Did you know that tutors have access to a huge pool of HLC student writing? And, there are plenty of ways to use it to support ABE or ESOL students at any levels, and lots of other benefits, too. Keep the conversation going with Visions!
Our archive has decades of material. Taking a look at more of our students’ writing gives everyone a wider appreciation for the range of their abilities, and the diversity of people we serve. For tutors, ESOL or ABE students, reading Visions is a memorable experience that directly relates to the community around us.
Tutors often look for authentic texts and low-level readings to explore with their learners. Why not use the more personalized material generated by our community members? Longer or shorter, poetry or prose, these pieces are written by students who are closer to the level of other students, and with life experiences that they may have in common with the learners you are helping.
Give adult learners practice with a range of strategies by using our Visions archive. We suggest:
pre-reading activities, such as discussing a topic similar to the one found in the text
retelling the story, or summarizing the text
identifying main ideas and supporting details
asking or answering open-ended questions
skimming and scanning for certain facts
using notes and graphic organizers,
and applying a text to one’s own life
To get you started, we made a lesson plan focusing on adjective usage, with suggestions for leveling up or down. Access it here, and adapt it to your student, situation, and needs. Let us know how it goes!
Having read this post, do you have any other ideas for using Visions? Let us know! There are many more possibilities we’ll share to support development of critical thinking, fluency, recognition, comprehension, vocabulary development, motivation, reflection, and more.
HLC’s Melissa Nye made this video to review the website, https://www.uniteforliteracy.com/. The site is a great literacy resource for multilingual families, or those families who would like to reinforce language learning with young children. Melissa shows you what kinds of titles the site offers, and some functions of the site that will be of most interest to bilingual families. Finally, Melissa gives a few tips on how to use the resources to promote literacy.
this time of seclusion many people will turn to one of their bucket list items
to pass the time: to learn a new language! This list of resources aims to help
the independent learner acquire the ability to read a foreign language.
Getting a good reading knowledge of a language is a great way to be set up to
move forward with speaking a language.
library can help! It is recommended to start with the Mango app and begin to
learn the basics of your language of choice. Then, add to your effort by using
one of the vocabulary learning tools below, while also venturing into reading
some current events from one of the news sources.
me know how your journey is going in the comments!
Mango-This is a multimedia language
learning app that is free to use with your library card. It walks you through
different conversational scenarios, uses online text with color coding for
grammar comparison, offers a wide variety of languages, and is lots of fun to
boot. A good way to learn about a foreign language and culture. Also available
as a phone app.
LanguageTransfer.org-This is an organization that offers free language
lessons delivered through audio files.
the independent language learner decode texts in a foreign language, it is a good
idea to be brush up on a few grammar basics for when you inevitably compare the
structure of your target language with English.
Grammarly Blog-This is a good explanation of the
basics of English Grammar. All languages share some common grammar aspects, for
example, they all have nouns and verbs. Being aware of these terms will help
you decode a new language. As a bonus, this page describes the “subjunctive mood.”
The subjunctive is very rare in English, but much more common in Spanish and
Portuguese, for example, so it is a good term to know.
Word order in English statements – Sentence Structure– This is a video geared toward
people learning English, but it is a good video to watch to familiarize
yourself with the idea of word order in language. Other languages have
different word orders than English. This video is very comprehensive with
English word order, which will help prepare you to look for differences of word
order in the language you are learning.
Learning Express-To really go in depth with your
grammar knowledge, log onto Learning Express with your library card number. Go
to the Adult Core Skills section and you will find “Improve your writing,
speaking, and grammar.” You will need to make a free account to download free
grammar e-books, but the process is quick and easy. Not only will you get a
great grip on English grammar to help you learn to read a foreign language, but
your writing in English will get a lot better, too!
It is not
essential to memorize grammar rules to learn a language. However, understanding
grammar rules will help you de-code to the texts you are seeing on the page.
Often times you will see words you recognize and know the meaning of in your
target language, and yet, you have trouble understanding the overall sentence’s
meaning. That is when understanding grammatical rules will help.
you come across a phrase in your new language that doesn’t make sense any way
you look at it, you might be dealing with an idiom! For more on idioms, browse these
titles in the HCPLC Catalog.
YouTube-There are thousands of videos on YouTube
about the grammar of whichever language you like. Here is one of my favorites about Dutch, as an example. Notice how he says
he himself didn’t really know much about his own language’s grammar and had to
learn it to make the video. Then watch how quickly it becomes rather
complicated! It just shows how tricky
grammar can be, and how easily it can turn into a rabbit hole. So, don’t stress
it, just consult it when you’re stuck.
you should definitely do to improve the speed of learning a language is to
memorize vocabulary. With these tools and tips, this part of the job should be
much easier. They will provide you with targeted lists of words to commit to
memory, as well as allow you to add your own words to the learning software.
words, and word forms
Memrise.com-This is one of my favorites that I
have been using for years. The odd spelling of the website’s name comes from
the word meme, because you can make memes or use memes from the community to
help you remember vocabulary. The software presents you with vocabulary, and
then quizzes you in a variety of ways to help you remember. This includes
spelling! And the final benefit is that you can either select vocabulary lists
made by the community or start your own list.
(and free!) app is available for Windows or Apple Desktop, or Android or iPhone.
You can get pre-created flashcard decks, or customize and make your own, and
see your progress after each study session.
Study sessions are created based on your progress with each flashcard
and use spaced-interval theories to help your brain retain the knowledge.
interest, here is a study comparing the effectiveness of
different vocabulary learning strategies among Chinese students learning
a text and start to explore. If you are hoping to learn a language that uses
the same alphabet as we do in English, you’ll be off to a fast start. If you
need to learn a new alphabet, it may require extra effort. If you’d like help
finding sources on other alphabets, you can always use the Ask a Librarian Service. Here are some examples: Greek, Cyrillic (Russian), Korean
cases, news articles are good sources to use because they cover topics that one
can easily read about in English news sources. News sources are not generally
written at an advanced level, so you won’t be dealing with a lot of
metaphorical language or specialist terminology. Always ask yourself after you
read, “What was this reading about?” If you can answer that, then you’re on
literature-The library has a lot of youth literature in Spanish. If you are
looking for something else, you may need to search the web. If you just want to
see some excerpts, Google Books is there for you with international bestsellers
of young adult literature, like this example of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s
Stone in Italian.
BBC-The BBC offers news in a wide
variety of languages. Scroll to the bottom of the page to read and watch news
stories from around the world. Also, they offer a very wide variety of archived
Paralleltext.io-This is an interesting website
that has classic stories and novels that can be read in a variety of languages,
and you can switch over to English to compare each paragraph. The site will
also read you each sentence in the target language.
Did you know that the Literacy Department purchased a variety of graphic novels that are adapted from classic works of literature? The following video introduces tutors to these resources, shows tutors how to locate them, and gives tutors advice on how to use them.
The Hillsborough Literacy Council has changed its training format, and we are seeing some good progress so far. As many of you know, the old training format was a 5-hour session that took place about four times a year, and we would average about twenty people per session. That meant that in between sessions, there was nothing to get people going, and we were possibly losing new tutors before we got them trained. Now, we have a hybrid format that gets people going much more quickly. It is half online, and half in-person.
We have developed an online training module using an online course software made by Google. It’s not a perfect solution, but we are tweaking as we go along. Now, whenever ten people or so have filled out the application to become a tutor, we enroll them in the online class. Then, they can work through the class at their pace. When they are finished, they can choose a time and location for the face to face training, which is no longer five hours…it’s only two!
There are other benefits to this format as well. First, all new tutors have online access to training materials that they can review at their leisure. Also, tutors can meet one another through the software and share their thoughts and responses to the online assignments. Furthermore, instead of only meeting four times a year, we offer in-person training at least once a month, but usually twice. This helps us get people trained and tutoring a student much faster.
The in-person training also serves a different function now. Whereas in the past the in-person training covered everything a tutor needed to know about working with the HLC, we now use our face to face time to work directly with the tutoring materials and help new tutors feel more comfortable with tutoring. All other information is covered in the online portion of the training, such as how to request materials, where to report hours, etc. All of this has shown a potential to increase our overall tutor intake, despite having smaller groups per in-person session.
So, now might be a good time for anyone interested in volunteering to go ahead and send in that application! We can get you trained and tutoring on a schedule that may be more amenable to your needs. And if you are already tutoring, tell anyone you meet that it’s easier and quicker than ever to become a tutor for the Hillsborough Literacy Council!