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English Language/Civics resources and related links

image: Dowua Abed, Greater Lawn Community Youth Network
Gelatin silver print, copyright Dawoud Bey 1999.




From Indivisible: Introduction to interpreting photographs

photo of woman in headscarf

Some of the resources on this page also appear on LR/RI's advocacy and ESOL pages. They are gathered here to facilitate locating resources related to EL Civics learning and teaching.

Larry Ferzallos: The Best Websites For Learning About Civic Participation & Citizenship

Citizenships resources from The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) U.S. Civics and Citizenship Online: Resource Center for Instructors

USCIS Civics and Citizenship Toolkit

Baha Sadr's online citizenship site; originally designed through International Institute of RI, with updates to come and much useful information already there.

Office of Vocational and Adult Education EL Civics homepage - archived information

English Literacy/Civics resources from Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center

The Learning Page - Immigration; archival source material documenting numerous immigrant groups

Writings by Teachers from the New England Citizenship Project (NECP) - "The work of the teachers who participated in the New England Citizenship Project [includes] ... descriptions of lessons from citizenship classes around the region. The goal of the project was to help teachers expand citizenship instruction beyond the 100 questions on the INS test. However, many of these lesson ideas would work in other teaching contexts that cover civics and civic participation. Many thanks to Andy Nash for leading this project, and to Kristin Salsberry, who put these writings on the web." - Silja Kallenbach

Colorado Department of Education English Literacy and Civics Education; compendium of many resources listed here, as well as instructional activities and resource packets.

RI Secretary of State's civics resources.


EL Civics resources from Heide Spruck Wrigley

Heide Spruck Wrigley facilitated an all day workshop in Providence on March 19, 2002, and has generously made the following articles and materials available, as HTML, powerpoint or word files to download.

EL CIVICS: Making the case for Just-in-Time Teaching, article by Heide Spruck Wrigley addressing ways of incorporating civics into ongoing language and literacy work, with thanks to Dr. Wrigley for sharing her article here.

Guide to EL Civics Materials

Culture and Communications: Handling sticky situations

PEOPLE AND PLACES Building A Sense Of Community through Questions, Grids And Surveys

What to do if you're arrested

Guide to Field Trips

Feedback form

If you have difficulty downloading these files, please contact LR/RI and receive them as attachments via email.


The Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly (CLESE) a unique coalition of over forty agencies representing many immigrant groups and seniors. Rich collection of resources and immigrants' statements.


general advocacy / civic participation resources

Making Change: Civics as a second language - The new ESL teaches immigrants how to stand up for themselves City Limits, July/August, 2003.

The Right Question Project

Writing a letter of complaint from TV411.

Community Planning Resource Guide - a guide for people interested in learning more about creating and sustaining partnerships under the Massachusetts Adult Basic Education (ABE) Community Planning Initiative. Includes book reviews, references to print and online resources, and lessons learned and advice from community planning practitioners working in ABE Community Planning Partnerships across the state. This guide was prepared in collaboration between SABES West and SABES Central community planning staff, and provides valuable models for others working beyond the state.

Asset-Based Community Development Institute ; "Challenging the traditional approach to solving urban problems, which focuses service providers and funding agencies on the needs and deficiencies of neighborhoods, [ABCD] demonstrate[s] that community assets are key building blocks in sustainable urban and rural community revitalization efforts."

Constitutional Rights Foundation "seeks to instill in our nation's youth a deeper understanding of citizenship through values expressed in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and educate them to become active and responsible participants in our society." What do you think? A good site for critical analysis.

National Issues Forums - site providing background information, thoughtful analysis of and questions about issues of civic engagement and participation in a multiracial, multiethnic country. Valuable resource for learning about and framing issues for discussion, further understanding and classroom/staffroom interaction. Thanks to Andy Nash for this reference.

The Equal Rights Amendment, first proposed in 1923, is still not part of the U.S. Constitution. Should it be?

How a bill becomes law - interactive quia quiz

Know your rights, information explaining an individual's legal rights, provided by the National Lawyer's Guild; additional / supplementary information is also available at American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

NIFL grants and funding resources (if this long link doesn't work, click here, then to the site map, to FAQs, and it'll take you back to grants and funding

People and Politics A Civic Literacy Curriculum by Ashley Hager

VALUE - National learner leadership organization

Civic Participation sourcebook

Civic Participation special collection

Civic Practices Network - collaborative and nonpartisan project bringing together organizations and perspectives within the new citizenship movement.

Voter Education, Registration, and Action (VERA), article in Focus on Basicsby Andrea Nash, describing programs' capacity building work to integrate ivic literacy and community participation into basic education and ESOL teaching; information about the 2008 VERA campaign

CIVNET - online resource and service for civic education practitioners, as well as scholars, policymakers, civic-minded journalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promoting civic education all over the world

Pick your candidate - voting 101.

Vote for America - site devoted to voter registration drives in Rhode Island and across the US

Involving English Language Learners in Community Connected Learning (2000), a resource from Jobs for the Future

Easy Reader Voter guide, a California model for making voting accessible.

resources on voting, from LR/RI's advocacy page

Voter Education, Registration, and Action campaign 2008: a non-partisan effort aimed at adult literacy learners and program staff in New England. Its goal is to educate adult learners about voting and topical electoral issues, and mobilize them to vote in the 2008 elections.

Activities for Integrating Civics in Adult English Language Learning, from the National Center for ESL Literacy Education

Advanced EL Civics Curriculum of Fairfax County, Virginia, Adult & Community Education

EL-Civics Lesson Plans from Northwest LINCS

ESL/Civics Link, a new project (under development) of PBS LiteracyLink. PBS and its partners are creating interactive, web-based professional development training modules in ESL and civics instruction for teachers of adults learning English. ESL/CivicsLink will provide teachers with access to quality training materials, electronic networking opportunities, and ESL and civics-related resources. The modules will focus on teaching methods, instructional strategies, assessment, and classroom management.

Ben's guide to government for kids - while not intended for adult learners, the site could be used with learners wishing to learn more about government with their children, or introduced explicitly as a children's site (up to high school) - as a means of practicing language use and gaining information as part of an ongoing EL/Civics curriculum.

Joan on Government, a site developed by a Minnesota woman wanting to compile information about and for her community. While many references are particular to Minnesota, other pieces are relevant to US/EL Civics; as well, the process by which she developed her site may be of interest to others wishing to do the same.


Putting the Movement back into Civil Rights Teaching


The Civil Rights Project


citizenship

These sites provide both content information (that needed to prepare for citizenship exams) and well as general information about immigration prcoesses and procedures.

A word about citizenship and immigration for ESOL educators -- please remember that we are not lawyers; we're teachers. While much of the information on line may be of great use to adults preparing for the citizenship exam, we need to not make recommendations about immigration processes, but rather assist learners in connecting to whichever legal/immigration resources will best assist them in answering questions about immigration status.


from Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.


Northern California Citizenship Project - curriculum and supporting resources, to download.

Citizenship Educators Page - The Adult Learning Resource Center (ALRC) provides citizenship technical assistance to educators. Services include staff development workshops; educator interest groups; on-site electronic and phone consultation; customized training; and materials development in English and Spanish.

Citizenship News

National Immigration Forum

Immigration: A practical guide to immigrating to the US (law firm's site).

Study for the US citizenship test Metro North Adult Education Program; free to Minnesota residents, $20 fee for out of state users. with some free resources available to all.

The New Americans, a seven-hour PBS miniseries premiering April 2004, and focusing on the search for the American Dream through the eyes of immigrants and refugees; as well as guide, activity book and additional resources.

Ellis Island - historic photos, information about the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and related resources

immigration links to primary sources from the Library of Congress' online collections.

Immigration History Research Center - University of Minnesota

USCIS INS USnews Citizenship and Immigration Services

My History is America's History - 15 Things You Can Do To Save America's Stories

The National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium

The Encyclopedia Britannica Guide to Black History; online resources, including a timeline with links to specific events, numerous resources and articles.

Pomegranate Communications, publishers of Knowledge Cards - sets of packets of 48 cards that include photos (in some instances) and facts about the Civil Rights Movement, American Civics and Politics and the 50 United States -- among many other topics. At $10/each, they're wonderful tools for teacher learning, adapting for learners at different levels and inspiration to create your own sets of cards tailored to your learners' interests and needs.

We the people, a website developed "to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation's elementary and secondary students. " Although the primary audience is K-12 students, much of the material could be useful for and adaptable to adult learning.

Community Engagement Resources ; materials connected to the PBS series, "The New Americans."

Focus on Educating Citizens from the Canadian Education Association, including stories of citizenship, research and practice


the law

RI Lawyer Referral Index

RI legal resources


health

also see LR/RI's advocacy page - focus on healthaccess/equity

EthnoMed- contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and other related issues pertinent to the health care of recent immigrants to Seattle, many of whom are refugees fleeing war-torn parts of the world.

National Health Law Program

Health and Literacy Practice application brief by Sandra Kerka, 2000

U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) Pictograms - clear, simple, graphic images to use in dealing with medicine and taking medicine. USP, a nonprofit organization working to promote safety and standards related to medicines, offers 81 pictograms that deal with common instructions, precautions, and warnings about medications.


communication

Indivisible - "This resource focuses on the documentary tradition and the power of images and personal statements to reveal aspects of place, identity, community, and civic engagement. There are strategies and lessons that enable teachers to integrate the project's photographs, narratives, and themes into their own curricula. Activities are suggested that teachers may use to engage their students with looking at, discussing, and writing about the exhibition. They may approach the project as a study of documentary expression, an overall look at grass-roots democracy and community action in the United States, or they may focus on individual community sites because of subject content or geographic location."


Learning to state things clearly and succinctly is a vital skill for learners and practitioners. Clear Language and Design , the plain language editing and consulting service of East End Literacy in Toronto, Canada, provides useful resources for developing clear written and visual messages.

media


knowledge is power

As learners become more aware of, and involved in advocacy and/or civic participation efforts, these sites may be of use in developing a critical understanding of the role of media as a tool (or weapon) in shaping public thought. These questions, [also online at the Change Agent in the classroom], may be useful to discuss:

  • Who sponsors, or pays for the site?
  • If you go to the contact page, what email or regular mail address appears? Is there a person's name to contact?
  • Do any of your sites sell things directly?
  • Do any of your sites have banner ads? (Banner ads are advertisments that appear, usually at the top of the screen. You can click on the ads to go to a site that sells something or tells you about buying something somewhere else.
  • Now, see if you and your partner know about any news sites. (If you need help, there are some news sites listed below).

    Are there differences between the stories? What are the differences? Why are the stories different?


    The Boston Globe online

    Canadian Broadcasting Company

    CNN

    New York TImes

    New York TImes Learning Network

    Public Broadcasting Newshour online

    Newshour extra, student voices

    Yahooligans - site for kids on the internet. What newslinks can you find there?


    responding to September 11, 2001 and resources for peace

    Civics Lessons Related to Iraq War; resources compiled for the New England Literacy Resource Center's Civic Participation collection.

    September 11, 2002: The Sonic Memorial Project, an online sound capsule and audio documentary of the life and times of the World Trade Center and its neighborhood, before, during, and after September 11,2001. Thousands have contributed voicemails, audio memories, home videos, interviews, and more to this evolving historic archive initiated by NPR and the public broadcasting community.

    Loss of freedom feared since attacks - Providence Journal article documenting high school debaters' views on immigration rights, featuring a response from a Providence-based adult educator.

    September 11 Special Collection compiled by Lenore Balliro, editor of

    Rethinking Schools teaching in the shadow of September 11

    The Middle East Institute's Web site, organized by former Foreign Service officers Middle East Research and Information Project, founded 30 years ago by returned Peace Corps volunteers.

    While these resources may be difficult for English language learners, the background information is critical to those who teach and facilitate language and citizenship classes at this time. Thanks to Kerri Heffernan for bringing this article to light.

    Repercussions from the Public Eye. Links to news, analysis and background information.


    Workable Peace; background and context information, explication of various points of view and suggestions for taking on discussions about peace in classrooms.


    resources for peace


    to literacy resources

    February 5, 2014