Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Financial Literacy Link

This website has a "wealth" of information to use with adult learners.

Practical Money Skills - .pdfs

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Eric Digests in the Public Domain

I was searching for some high quality information for an upcoming workshop I'm presenting on teaching ABE and ESL writing. I stumbled upon this great site that has articles formerly available through ERIC. There are many articles on teaching adult ESL and/or literacy. It's a very rich resource, with theory and practice in a concise format, and references are included.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Workplace ESL Pictures

My two workplace ESL classes finished a week ago. It was a lot of fun to get to know the guys and also to figure out what such a big group should learn. Teaching multilevel classes can be stressful, but all of the laughter and smiles in class make it worth it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

ESL Reference Interview Flowchart 1: ESL Classes

I've been working with LEARN (Libraries English And Reading Network) to put together a helpful flowchart for librarians who serve English Language Learner (ELL) patrons.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Outreach Bilingual Storytime at the Brookfield Farmer's Market

Mis amigas, Natali y Karla, joined me for a Farmer's Market rendition
of the Bilingual Storytime I give at the Brookfield Library.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thank You Caitlin!

Caitlin Morris volunteered to help me with my Summer ESL class in order to prepare for her upcoming EFL teaching experience with WorldTeach in the Marshall Islands. Thanks so much Caitlin and good luck!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Outreach/Workplace ESL Class

I have a new edition to my roster of Lyons Township ESL classes. I have a student who works at a factory McCook, IL. She works long hours, and gets up sometimes at 3:30 or 4:00 A.M. to go to work. She has the brightest attitude about learning despite her lack of sleep. She attends my Tue/Thu night class that finishes at 9:00 P.M.

She's been practicing her English at work. She worked there for many years without speaking English. People had asked her why she didn't learn to speak English sooner. Her supervisor has seen her confidence and her ability to speak improve so much over the last month that he called my supervisor at LT. They've set up a workplace ESL program so I can teach employees right there in the facility. I'll be there for 10 weeks from August to October. How exciting!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The Azar Grammar series has been a staple of my grammar teaching since I started teaching ESL. It was the first series I found that really concentrates on grammar. The pages don't have too many illustrations to distract you from the actual content.

Students love this series too. I have students who tell other people about how much they love the books, which delights me still today.

AzarGrammar.com has many high quality materials you can download for free right now. If you haven't seen any of the series textbooks, request them from your local library through interlibrary loan. Be sure to try out some of the grammar games from Fun with Grammar too!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

20th Century Biographies Series

I just finished reading our new 20th Century Biographies Martin Luther King Jr. book. It's a great book for adults at a 5th grade reading level or above. There are adult-friendly photos (no kids pictures) and it has 10 chapters. There's also a glossary, an index, and a bibliography at the end.

The set includes: Cesar Chavez, Albert Einstein, Anne Frank, Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Keller, MLK Jr., Charles Lindbergh, Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These titles are available from Saddleback Educational Publishing. Martin Luther King Jr. is available at the Brookfield Public Library. More titles to come soon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Outreach Results for May

The Library Card Sign-up visit at Riverside-Brookfield's Adult ESL class was a success! There are 6 new Brookfield library patrons as a result. I personally invited them to the library, gave them a brochure with pictures of our materials from our new ESL collection, and I promoted our upcoming free language and reading programs for the Fall. They also asked about our computer literacy workshops, which are free to the public, even if you don't live in Brookfield.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hot English Magazine

Check out this new magazine in British and American English from Hot English Magazine. If you ever wanted to appeal to the trendy in order to make your classes or tutoring a ton more fun, this is the magazine for you! Each issue includes a CD with the audio version of articles, telephone calls, fun grammar modules, jokes, and much more.

There are teacher pages you can purchase from the website, or you can just make your own to go with each segment you want to use in class. They have classroom subscriptions too. If you have an overhead machine, you could skip the cost and just use one magazine. Very bright colors, glossy pages, and full of content. It would take an ESL student weeks to go through all of it!

There's 4 different levels of material in each issue: Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, and Advanced. Just a heads up--the Pre-Intermediate is for what we would think of as High Intermediate, and the Advanced is more advanced than People magazine, but very educational. The advanced level would be good for students who are at a high school senior level, or adults who've done a lot of independent reading. With 4 levels in each issue, your student will have something to read or listen to for sure. With the British English included, I have as much fun as my students do as I listen to the audio.

This magazine is now available for checkout at the Brookfield Library! Stop in and check it out!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Upcoming Outreach Services

May 2009
Riverside Brookfield High School Adult ESL Class Visit

On behalf of the Brookfield Library, I'll be signing up adult RB ESL students for library cards using the online application from the Brookfield Library website. I'll also be promoting our ESL collection, Spanish and Polish language collection, and electronic resources in Spanish.

Fall 2009
Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County Tutor Training
Saint Mary of Celle Church in Berwyn

A brief show and tell session about ESL materials will be provided to new ESL tutors through LVWCC. I'll talk about four main types of materials, as well as how and when to use them:

1. One-to-One Learning Materials
2. Small Group Tutoring & Classroom Instruction Materials
3. Independent Learning/Reading Materials (all levels)
4. Reference Materials

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Connect With English

In my Spanish class, my teacher showed us a video from a series for intermediate Spanish learning that I loved. It was similar to Crossroads Café for English learners, which featured "a city café where six characters come together and discuss life in their new country." It's a great series, but a little outdated. Now, Connect with English features a central character named Rebecca who travels across the US on her way to materializing her dreams as a singer.

As for pricing, Connect With English is less expensive than Crossroads Café. All the videos can be shown for free in the classroom with streaming media (can't download). So that means all you'd have to purchase are the books. Talk to your local literacy agency to see if they have these for loan. Or speak with a nice librarian at your public library to see if the workbooks could be purchased for the collection. Your students will be happy just to borrow the books and it always helps circulation statistics at the library.

Monday, February 2, 2009

U.S.A. Learns Online Classroom for Teachers

U.S.A. Learns is a great resource for teachers of beginning adult ELLs. An important part of literacy is being able to use technology to gain access to information. The module is user friendly and has instructions in English and Spanish. Use these recordings and readings in class, have students practice at their local library, or they can even use the site at home if they have a computer and the internet. It's great for extra practice. This is a free tool from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Division of Adult Education and Literacy (DAEL).