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When Karen Verburg was an elementary school teacher and principal with Mankato Area Public Schools, she served as a support between home and school and often knew adult ESL students as the parents of her elementary students. Since she retired from her long career in K-12, she has spent much of her free time volunteering with those parents, along with other adults, at the Mankato Area Adult Basic Education program.

stick figures representing lines in a bar graph

Purpose: to make graph reading a concrete activity

Prep Time: 2-5 minutes

Materials: a long white board with space in front of it for students to line up, or a set of signs for the bar graph categories

Prep:  Choose two to five bar graph categories, depending on the number and level of students in class and either write them out across the board or make a sign for each and tape them up in a space where students will be able to stand in front of them.

Procedure:

Green stopwatch that reads one minute

Purpose:  To provide learners with the opportunity to practice spontaneous speaking on a variety of topics

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  A ball, whiteboard

Procedure:

Cover of the Shaping the Way We Teach resource book

Shaping the Way We Teach English: From Observation to Action

Shaping the Way We Teach English is a teacher-training course consisting of fourteen video-based modules with a supporting training manual and supplementary resources. Each modules is a ten to fifteen minute video segment with examples from classrooms and educators around the world. Each module also has corresponding readings and support materials that can be printed and copied.

August 21-22

During Early Service Training, 15 of our AmeriCorps Literacy VISTA Cohort gathered officially for the first time. Together we had trainings on:

  • Why Literacy Matters
  • Effective Communication at their sites
  • What’s in a VAD (VISTA Assignment Description)
  • VISTA Living
  • Policies and procedures

Since all work and no play makes for a very long day, we did some team bonding activities!

close-up of a piano keyboard

Activity 1: Order the Lyrics

Materials Needed:  A recording of a song, copies of the song lyrics cut into strips (find lyrics for free at AZlyrics.com)

Materials from the ESL reading pull-out kit

Interested in finding a treasure trove of pre-, during, and post-reading activities that can be used with beginning to advanced ESL learners during one-on-one tutoring sessions or small group pull-outs? The new ESL Reading Pull-Out Kit for tutors and teachers is now available on the Minnesota Literacy Council Website!

Bob Adams has been volunteering at WEST Adult Basic Education - Monticello as a one-on-one English as a Second Language tutor for four years. He heard about the program through his wife, Thea, who is a long term volunteer as well.

clipart pictures titled think, write, pair, share

Purpose:  This activity can be used as a warm-up, to get students thinking about a topic, as a comprehension check, or as a problem-solving activity. It also asks students to use English to think, speak, read, listen and write.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Materials Needed:  Create handout with a notes chart for learners to complete, if desired (description in the procedure below); choose question that students will work with, based on your topic.

Procedure:

By Kehinde Winful, Community Outreach Intern

“The best social service program in the world is a job,” a packed room of about fifty people, including myself, echoed back to President and CEO, Louis J. King II, of Summit Academy OIC in Minneapolis.

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