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Kristine Kelly

Literacy & ELA Coordinator

In Minnesota ABE programs, writing is taught in many different contexts and for many different purposes. One thing is for certain: Teaching writing is complicated! To assist MN ABE practitioners in providing effective writing instruction, ATLAS provides a variety of professional development (PD) activities, including workshops at various regional and statewide conferences, a growing online Writing resource library, and a new writing study circle that is currently under development.

Language & Literacy Institute

One of our primary activities for improving writing instruction is hosting the Language & Literacy Institute, a two-day, intensive training that takes place in late January each year. The large event brings together reading, writing, and ESL educators in ABE to collaborate with and learn from one another. The Language & Literacy Institute is organized by the Language & Literacy Advisory Team, and we offer an array of  workshops on reading and literacy instruction topics that have emerged as priorities in the state. In addition, we offer the CCR (College & Career Readiness) English Language Arts (ELA) Foundation workshop in conjunction with this event each year.

Writing Standards

Are you looking for more information about the College & Career Readiness (CCR) writing standards?

  • Visit the CCR Standards page to find out about professional development around the CCR Standards
  • Visit the CCR Standards library to find resources for implementing the ELA (English Language Arts) Standards, including writing

Recommendations about Adult Writing from ATLAS and LLATé

Writing is a way to organize thoughts, deepen understanding, slow down speech, and build language skills. Writing (of both print and electronic texts) is critical for adults in order to fully participate in their communities, engage in postsecondary opportunities, and succeed in the workplace. Developing writing skills also improves problem-solving, critical thinking, and retention of content knowledge.

The Minnesota ABE Language & Literacy Advisory Team (LLATé), synthesizing the research in writing instruction, recommends establishing a “writing culture” across all adult education levels and content areas. This means:

  • Students should be composing, editing, and sharing frequently during ABE/ESL instruction.
  • Effective writing instruction should focus on clear communication of ideas, sentence structures, usage, organization, and mechanics.
  • Writing activities (from student practice to publishing) will look different, and the products will vary depending on proficiency levels.
  • Acquiring writing fluency may require extensive teacher modeling, individual or group practice, and teacher or peer feedback.

Advisory Teams

Language & Literacy Advisory Team

The Language & Literacy Advisory Team (LLATé) is an ATLAS-sponsored team designed to strengthen language, reading, and writing instruction in Minnesota through relevant, meaningful, and effective professional development for practitioners.

LLATé is responsible for visioning and implementing a long-term strategic plan for language and literacy professional development (PD) in Minnesota, as well as completing specific tasks yearly to support established PD efforts, such as the January Language & Literacy Institute.

New Writing Resources

Writing Workshops & Seminars

Do you need to brush up your own writing skills before teaching your students how to write more effectively? This website provides hundreds of free writing resources, columns, and exercises for writers and teachers of writers. Examples include apostrophes, capitalization, commas, editing, hyphens, letter writing, persuasive writing, punctuation, and verbs.

Writing to Read

This 2010 research report builds upon Writing Next and provides evidence for the theory that writing can improve and enhance reading.

Writing Next

This 2007 report identifies 11 elements of current writing instruction found to be effective for helping adolescent students learn to write well and to use writing as a tool for learning.

Writing Resource Library »

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Latest Writing Articles

2020 Language & Literacy Institute: Registration now open!

Mark your calendars for the 2020 Language & Literacy Institute on January 23-24! This is ATLAS’s largest event each year, a two-day conference that you will NOT want to miss! Registration is now OPEN, so register on the ATLAS website. Read More

Journeys Anthology: Call for Submissions!

This fall, we invite your learners to share their voices and submit their original stories and art for publication in the 2020 edition of Journeys. Friday, December 6 is the deadline for this year’s submissions. The submission webform is now open! Read More

Upcoming ABE Events

July 13, 2020 6:30 pm–7:45 pm
Literacy Minnesota

Using WhatsApp for Teaching Conversation to Adult ESL Learners


Registration Deadline: MON. 7/13/20 Schools may be closed, but the learning hasn’t stopped! Adult ESL teachers and tutors are finding creative ways to help learners continue to develop their English skills. In this webinar, learn about the phone app WhatsApp, and explore its advantages and limitations as… Learn More

July 14, 2020 2:30 pm–3:30 pm

Virtual Iced Coffee Break – Mid-summer ABE Check In!


Registration Deadline: TUE. 7/14/20 So…how’s it going? We miss you! Let’s check in about summer school and how teaching and learning are progressing during these warmer but still distanced months. Got insights or questions about zooming, what’s app-ing, google meets-ing? Join ATLAS staff and consultants to connect across… Learn More

July 15, 2020 10:00 am–11:00 am
Literacy Minnesota

Assisting Adult Learners with Voter Registration During COVID-19


Registration Deadline: WED. 7/15/20 Can you talk about the election and voting with learners? YES you can! We have resources to help you start these important conversations and help learners register to vote safely from home with an absentee ballot! Join Literacy Minnesota and Erickson Saye, Voter… Learn More