The literacy project a work in progress
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The Literacy Project, a work in progress…. Christy Ermers Patricia Maya. Why we are doing this workshop?. “Almost anything can become a learning experience if there is enough caring involved” (Mary Mac Cracker) Do you cut and paste? Is there a curriculum just for literacy?

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The literacy project a work in progress l.jpg

The Literacy Project, a work in progress…

Christy Ermers

Patricia Maya


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Why we are doing this workshop?

“Almost anything can become a learning experience if there is enough caring involved” (Mary Mac Cracker)

Do you cut and paste?

Is there a curriculum just for literacy?

Are all literacy students the same?

Do you have a multi-level class?

Do you have books and materials specific to literacy?

Do feel lost at times on how to explain the same thing in different ways?

Do you feel frustrated?

Well you’re not alone….. That’s why the Literacy Project IS a work in progress!

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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Things to condider:    The 4 “P” method

PREPARE for a real life – changing experience.

Yourself ___________________________________

Classroom _________________________________

Materials __________________________________

PLAN for success.

Yourself ___________________________________

Classroom _________________________________

Materials __________________________________

PROVIDE opportunity to use new language.

Yourself ___________________________________

Classroom _________________________________

Materials __________________________________

PACE is important to build confidence. Slow and steady preserves self esteem.

Yourself ___________________________________

Classroom _________________________________

Materials __________________________________

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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Who are our literacy Students?

“Enthusiasm is contagious: start an epidemic” (Don Ward)

Great men and women who test our patience and fill our lives with hope that there is a better future for all in Canada. Many of our students have hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. They depend on us to guide them and give them a “face” to this new life and country. It’s our responsibility to provide them with a safe and happy environment full of learning and knowledge. We can empower them with the language and know-how for them to leave our classes with tools in order for them to serve society the best way possible. Is this a dream? Maybe – but if we remind ourselves that some, no all, will do this, then we work for that “some” that will.

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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Challenges… Rewards…

“The basic idea behind teaching is to teach people what they need to know” (Carl Rogers)

Establish personal connections first. Step into their shoes and ask yourself why they would want to talk to you. You should seek to develop a sense of community in the classroom, which means they must see you as someone who they enjoy talking to. For example, learn not only the students’ names but also the names of their family members. In other words, talk about what matters to the students first.

Use interruptions as a teaching moment. If a student arrives late, use that opportunity to discuss public transportation or numbers as a review on telling time. If a student has a sick child, discuss medical issues and various symptoms. The bottom line is to be spontaneous. The students will remember and learn real-life language as it unfolds naturally.

Literacy students cannot mutli-task. It is best not to write a lot on the board and have students copy while you continue to explain. If they are busily copying down information, they will not focus on what you are telling them.

Feed their stomachs sometimes, not just their minds. Watch for cues that your students may be hungry and share snacks together as a class (candy gives a boost of energy). Make sure students can see and hear the lessons (dollar store glasses).

Meet the student half way. Try to make an effort to learn words or phrases in the students’ L1. Communicate slowly, clearly and directly. Role-play to get point across. Avoid using books that are too childish. (Grade 1 is the right level for literacy in terms of grammar, etc). Review constantly in a variety of ways. Be animated. Don’t be afraid to make sound effects, and silly faces. Learning doesn’t have to be serious to be effective. Laugh a lot!

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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Some Activities…

  • 1. Food theme: cut boxes/label of food items (cereal boxes, tuna, beans, toothpaste,…)familiar to the students. Make puzzle pieces for the students to put together. Make a chart for them to fill out: Ex: What is it?, What are they?, When do you eat/drink this food?, Look for these words, and copy…

  • 2. Cut out from magazines using different sizes/fonts sight words or common words already taught to the students. Have a dictation scavenger hunt. Ex. Colours, days of the week, a, an, the, on, in, seasons, ets… the teacher says: “underline---, circle---, cross-out… (word)”

  • 3. Colour collages, cut out a specific colour, and glue on large paper. Students will look only for their colour, and label. This can be done with seasons, cutting pictures to represent their season;, also emotions, clothing, etc. They will then present to the class.

  • 4.Cut days of the week, months of the year. Looking through magazines, must start with capital letter, paste in order.

  • 5. To teach colours: go to Home Depot, get paint chips, cut in ¼ play bingo using template of 3x3, or 4x4 put colours on paper, teacher calls out colour, students take off to make line. Paste in notebooks as per teacher. Spell colours for students to write/copy. Or create a matching game, with colour and word.

  • 6. Songs: use pictures for students to understand lyrics. Ex: I can see clearly now the rain is gone…, book ESL classics. Same tune works for students to remember Ex: BC Alberta, and others same tune to (Fed O’jack –o) www.theholidayzone.com for songs

  • 7.Body parts, cut magazine pictures, label and have concentration game. Real life is much better than pictures in books.

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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Activities, con’t

  • 8. Reading passages (phase 1), had students underline the same words from question in the story to identify answers. Worked well. Teaches the students reading, looking for clue words, scanning. They felt a sense of accomplishment , as though they were reading. Ex: elcivics.com

  • 9. Make creases with papers (fold ), in order to get same spaces, or lines.

  • 10. For numbers: divide class in ½ . One half of the students has the numeral (4), the other half has the word (four). The students go around, looking for their partner. This helps to match students, or pair them up for a workstation or activity.

  • 11. Show and tell activities: For conversation: bring items from your country. Teacher should also bring to be involved. Bring 2 pictures: one from the past, and one from the present, talk about how things have changed, may create a writing/copying activity. Bring music, or clothing from country.

  • 12. Models of classes that start with learning the alphabet sounds, don’t work. Instead use high frequency words that are part of students lives: names, signs, labels. Draw attention to common patterns: Ca-na-da/ A-me-ri-ca… this way students become familiar with sight words as well as other words phonologically.

  • 13. Plan lessons to what is relevant to student's needs. Reading skills for : street signs, menus, TV. listings, calendars, bank statements, etc., recognize the difference between bus schedule and recipe.

  • 14. Develop Vocabulary building activities as much as possible… (see workstations)

  • 15. Domino style activity… with numbers, letters of the alphabet, questions-answers…

  • 16. “ I eat…” for food, adaptable for any theme… (housing, classroom items, clothing…)

  • 17. Put the entire alphabet scattered over the board, have students come up and join the letters up in order.

  • 18. Provide two columns of phrases ( full up/ pull up; payday/payday…) and ask student to indicate whether the pairs are the same or different.

  • 19.Write the alphabet on the board. When students can recite it easily, start erasing letters one or two at a time and see if they can supply the missing letters themselves.

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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Possible Themes…According to CLB

“To teach is to learn twice” (Joseph Joubert)

The themes should be relevant to the students. Be aware of the cultural as well as individual differences. Some themes to consider:

Commercial Services (shopping, pharmacy, supermarket)

The environment (recycling)

Money, banking, or credit cards

Food (nutrition)

Canadian History and geography

Other cultures

Housing

Family (problems, roles and responsibilities)

Medical care

Children in Canada

The law (police, employment law, landlord/tenant)

Rights and responsibilities in Canada

Employment

Telephone

Education

Transportation (public transit, directions)

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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How about Assessment?

Things to consider when assessing Literacy learners:

  • Life situation: age, cultural role, time in Canada, reasons/goals

  • L1 Background: L1 alphabet (roman?), L1 literacy

  • English Language Skills: oral skills, literacy skills

  • Personality Profile: motivation, family role

  • Outcomes for literacy develop along a continuum, not as a linear process. The skills need to be practiced again and again with constant repetition in order to be successful.

  • We need to teach strategies on how to listen before we can test them. Students understand less than we think. The impact of visual elements on listening comprehension, social, cultural and affective factors must be considered.

  • Students do not “just listen”, they have a very specific motivation or reason for listening and this reason dictates the way in which we listen. There is an acknowledgement that we need to listen to different things in different ways. These different kinds of listening should be followed by very different types of activities. ( This is true for other skills too )

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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Workstations …. Work!

“I hear, I forget. I see, and I remember. I do and I understand”

(Chinese proverb)

Why do workstations work for literacy?

  • It’s another active way to go over topics, themes, vocabulary, already taught in the classroom.

  • As students are working, it’s a good way for the teacher to move around from station to station assessing the progress of individual students.

  • The majority of students learn better when they see things. Using as many of their senses makes sense!

  • Students get tired of sitting for a long period of time. This way they take learning into their own hands by testing what they’ve learned.

  • Workstations are fun!

  • Here are some workstations for you to try in your classrooms, and adapt them to your own themes and your students as you see fit. Enjoy!

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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Great Sites…Some examples…

  • www.toolsforeducators.com

  • www.eslflow.com

  • www.esltower.com

  • www.bogglesworldesl.com

  • www.eslprintables.com

  • www.esl-lab.com

  • www.manythings.org

  • www.englishlistening.com

  • www.education-world.com

  • www.ESL-galaxy.com

  • www.visualesl.com

  • www.agendaweb.org

  • www.englishbanana.com

  • www.teachingchildren.com.br

  • www.tcet.com

  • www.mes-english.com

  • www.teachertube.com

  • www.theholidayzone.com

  • www.raz-kids.com

  • www.vocabularya-z.com

  • www.grammar-quizzes.com

  • www.kinderplaces.com

  • www.superteacherworksheets.com

  • www.tslbooks.com

  • www.mcedservices.com

  • www.apples4theteacher.com

  • www.home.earthlink.net/~brekkmail

  • www.kidzone.ws

  • www.esl-kids.com

  • www.elcivics.com

  • www.eslfast.com/easydialogs/index.html

  • www.teachchildrenesl.com

  • www.marks-english-school.com/games/A-Z.html

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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Let’s Keep in touch…

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” (Henry Ford)

Thank you for listening to us!

Pat and Christy.

The Literacy Project, a work in progress... C.Ermers, P. Maya


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