Call for Presentations
2008 ESL, Bilingual and Migrant Education Conference
Share your expertise and resources with colleagues from around the state at the annual ESL, Bilingual, and Migrant Education Conference on May 1-2, 2008. The audience for this conference is primarily K-12 and Adult Basic Education teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators. Click here to submit a proposal or cut and paste the following website into your browser
Call for Presentations deadline: February 29, 2008
ELL Education Specialist - Consolidated Federal Programs
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Hwy 36 West Roseville, MN 55113
phone - 651-582-8326 fax - 851-582-8727
New Adult Basic Education Resources!
ABE Research Briefs available online
Since 2003, Bella Hanson has coordinated a supplemental services project that promotes evidence-based practice in Minnesota ABE programs. One of the primary activities of this project has been to disseminate research briefs that summarize current research in adult basic education and second language education. These research briefs are now posted on the MDE-ABE website: http://mnabe.themlc.org/Research_Briefs.html. They are organized by topic so that you choose the ones that match your interest areas. Research briefs are ideal for use in individual or group professional development – you may want to incorporate them into your staff meetings, professional learning communities, or study circles. New briefs will be posted on a regular basis, so be sure to check back often!
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Check our ABE calendar for recent updates: http://mnabe.themlc.org/ABEcalendar.html, and bookmark it for future reference. You'll find information about regional, statewide, and national events related to Adult Basic Education posted here. If you know of other events that should be posted on the calendar, please send a brief description to Astrid.Liden@state.mn.us.
ABE Professional Development Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Education
Extensive Reading with Adult ESL Learners
MinneTESOL 2007 Member Grant Project Report:
Extensive Reading with Adult ESL Learners
By Celeste Mazur, Lincoln Adult Education Center, Minneapolis
MinneTESOL member grant funds allowed me to conduct an action research project with low advanced ESL Adult Basic Education (ABE) learners. Many learners I work with are developing academic skills in order to transition into postsecondary education, so I'm interested in finding ways to facilitate this. After informally observing positive learner reactions to extensive reading in the classroom for years, I decided to formally assess its effects on overall reading and language ability as measured by a popular ABE assessment tool, along with written summarization skill building and practice. My research question was: How does a combination of in-class extensive reading for pleasure, plus extensive reading with focused instruction/practice of written summarization, affect the academic skills of reading, summarization, and language proficiency?
At the beginning of the fall 2007 semester, learners were pre-tested using the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) reading and language components. Using a collection of graded readers (of which MinneTESOL funds purchased some), learners had at least one hour of in-class extensive reading per week as part of their regular 15 hr/wk intensive ESL class. They chose which books they read from a collection of novels, short stories, and nonfiction titles, and they recorded which books they completed. In addition, I asked the learners that for at least two titles they write summaries of the books. I provided in-class instruction and practice with summarization, and gave feedback on their writing. At the end of the semester, I post-tested the learners with TABE and recorded the results.
Results and findings
One of the most positive results of this project was the well-received regular exposure to extensive reading for all learners. Some learners came with a lifetime of reading enjoyment and jumped right into it, while for others, extensive reading was a new experience. As a group, they read 87 books (44 fiction and 43 nonfiction) and wrote 53 summaries, and the in-class reading generated discussion, recommendations, requests for library access to graded readers, and visible enjoyment "getting into the books."
The testing results don't indicate a strong correlation between the in-class work and an increase in reading and language skills as measured by the TABE. Of the 12 participants who completed the pre- and post-testing, 5 showed an increase in reading scores, and 5 showed an increase in language scores. In addition, this group, which was placed in the class based on relatively homogeneous CASAS reading scores, showed a wide range of TABE scores – from 0.0 to 9.6. A possible explanation is the assessment's original design as a test for native speakers of English, and resulting invalidity for ESL learners that are at a level less than high advanced. Another consideration is the design of the test to measure academic literacy skills, which are often lacking in learners with limited formal education or literacy background.
The area that showed more consistent improvement, even if qualitatively, was summarization. With instruction and feedback, learners' second or later summaries showed improvement in terms of content and readability, as well as mechanics, verb use, and sentence structure.
Overall, I think this project was beneficial. Learners responded very positively to extensive reading and expressed interest in doing more. They also recognized the value of the academic practice of summarization and test-taking, and reflected on areas where they need to improve. As an instructor, I'll continue with extensive reading, summarization, and test preparation as part of academic skill-building, and we'll all continue the discussion of the value and validity of the TABE. I give sincere thanks to MinneTESOL for funding the exploration of these issues.
If you are interested in or already doing work in this area, and would like to share experiences or discuss it further, please contact me at email@example.com.
TESOL 2008 in NYC, NY
TESOL invites you and your colleagues to attend TESOL 2008, April 2-5, in one of the world's great cities: New York, New York, USA.
Why come to the annual TESOL convention? This year, the presenters will focus on Worlds of TESOL. Come and learn how TESOL professionals from all over the world are building communities of practice, inquiry, and creativity.
To get the early registration discount, pre-register by March 3. Visit here to register now.
Hotel rooms are going fast! To get the best hotel rate, reserve your room no later than February 28.
For more information, visit: www.tesol.org/s_tesol/sec_document.asp?CID=1244&DID=6071
For Language Immersion Teachers!
CARLA and CAL Co-Sponsoring
2008 Immersion Education Conference
Call for Papers Deadline: February 15, 2008
CARLA (Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota) and CAL are collaborating on the third international conference on immersion education set for October 16-18, 2008, in St. Paul, Minnesota. We're currently seeking proposals for papers, discussion sessions, and symposia on aspects of language immersion education. http://www.carla.umn.edu/conferences/immersion2008/call.html
Burma: Cultural Information
New Culture Profile available from CAL
Refugees From Burma: Their Backgrounds and Refugee Experiences
This profile provides information about the diverse histories, cultures, and refugee experiences of the Burmans, the Karen and their various subgroups, and the Chin. http://www.cal.org/co/publications/cultures/burmese.html
Summer Institute Call for Proposals
Literacy Minnesota and the Minnesota Community Education Association are now seeking presentation proposals for the 2008 ABE Statewide Summer Institute, Navigating the Future: Strategies for a Changing World, which will be held on August 6-8 at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN.
Presentations will focus on the following broad areas: ABE Program Management and Coordination, Promising Practices in Curriculum and Instruction, Accountability, and Community Education. We strongly encourage new and experienced ABE staff to consider sharing their ideas and expertise with their colleagues at this statewide conference. The Call for Presentations form can be accessed on the Literacy Minnesota website (http://www.literacyminnesota.org/Summer_Institute.html ).
If you are looking for ideas for presentation ideas, you might want to take a look at the list of priority ABE content areas on the MDE-ABE website: http://mnabe.themlc.org/Priority_Content_Areas.html. This is NOT meant to be a comprehensive list, but it might help you identify a topic for your presentation.
Presentation proposals will be reviewed by the conference planning committee and will be selected on the basis of the clarity of the proposal, the relevance of the topic to ABE staff and priority content areas, a balance of topic areas, and logistical considerations.
Proposals are due March 31, 2008, and presenters will be notified by May 16, 2008 whether their proposals have been accepted. In an effort to support presenters and ensure high-quality presentations, a handbook of presentation tips is available at http://www.literacyminnesota.org/Summer_Institute.html.
We hope that you will consider submitting a proposal, and we look forward to seeing you this summer at the ABE Institute!
The 2008 Conference Summer Institute Planning Committee
Make a Mark, Teach English
English Language Fellow Program
Applications for the Academic Year 2008-2009 English Language Fellowship are currently being accepted.
• All fellowships are federally-funded professional positions.
• Assignments are for a ten-month period (typically from September to June).
• U.S. citizenship
• Master's degree with focus on TESL/TEFL (must be conferred by June 1, 2008)
• Fellows must have minimum two years professional TESL/TEFL experience; both teacher training and curriculum/material development experience are helpful.
• Senior Fellows must have minimum four years of teacher training experience; overseas experience in TEFL is helpful.
For more information or to apply online, view the EL Fellow site at: http://elf.georgetown.edu
Questions? Contact the Midwest Recruitment Center Staff of the English Language Fellow Program: Nancy Stephani, firstname.lastname@example.org, (920) 735-4844, Rose Zoesch, email@example.com, (920) 735-4728 OR English Language Fellow Program at Georgetown University, Center for Intercultural Education and Development. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 202-687-2608. Fax: 202-687-2555