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PowerUp: What Works – English Language Arts Teaching Strategies

This website was built for teachers with a variety of learner levels in their K-12 classes and offers resources, strategies, and practical tips to personalize instruction to meet the needs of struggling students. The teaching suggestions and instructional suggestions can easily be applied to adult ESL classrooms where English Language Arts CCRS are being applied. This page provides information on topics such as teaching context clues, self-questioning, visualizing, and semantic mapping.

Additional Comprehension Resources

ESL Literacy Readers offers 40 theme-based stories, a learner page, and a teacher's guide with ideas for reading activities and extensions. ESL Yes! offers 1600 stories intended for Beginning and Intermediate level ESL students, supplemented with audios and various kinds of exercises.

The Times in Plain English

This website contains free "Plain English Version" articles about current world and national news or events. All of the articles are edited by Arthur Schiff and grade-leveled according to Flesch-Kincaid. In addition to articles, the website offers Tips for Teachers, which provides text-dependent questions.

Additional Fluency Resources

These Comprehension resources are also useful for Fluency instruction: * Britannica School Elementary offers non-fiction articles related images, videos, maps, and learning games * The Change Agent includes leveled student-written articles, discussion topics, and lesson plans * The Times in Plain English contains free, leveled articles about current world and national news or events * Center for Adult Literacy Text Library offers over 1600 leveled texts on a range of topics

Teaching Adults to Read

Five free online courses for adult educators who want to learn more about teaching the components of reading: alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Each self-paced course can be completed in 2-4 hours.

Reading Skills for Today’s Adults – Fluency

This website is a source of passages (Levels 0.7 to 8.0) and audios intended “to help adults become better readers and more informed consumers, parents, employees, citizens and community members.” It is useful for Beginning and Intermediate level students.

Reading Skills for Healthcare Workers – Fluency

This website provides 175 CNA (certified nursing assistant) and general healthcare passages and audios for adult readers at grade levels 5.5 to 8.5 (Intermediate level). All are CCRS aligned and include pre-reading questions, definitions of healthcare or high-frequency vocabulary, and text-dependent questions.

Is Fluent, Expressive Reading Important for High School Readers?

This article examines the relationship between oral prosody (phrasing and expression) and silent reading comprehension for secondary readers. The study recommends teacher modeling and whole-class choral reading of passages from literature, social studies, and science content materials.

Fluency: Research and Teaching Strategies

Research Digest No. 6 from the Appalachian State University defines fluency, provides suggestions for assessment and instruction, and lists additional resources and references.

Fluency Techniques for STAR/EBRI Volunteers

This handout for STAR/EBRI volunteers describes three fluency techniques considered most effective for adult readers. All interweave the steps of explicit instruction for guided oral readings of paragraphs, passages, articles, or books.

Fluency Instruction for STAR/EBRI Volunteers

This handout describes what STAR/EBRI volunteers need to know about evidence-based and explicit fluency instruction. It also clarifies how they can improve – but not necessarily perfect – students’ oral reading fluency of paragraphs, passages, articles, or books.

Fluency – Challenges & Possible Solutions

Common fluency instructional challenges and solutions developed by Minnesota STARs and Trainers.

Britannica School Elementary

This website offers non-fiction articles at Reading Levels 1-2 and related images, videos, maps, and learning games. The articles are categorized by many categories, and users can select the reading level, adjust the font size, email or print copies, and listen to the text with a Read Aloud option.

CCRS and the Reading Foundational Skills

These resources describe Minnesota's combination of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) + CCRS Reading Foundational Skills 1-4, at Levels K-5. The result is a complete and clear sequence for teaching alphabetics and fluency to adult readers at Beginning and Intermediate levels.

The Teachers’ Room: Correcting Errors

This video shares different things teachers should to take into consideration when correcting errors, and gives suggestions for ways to do learner-friendly error correction in the classroom.

Reading Skills for Today’s Adults – ESL

This website was designed to provide an online repository of leveled reading selections that are appropriate for and valued by adult learners. The readings being posted correspond to CASAS 200 - 235, focusing on topics such as Civics, Employment, Housing, Health, School, Money, and Government.

ReadWorks.org

ReadWorks provides a large, high-quality library of curated nonfiction and literary articles, along with reading comprehension and vocabulary lessons, formative assessments, and teacher guidance. Through this website teachers can access curriculum, lesson plans, and free training.

How Should Adult ESL Reading Instruction Differ From ABE Reading Instruction?

A brief from the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) summarizing the research base on adult English language learners (ELLs) learning to read. It describes how ELLs differ from native English speakers and how these differences should affect reading instruction.

Error Correction

This article provides strategies for how and when to correct learners' mistakes and suggestions for how to make error correction a part of your classroom routine.

6 ESL Teaching Techniques to Cut TTT and Get Your Students Talking

Learn easy and effective strategies to cut teacher talk time and provide more opportunities for your learners to practice their English in this article by FluentU.

New Resources

Taking Care of Yourself: A Checklist

This checklist outlines the three basic aspects of self-care – awareness, balance, and connection – and offers a list of ideas for self-care strategies to use after a difficult event. As the resource indicates, "There are several ways you can find balance, be aware of your needs, and make connections. Use this list to help you decide which self-care strategies will work for you."

SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach

The authors explain, "The purpose of this paper is to develop a working concept of trauma and a trauma-informed approach and to develop a shared understanding of these concepts that would be acceptable and appropriate across an array of service systems and stakeholder groups.... The desired goal is to build a framework that helps systems 'talk' to each other, to understand better the connections between trauma and behavioral health issues, and to guide systems to become trauma-informed."

Call to Mind: Spotlight on Childhood Trauma

According to the website, Call to Mind is an initiative by MPR to inform and generate conversations about mental health. This podcast explores the impact of childhood trauma on mental health and suggests ways to build resilience in children. The impact of childhood trauma on adults is applicable to ABE practitioners.

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Presenter Information

Get information about stipends, reimbursements, and other instructions for presenters.

MN ABE YouTube Channel

The MN ABE YouTube Channel is a free online PD resource that you can use to explore teaching techniques and classroom ideas in action! Find out more in this MN ABE Connect newsletter article.

Upcoming ABE Events

October 26, 2020 1:30 pm–3:00 pm
ATLAS
Online

ABE Foundations at a Distance: Special Pandemic Edition! – Webinar 3

Online

Registration Deadline: MON. 10/26/20 This fall, due to the inability to hold the in-person ABE Foundations Workshop, the online course is a great option for those new to ABE!  However, it’s a lot of information, and we recognize that having the in-person… Learn More

Online
October 27, 2020 2:30 pm–4:00 pm
ATLAS
Online

CCRS at a Distance: Seriously?!

Online

Registration Deadline: TUE. 10/27/20 Implementing CCRS is challenging enough in the best of circumstances, and 2020 has been anything but typical.  How can we do standards-based education (math and ELA) when we can’t even see our students in person?!  Join CCRS leaders Kristine Kelly and Lindsey Pust… Learn More

Online
October 28, 2020 6:30 pm–8:00 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Please Say That Again: Virtual Pronunciation Instruction for Adult ESL Learners

Online

Registration Deadline: WED. 10/28/20 It can be challenging to make yourself understood over the phone, even for native English speakers! In this webinar, learn about three different pronunciation features that can be taught and practiced during virtual video instruction. Participants will learn how the three features impact speakers’… Learn More

Online