Tag Archives: adult education

Are You Teaching Your ELLs These 8 Literacies?

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Those of us who aren’t in adult ed most often think of literacy as a noncount noun. But in adult ed, we’ve long since moved beyond literal literacy (from littera, the Latin for letter, meaning “able to read”), and we … Continue reading

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Volunteers in Adult Ed

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

In adult ed, there’s plenty of passion, tons of motivation, and certainly a lot of need. What there’s less of a lot of is money. One way to address this is with volunteers. In this post, I’d like to share … Continue reading

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Grit, Resilience, and Conation in Adult ESOL: Part 2

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

It was Gatlinburg in mid-July… In the classic country song “A Boy Named Sue,” popularized by Johnny Cash but penned by Shel Silverstein, the titular toughguy roams the west in determined pursuit of his sworn goal: to kill the absentee … Continue reading

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Grit, Resilience, and Conation in Adult ESOL

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Two learners, both smart, both with strong extrinsic motivations to learn English, beset by similar adversities: one adapts, persists, overcomes, and emerges that much the stronger. The other becomes frustrated, loses heart, gives up, and ultimately fails to achieve fluency. … Continue reading

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Authentic Text Time in Adult Ed

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Adult learners, especially immigrants who have various competing priorities which may take precedence over English, need to see an immediate application for their new language. In many contexts, English can be a luxury; for adult immigrants, it cannot be. As … Continue reading

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Narrowing In on Narrow Input

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

In this quick post, I want to introduce the concept of narrow input. We’ll go from what to why to how: what it is, why it’s a good idea, and how you can implement it in your classroom. Defining Narrow … Continue reading

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5 Tips for Enriched Vocabulary Presentation

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Even in integrated skills courses, we often have some kind of time dedicated expressly to vocabulary. Many of us approach it in a similar way: listing out words on the board, providing definitions and sample sentences for each. In this … Continue reading

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The Positive Effects of Pretesting

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an exceptional PD workshop in Boston put on by First Literacy. The presenter was Sarah Lynn, and her topic was Brain-Based ESOL Instructional Techniques. It was a fascinating talk, rich with practical, … Continue reading

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In Defense of My Defense of the 5-Paragraph Essay

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

I posted last month on what I see to be the value of the five-paragraph essay. Though I was responding to another author’s post, I thought I was making a fairly innocuous and common-sense point: basically, don’t throw the baby … Continue reading

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Helping Language Learners Learn How to Learn Language

Robert Sheppard
Robert Sheppard

Last time I posted about orientation in adult ESOL, and it got me thinking about some of the notions that I try to impress upon my students at the very beginning of a course. I’m not just talking about baseline … Continue reading

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