rhode Island. Bulletins go out at least twice a month; more frequently when there's more to share. To submit information for the next bulletin, please contact LR/RI by phone (401-863-2839), mail (PO Box 1974, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912) or email.
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