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Worth the Risk: Towards Decentering Whiteness in English Language Teaching

In this article the author reveals how English Language Teaching (ELT) centers whiteness and its negative impact on teachers and students of color. The author also provides suggestions for how ELT educators can de-center whiteness in the ELT field.

On the “Flip” Side: A Teacher Educator of Color Unveiling the Dangerous Minds of White Teacher Candidates

Dr. Cheryl Matias teaches urban education courses at the University of Kentucky to prospective teachers, many of whom are White women. She identifies how the "white savior" narrative serves as a motivator for many of her students, and she examines its implications in the classroom. Dr. Matias also discusses the impact that her students’ whiteness ideology has on her as an educator of Color, and how she counteracts the psychological harm done to her through the “pedagogy of trauma.”

Understanding Implicit Bias

The Kirwan Research Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity works to raise awareness to the complexity and impact of implicit bias and the ways it acts as a barrier to access. This website provides a concrete definition of implicit bias and the ways it operates to broaden social inequality. You can sign up to receive their newsletter to get updates on their interdisciplinary research.

Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture

This site lists characteristics of white supremacy culture that regularly appear in organizations, as well as "antidotes" to combat them. These characteristics are shown as damaging to both people of color and white people because they are "used as norms and standards without being pro-actively named or chosen by the group" and they promote white supremacy thinking.

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."

I Didn’t Know It Had a Name: Secondary Stress and Educators

From the article: "Whether you’re a teacher, paraprofessional, counselor, or school resource officer, every staff member cares deeply about students. And that means being exposed to the traumas students bring into school every day, including poverty, grief, family problems, racism, drug abuse. Even if they have not endured trauma themselves, educators can begin exhibiting symptoms similar to those of their students – withdrawal, anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue."

When Students Are Traumatized, Teachers Are Too

Trauma in students’ lives takes an emotional and physical toll on teachers as well. In this article, experts weigh in on the best ways to cope.

Understanding Refugee Trauma: For School Personnel

Trauma can affect a refugee child on an individual, classroom, school, and family level. The considerations and recommendations in this handout can easily be applied to an ABE perspective.

Make Your Learning Environment Safe and Productive for Trauma-Impacted Learners

The author explains, "Because one-third of adult learners are trauma-impacted (Perry, 2006), designers of learning, teachers of social service consumers, home visitors, coaches, and college faculty must be equipped with strategies to help these learners relax their vigilance and free up psychological energy for learning. One place to start is by creating safety, predictability, and consistency through classroom structures and processes."

How Trauma Impacts the Brains of Adult Learners

As the author explains, "As designers and facilitators of learning in higher education, in the workplace, or in change efforts with social service consumers, it can be critical to our practice to understand the broad impact of trauma on the brain and its wide reach across the diverse array of adult learners we serve. First, we must understand the impact of trauma on the brain."

103 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

This article from Medium.com provides a list of concrete actionable items that white allies can do each day to support the BIPOC community and build a more equitable society.

ESL Literacy Readers (Bow Valley Readers)

This collection of 40 theme-based readers features adult ESL learners engaging in everyday work and life activities. The learner page provides ESL students with access to seven levels of stories written specifically for adults. Each story focuses on a different learner and has an accompanying listening track so learners can listen as well as read the story.

Blended Learning Guide

From the New Readers Press website: "A valuable resource for instructors, this Blended Learning Guide is for teachers, tutors, and administrators who provide adult basic skills education and who wish to initiate or improve blended learning for their students."

COVID-19 Rapid Response Report from the Field – ProLiteracy

From the ProLiteracy website: "The report includes information gathered and compiled by members of the E-BAES Taskforce and EdTech Center staff that describes adult education’s response to the pandemic. Findings are intended to inform the field and offer useful suggestions from which adult education and literacy practitioners can benefit."

Informing Writing: The Benefits of Formative Assessment

This publication focuses on the effectiveness of formative writing (teacher feedback, student assessment, and ongoing monitoring) and offers best practices for assessment (allow paper/pencil or word processing, mask student names when scoring, and use multiple samples). Like "Writing Next" and "Writing to Read" - both available in this resource library - it is a meta-analysis of large-scale research studies.

Work Readiness and Work-Contextualized Curriculum

A compilation of various resources with hyperlinks to websites for work readiness curricula; work-contextualized English and basic skills curricula; and guidance in creating authentic, contextualized or embedded materials. (15 pages)

Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) Report

This report includes available data from the first two IELCE program years (2016–17 and 2017–18) through the National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS), and sets forth activities of IELCE programs related to funding, enrollment, program design and promising practices. (5 pages)

WIOA Titles I and II Mythbuster: WIOA Youth Program and Adult Education Can Be Used Together to Serve Disconnected Youth

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act’s (WIOA) Youth Formula Program (Title I) and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA, Title II) prepare young adults for success in the 21st Century workforce.  This straightforward fact sheet explains how the two programs complement each other, share the same performance indicators, and can be leveraged to support successful career pathway programming.

Integrated Education & Training (IET): Building Career Pathways for Participants at Every Skill Level

This guidance document provides a clear definition of IET in graphic form, its three main components, how those components are aligned with standards, and approaches to IET funding and promotion.  Seven diverse examples are clearly laid out, followed by a template that can be used by your own program to delineate all aspects of your IET. 

What’s Trending in Distance Reading Instruction?

This April 2020 MN ABE Connect newsletter article included “trending” ideas, platforms, and resources for distance reading instruction (meaning, recommended more than once). All were collected from MN ABE teachers attending several ELA/STAR/EBRI Virtual Coffee Break webinars or participating in the STAR 19/20 training cohort.

New Resources

NEW! Metro South Employability Skills Resource Collection

This excellent collection of resources was put together by Alison Wilcox and Metro South ABE. It contains videos that help students to understand what is meant by the terms "soft skills" and "transferable skills." It also contains links to other resources, such as a transferable skills checklist, a skills inventory, and a list of verbs that can be used for resumes.

Teaching Skills That Matter – Navigating Systems

The Teaching Skills That Matter initiative provides high-quality teaching materials and instructional videos that highlight 9 skills that are essential for success in work and community life - including Navigating Systems. The lessons are also designed to build knowledge in 5 key content areas: Civics Education, Digital Literacy, Financial Literacy, Health Literacy, and Workplace Preparation. The toolkit lessons can be used with both native and non-native English speakers, and they were designed by national experts in each content area.

Teaching Skills That Matter – Critical Thinking

The Teaching Skills That Matter initiative provides high-quality teaching materials and instructional videos that highlight 9 skills that are essential for success in work and community life - including Critical Thinking. The lessons are also designed to build knowledge in 5 key content areas: Civics Education, Digital Literacy, Financial Literacy, Health Literacy, and Workplace Preparation. The toolkit lessons can be used with both native and non-native English speakers, and they were designed by national experts in each content area.

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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

January 19, 2021 10:00 am–11:30 am
Literacy Minnesota
Online

Remote Tutoring 101

Online

Registration Deadline: TUE. 1/19/21 Join Literacy Minnesota Adult Basic Education and ESL trainers for a virtual workshop on how to be an effective tutor from a distance! Learn best practices for connecting and communicating one-on-one with adult learners on the phone or online, get suggestions for correcting… Learn More

Online
January 19, 2021 12:30 pm–12:45 pm
Burlington English
Online

MN Teachers: Lunch and Learn: Getting to Know the Teacher’s Zone

Online

Registration Deadline: TUE. 1/19/21 Join your MN BurlingtonEnglish Customer Rep, Angela Donlon for a quick tour of the BE TZ! Learn about the latest updates and enjoy a general time for Q/A. Invite a colleague for this MN Lunch & Learn meeting. Learn More

Online
January 20, 2021 1:00 pm–2:30 pm
Literacy Minnesota
Online

A Roadmap for Success: Remote Lesson Planning 101

Online

Registration Deadline: WED. 1/20/21 Whether you are teaching one learner on WhatsApp or a large group on Zoom, lesson planning is a critical part of ensuring learner success with virtual instruction. During this webinar, you will learn how to design lessons so that both the teacher and the… Learn More

Online