Literacy Notes

A blog for LVWCC news, photos, and stories.

LVWCC Drops State Funding

LVWCC Drops State Funding

While many social service agencies temporarily or permanently closed their doors last year, we stayed open.

For two years before that, LVWCC underwent a calculated pruning to become one of the leanest and greenest non-profits in the Chicagoland area. We proactively charted this course because we wanted our organization to maximize impact while reducing waste. We also wanted to keep our expenses as low as possible for the future so we could get through unexpected periods of uncertain funding.

When we did not receive a state grant payment for fiscal year 2016 until after its end, we knew that uncertainty was becoming reality. When we finally received the 2016 grant, it was only for 1/5 of what we would normally receive. So we started the 2017 fiscal year with the mindset to replace our state funding completely.

Without the paperwork burden, we can now focus more on building relationships. Still, sacrifices must be made and we must accept the fact that our game plan may need to change continuously.

One sacrifice we must make is to halt program expansion. With two Conversation Café locations, we will continue to serve any adult English language learner who wishes to participate. However, our personal tutoring program will see the most limitations. Since the personal tutoring program is what our support specialists spend a great deal of time supporting, it makes sense to cap the number of pairs we can serve to 25. We will strive to maintain 25 pairs through recruitment, testing, and training, but those activities may not be perpetually performed as they have been in the past.

Change is never easy but it's always worth it. Think of the extraordinary amount of change we expect adult learners and volunteer tutors to make in the learning process. If we ask them to "Literally Change Lives," then the staff and leadership of our organization should embrace change and improvement to the same degree.

1723 Hits

Expected Outcomes

The IL State Library provides a great deal of our regular funding for our adult volunteer literacy program. They suggest 3 outcomes, which lay the foundation for our entire program--which formats our will services take, what kind of information we will collect, and how we will organize and report that information. What are the 3 outcomes our program must achieve?

  • "Increased skills in reading, writing, math and/or English language."
  • "Increased knowledge of civic responsibilities (e.g., voting, using the public library)."
  • "Increased ability of the volunteer tutors to provide effective adult literacy instruction."

These 3 concise statements mean a lot!

  • The fact that they all start with the word "increased" means that we are obligated to show that we are improving our program all the time. We need to show that we did better than last year, every single year.
  • Asking for increased academic skills plus civic responsibilities demonstrates that the state is interested in more than just test scores.
  • Our responsibility to have volunteer tutors provide instruction is underscored by our duty to make sure that it is effective. We can only guage whether something is effective if we track it--we have to count it (quantitative) and we have to evaluate it's worth (qualitative).

So what kinds of activities do we do all year long to meet our outcomes?

  • Pre-testing and post-testing; learners must meet a certain number of hours in one fiscal year to qualify for post-testing. If they don't we need to reexamine tutor/learner matches. We need to show that there was some gain appropriate to the amount of instructional hours that were completed. There are very limited reasons we would continue matches if there are a lot of cancellations on the part of the learner or the tutor. One solution is to meet twice or three times per week to increase the odds of completing enough hours. Another solution is for one learner to have multiple tutors if the tutor can't commit to multiple weekly sessions.
  • Lifeskills Survey; each tutor is required to complete this survey once per fiscal year. Even if they just started meeting, if the survey is due, our tutors need to complete it. We get a vivid snapshot of where the learner is at on a variety of everyday skills.
  • Ongoing tutor training & evaluation of tutor performance; each tutor is required to complete weekly tutor logs with quantitative and qualitative aspects, attend at least one supplemental training per fiscal year, constructively engage with us to evaluate the success of their match(es), and project how much longer they think the match should continue to meet the learner's academic, lifeskills, and personal goals. 

If we do all of these things, we will meet our outcomes and our program will be successful. The one thing we can't do without: tutor flexibility and support. Not only do we need volunteer tutors to give time, but we desperately need them to make meaningful financial contributions to the organization. It sounds like a lot to ask, and tutoring is an extremely rewarding activity when we make good matches, but we ask for more than that. Tutoring is also a huge responsibility. This is what we ask of each tutor:

  • Be patient; making a match with your preferences and a learner's preferences takes time. It can take as long as 6 months.
  • Be cooperative; keep organized and keep your own records. Rely on your own ability to take good notes at each session and report your feedback every week. Keep track of your own tutor log submissions. If something is amiss with your match, we can help, but only if we hear from you on a weekly basis. Please do not only contact us when you are looking for a new learner. It cheats the learner, and it cheats the program.
  • Be supportive; help us recruit new tutors and major gifts. Your relationships help us grow the organization and meet our outcomes. LVWCC shouldn't rely wholly on the state to provide our program funding. Ideally, state funding should be matched in total by a variety of foundation grants, major gifts, and donations.

If you have feedback on how the organization or program is run, please schedule a time to talk with us in person. We want to hear your concerns and we ask that you allow us the time to make productive changes. Some changes are easy and quick, but many systemic challenges require financial investment or human resources that we have to budget for. At times, we are at the mercy of a vendor who happens to be the only entity providing a solution to our programmatic needs. Sometimes, we must wait for vendors to catch up to our specific needs and the expectations of our tutors.

2491 Hits

How WIOA Data Works

How WIOA Data Works

Have you ever wondered what WIOA is and how it works? This insightful infographic explains not only the 4 types of WIOA funding, but how the data moves through federal, state, and local channels, as well as who might use the data and for what purposes.

Click on the graphic to learn more, or visit the original blog post by the Workforce Data Quality Campaign.

2512 Hits

Rauner signs bill to release funds

Rauner signs bill to release funds

From: Robert P. Doyle
Sent: Monday, December 07, 2015 5:39 PM
To: undisclosed
Subject: Rauner signs bill

Cities and towns across Illinois will soon receive an infusion of cash to operate 911 centers, plow roads and train firefighters under a measure the Senate sent Gov. Bruce Rauner and he quickly signed Monday.

The legislation also would funnel money to the Illinois Lottery for prize payouts and ensure low-income families get help paying heating bills after both programs were thrown into turmoil due to the ongoing budget impasse between the Republican governor and Democrats who control the legislature.

The measure represents a rare area of agreement between the warring sides, and would release a total of $3.1 billion that's been on hold as the state enters a sixth month without full spending authority. In addition to $1 billion set aside for the lottery, $29 million would go to promote tourism and $43 million will be freed for technical education and adult literacy programs at community colleges.

The bulk of the new spending is money collected in specialized accounts that are earmarked for particular purposes, though the plan also calls for tapping into about $28 million from the state's primary checking account. Roughly $18 million of that will go to domestic violence shelters, and an additional $10 million was set aside for the secretary of state's office, which stopped mailing yearly reminders for drivers to renew their vehicle registration because of the budget crunch.

Lottery officials, who had stopped paying out prizes larger than $600, will start paying winners in the order their claims were received. New prize claims will start being processed next week, once money is transferred into the lottery's accounts.

Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, noted the accord comes amid the holiday season and said he hoped it represented the start of "a more productive 2016."

"What you see with this bill is, frankly evidence that the governor can reach across the aisle and that you can reach back and we can all get on the same page and do things together for the general good of the people we all represent," Murphy said. "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and to our mayors, good spending."

While the measure passed the Senate 53-0, Rauner was initially opposed to an earlier plan to disburse the money, saying the additional spending would force a tax increase. But Rauner switched positions, saying he would support the bill if it also included more money for things like debt payments and salting and plowing of roads.

Rauner billed the move as a compromise, although it also provided him political cover as some House Republicans were willing to vote for the Democratic plan in the face of pressure from suburban mayors to free up the money. House Democrats ignored the governor's requests and pressed on with their first plan, but ultimately used a procedural move to prevent the legislation from going to the Senate while the latest deal was worked out.

Monday's action is likely to be the last major effort to plug budget holes for the remainder of the calendar year, as neither the House or Senate is scheduled to return to the Capitol until January.

Key areas that remain unfunded include colleges and universities, scholarship programs for low-income students and various programs for victims of sexual assault and those with developmental disabilities.

Robert P. Doyle

Illinois Library Association
33 W. Grand Ave., Ste. 401
Chicago, IL 60654-6799

2503 Hits

Literacy Works e-Newsletter for Training

Literacy Works e-Newsletter for Training

Good news! You can now sign up to receive information about upcoming training opportunities and events directly with Literacy Works! Literacy Works has been our training provider for the past few years. As you might have noticed, we would pass training information to you from Literacy Works via our e-newsletter. However, you can now get that information right from the source. (We will still post supplemental training on our calendar and mention it in our e-newsletter; however we might be selective about which ones we include based on how much space we have in each edition of the e-newsletter.)

You may unsubscribe from the Literacy Works e-newsletter at any time by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by clicking on the unsubscribe link that always appears at the bottom of every email message.

2027 Hits

Website Wisdom 4: Suggested Sites from South Suburban College

Website Wisdom 4: Suggested Sites from South Suburban College

Recently, the Illinois State Library Literacy Office sent out an email including this list of websites for teachers/tutors to use when instructing learners. I have used many of the sites and plan to check out the rest. I suggest that you review them as well and see if there is something to include in your lessons.

 

FREE ESL WEBSITES

This list of free websites to aid in the delivery of instruction to ESL learners was submitted by South Suburban College (SSC). It includes printable worksheets, great websites for listening, great stories for reading, quick activities, practicing keyboarding and adds to GED preparation. These on-line resources are designed to assist with extra help and to better prepare students to meet all standards for promotion.

www.englishforeveryone.org

www.usalearns.org

www.englishpage.com

www.englishclub.com

www.esl-lab.com (great website for listening)

www.eslcafe.com

www.eslpartyland.com

www.english-online.org.uk/index.html

www.cdlponline.org (great stories for reading)

www.reepworld.org

www.usingenglish.com

www.elcivics.com (good for GED preparation)

www.simpleenglishvideos.com (fun for anyone – video snippets)

www.newsinlevels.com (various levels of news stories)

This site requires a login:

www.free-english.com/english/Games.aspx

This website is for practicing your typing:

www.sense-lang.org/typing

2002 Hits

Tutor of the Month: Kathy Knerr

Tutor of the Month: Kathy Knerr

Congratulations to Kathy Knerr, our Tutor of the Month for July.

You started tutoring for LVWCC in 1998, why did you decide to tutor?
I wanted to meet people I would otherwise never have the chance to meet. It's great to see people make progress toward their goals. And with adults, there are no discipline problems!

How many learners have you worked with? Do you keep in touch with any?
I've worked with maybe 10 or 15 learners. Most of my students have lived in other suburbs or in the city. I haven't kept in touch with many, but one young man lives near me, so I bump into him from time to time and find out what he is up to. I've also kept in touch with one ESL student.

Is there anything that stands out as a special experience?
Almost every time someone learns something new (whether in literacy or ESL) it's pretty exciting. Its great to see eyes light up when someone who thought they couldn't learn finds out they can. An older man who had not had much schooling was delighted when he learned to read street signs and sign his name. He would say, "I surprised myself!"

What is your favorite part of tutoring? What is the hardest part of tutoring?
My favorite part is the people. The hardest part is dealing with being "stood up," (i.e. left waiting by a student who doesn't call to let you know.) This is worse if you've spent time preparing. If it becomes a pattern, you have to let them go or tell them to take a break and contact you when they can meet regularly.

What have you learned from tutoring? Do you have any advice for other tutors?
I love books and reading. But focusing too much on books or workbooks may remind adult students of past failures. And we know that students with literacy and ESL challenges may have trouble focusing because of work or worries. That's where workshops for tutors are a great help. I completely changed my teaching style after a recent workshop called "Teaching Very Low Level ESL Students" from Literacy Works. They gave a lot of great techniques to combine practice with speaking, listening, reading, and writing and to ensure success from the beginning. More advanced ESL students and basic education students also appreciate a variety of materials, activities, and games that keep them actively involved, so the time passes quickly.

And lastly, would you share some personal information with our readers?
I'm retired. I live in a condo in Forest Park. I like being with friends, practicing Spanish, watching documentaries, and summer in Chicago. Tutoring is by far my favorite pastime.

Kathy, thank you for sharing your retirement with us. We know your learners' "eyes light up" when they see you each week.

1211 Hits

2015 Learner Graduate: Jinbao Huang

2015 Learner Graduate: Jinbao Huang

Jinbao Huang and his wife, Anna Pu Zhao, came to the U.S. from China about 10 years ago. They wanted to be closer to their son who is now attending medical school in North Carolina. They live in Forest Park.

Jinbao has a very good job in medical research here in Chicago and is very pleased with his work situation. However, about 2½ years ago, Jinbao suggested to Anna that she find a way practice her English speaking in a social setting outside their home. They looked around and found information about LVWCC and Conversation Café at the Oak Park Library.

They have made new friends and learned about other cultures from attending Conversation Café. It is a means of enrichment and education they participate in together. They continue to attend weekly. LVWCC would like to commend Jinbao's dedication to helping Anna find our group. Sometimes a loved one can be the best advocate. We are very fortunate to have his commitment and support of LVWCC.

 

1016 Hits

2015 Learner Graduate: Anna Pu Zhao

2015 Learner Graduate: Anna Pu Zhao

Anna Pu Zhao and her husband, Jinbao Huang, came to the U.S. from China about 10 years ago in order to be closer to their son, who is now in medical school in North Carolina. They live in Forest Park.

Despite having an advanced degree and had a professional career in China, Anna has not worked here. She told us that she was very self-conscious about her English communication skills and therefore felt more comfortable staying at home. She went on to tell us that 2½ years ago her husband prompted her to improve her English speaking in a social setting. So they started searching and found information about LVWCC at the Oak Park Library. At this point in the conversation the two of them looked at each other and chuckled.

Anna said that Conversation Café was one of the most wonderful experiences she has had.  She has made new friends, learned about other cultures, and feels genuinely comfortable with her English speaking ability. We can only imagine how difficult it must have been for her to not feel comfortable in social situations, since she had had such a full life in China.  Yet she and her husband have found a means of enrichment and education for both of them and they attend Conversation Café together each week.

1031 Hits

2015 Learner Graduate: Feliciana Aleman

2015 Learner Graduate: Feliciana Aleman

"My name is Feliciana Aleman and I live in Hillside. I was born in Mexico and my parents brought me to the U.S. when I was 7 years old. I attended grammar school for two years, and returned to Mexico for three years. Then I came back to the U.S. I started working at an early age and because of this, I did not complete my education.

In December of 2000, I got married and now I have three children, ages 12, 10 and 7. I decided to learn more in order to help my children with their homework and get involved in their school program. I work in the cafeteria of my children's school. My goal is to obtain my GED and become a CNA. I have studied ESL for three years. Thanks to all the LVWCC staff and volunteers, especially Ms. Susan Sitter for her time that she dedicated to me. I am very happy."

977 Hits

2015 Learner Graduate: Oksana Karpenko

2015 Learner Graduate: Oksana Karpenko

In the Ukraine, Oksana was a pharmacist. She came to the United States in February of 2012. She followed her husband who found a job in the U.S. They live in Oak Park.

Upon moving here, she set a goal to find work in her field, but first she needed to improve her English. Specifically, it was to meet the requirements of the National Board of Pharmacy exam. She needed to improve her spoken and written English the most.

After a while Oksana discovered that LVWCC helps people like her. She joined Conversation Cafe and started working with her tutor, Andy Byrne, in 2013. Oksana improved her English so she could communicate and write essays. Oksana is now a graduate of our English as a Second Language (ESL) program. She passed her Foreign Pharmacy Equivalency Exam in April 2014, but she needs to pass TOEFL exam as well. For this reason, she continues to work on her English pronunciation and fluidity with Andy.

Through hard work and Andy's help she is making steady progress toward her goal. She continues to participate in Conversation Cafe. Her story helps us understand how effective the supportive attention of personal tuitoring can be, and how proper goal setting can lead to measurable progress. We are looking forward to celebrating future her accomplishments together.

1189 Hits

Tutor of the Month: Gary Whitney

Tutor of the Month: Gary Whitney

Gary Whitney has tutored with LVWCC for 13 years. For the last 8, he's been meeting with adult learner Ludek Smejkal. We are proud to honor Gary as June 2015 Tutor of the Month.

"My father had been a Literacy Volunteer in Arkansas, and I was impressed with his dedication to helping adults learn to read. Reading has always been an important part of my life, so when I had a chance, I took the Literacy Volunteers training in 2002. I ended up as an ESL tutor, and don't regret it for a minute.

I worked with two other students before Ludek, one from China, and the other from Lithuania. Ludek is from the Czech Republic. The fact that these students have left their countries and their families to come to this land of opportunity has always filled me with admiration for the stories of their journeys, and their determination to succeed.

Ludek and I started working together in 2003, doing the exercises and lessons that I had been taught in the tutor training sessions. Somehow it evolved into lessons centered around watching movies. Ludek brings his laptop to the library every week, and I pick out the movies that I've loved for so many years. If there is something he doesn't understand, we stop the DVD and discuss it.

Ludek's wife, Daniela, invited me to her Naturalization Ceremony a couple of years ago. It was very moving. The room was filled with 300 people. On one side of the room sat the new citizens, while friends and families sat on the other side of the central aisle. The amazing thing to me was that everyone in that room was happy, joyful!

We were taught in the tutor training that ESL students would tend to get close to their tutors, who they see as lifelines to this culture. It has happened with Ludek. We have become good friends, and will continue to be even after he moves on from the Literacy Volunteers experience."

1096 Hits

New Phonics 101 Group in Forest Park

New Phonics 101 Group in Forest Park

We are excited to announce our new Reading Horizons phonics group starting tomorrow! It's called Phonics 101.

In parternship with the Forest Park Library and Diane Collins, LVWCC will be providing weekly low-level reading help to qualifying adult learners. The group will offer a combination of direct phonics instruction and self-paced online instruction. Adult learners will need basic computer skills to join. Volunteer tutor, Vivienne Lund, will be leading the group.

About Vivienne:

Vivienne is a Forest Park resident and has been a volunteer tutor with LVWCC for 5 years. She has career experience in special education.

About Phonics 101:

Tuesday mornings, 10:00 am - Noon

Forest Park Library, 7555 Jackson Blvd, Forest Park, IL 60130

Registration:

*New learners may call or text Natalie French at 312-351-1215 for a testing appointment.

*Learners on our waiting list should call Esther at 708-848-8499 x101 to see if they qualify.

*Learners who already have a tutor should call Esther at 708-848-8499 x101 to see if they qualify.

1007 Hits

Why LVWCC?

Why LVWCC?

Very often in the world of funding for non-profits, we are asked to demonstrate why we are different than other non-profits who provide the same service. When I first started writing grants for LVWCC, I wondered what made us different.

It was not entirely clear to me. When researching a handful of adult literacy organizations who get the same adult volunteer literacy state grant, I just scratched my head and did my best to describe who we were. I crossed my fingers and hoped we looked different than all the other adult volunteer literacy programs in our state!

Over the past few years though, it's become clear in many ways what makes us different. The values of our leadership have helped shape who LVWCC has become:

  • we are "grassroots" and independent - there is no larger umbrella organization that can decide to cut our services.
  • we are integrating technology into all that we do - our tutors, learners, staff, and board members are embracing the digital world.
  • we maintain a small carbon footprint - a shared office space and cloud-based mobile office technology help us prevent waste.
  • relationships come first - space sharing partnerships allow us to connect with people; everything we do is outreach.
  • transparency builds trust - we make all of our financial information readily available and answer all stewardship questions promptly.

Of course, words only go so far, and funders care a lot about impact and numbers. We created this infographic to speak to why LVWCC is the solution for increased adult literacy. Take a look and share it on your favorite social media channel to help us get the word out.

As always, thank you for your continued support. LVWCC would not be possible without our donors, partners, volunteers, learners, staff, and board members.

2096 Hits

Website Wisdom 3: Randall's ESL Listening Lab

Website Wisdom 3: Randall's ESL Listening Lab

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab is loaded with the audio files and scripts of listening conversations on a large variety of topics. I love the way Randall describes his site: “the site was mainly designed for (1) self-access learning where students do the listening activities on their own, and (2) teacher-directed learning where the teacher asks students to complete certain exercises as a means of supplementing their classroom objectives. I should point out that the main objective isn't to test listening, but to help students how to learn to improve their listening, and this goal can be accomplished in part by doing all of the activities in each conversation.”

For first time users, there is a YouTube video introduction. Randall includes a link for Tips for Teachers with an excellent guide on how to use the site for tutoring or in a classroom.  Randall’s Basic Self-Study Guide is organized by specific conversational subjects so students and teachers can find activities related to one another. For example, there are several activities listed under the topics of Introductions, Work, and Living Arrangements. Conversations are divided by listening levels: Easy, Medium and Difficult. There are pre-listening activities to prepare students for listening to the audio conversations and then quizzes and other activities designed to help with comprehension after listening to the conversations.

I highly recommend this site for tutors and learners who want to develop listening skills and comprehension of conversation.

1176 Hits

Spotlight on Service Award Goes to Ira Goodkin

Spotlight on Service Award Goes to Ira Goodkin

Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County is pleased to congratulate Ira Goodkin, an LVWCC tutor who has won a 2015 Illinois State Library Spotlight on Service award.

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and Dennis DeRossett, executive director of the Illinois Press Association, honored the winners of the 2015 Spotlight on Literacy Awards, which recognizes participants in Illinois literacy programs. Ten students received the Spotlight on Achievement award and 10 volunteer tutors received the Spotlight on Service award.

James Lewis, Ira Goodkin's learner, has this to say, "One day I got in touch with the tutoring program at Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County, in which I was introduced to Mr. Ira Goodkin. The moment I saw him, I knew I had a very good tutor. He has taught me the importance of writing, good grammar, and the right words to capitalize. Mr. Goodkin has taught me how to sound out my words to pronounce them. I have been writing from day one with Ira. I'm reading much faster now than before. It would have taken me a long time to write this, but learning with Ira, I wrote this in one day."

Here are Ira's own words about the reasons he tutors, "I wanted to do my tutoring locally, partly because I spent many years commuting several hours a day and did not want to travel, but also because I wanted to feel that I was giving back to my local community. After a bit of research, I discovered the Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County. I met with the director and their program seemed to fit what I was looking for. --- I was very fortunate in being paired with an adult student who is highly motivated, works hard, and is reliable. We have made excellent progress in our time together, which provides continued motivation for both of us. ---- I love the personal interaction that tutoring provides, and I love the idea that I can help someone have a better life. In addition, I have learned a great deal from my learner because he is open and shares experiences to which I would have access in no other way. Wisdom comes from so many sources."

We are so pleased to have Ira Goodkin as one our tutors and to have him recognized for his work with Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County. He and our many other tutors work s hard to help the adult learners in our communities achieve. Congratulations, Ira!

1144 Hits

Learner of the Month: Robertas Petrauskas

Learner of the Month: Robertas Petrauskas

Robertas (Robert) Petrauskas has been working with an LVWCC tutor since April 2010. As early as 2005 he had heard about Conversation Café and was anxious to practice speaking English. Once he arrived, he learned that he could apply for a personal tutor with us as well. Robertas has benefitted from the services of his current tutor, Rob Streit, and has been attending Conversation Café consistently for the last 6 years.

As his tutor suggests, Robertas is an ideal student and a joy to work with. His independence and self-sufficiency have allowed him to seek out and benefit from many community resources and have established him as a role-model for other students who might be more reticent about recognizing and expressing their needs. In addition to these attributes, Robertas has a fantastic sense of humor and a sharp wit; qualities which render him a joy to converse with and be in the company of.

One day when I was at the Forest Park Library to test another student, I discovered Robertas behind a patron services desk. I asked him if works there and he responded with, "...it's not working...it's fun." It takes a special kind of person to participate so fully in one's community and Robertas is just that kind of special person. We are thrilled to have him in our camp.

1158 Hits

Tutor of the Month: Kathleen Novak

Tutor of the Month: Kathleen Novak

Congratulations to Kathleen Novak, our Tutor of the Month for May.

Kathleen has been working with her current learner, Stan for four years. They hardly ever miss a week.

You started tutoring for LVWCC in 2010, why did you decide to tutor?
I originally decided to tutor because I saw an ad in Triton's catalogue looking for volunteers. Literature has been a big part of my life since I was young and I couldn't imagine a life without being able to read.

What is your favorite part of tutoring?

I enjoy watching my student learn and how excited he gets when he finally understands something that had baffled him before.

What is the hardest part of tutoring?

The hardest part for me is finding something that engages my student because there has been a lot of trial and error.

How many learners have you worked with?

Stan is my second student.

How long have you been working with your current learner?

We have been working together since August 11, 2011.

Is there anything that stands out as a special experience?

The day Stan told me that he was able to have an intelligent conversation about 9/11 with a firefighter while waiting in line for a Father's Day dinner. He was so excited because he had learned about it in a novel we read called "I Survived September 2001". He knew about it from pictures on TV but had no knowledge about many of the details.

What have you learned from tutoring?

I have learned that there are a lot of things that I don't know and it's ok to say that I'll need to research it and get back to you. I thought I had to know everything.

Do you have any advice for other tutors?

Enjoy it. Be open to try new avenues if what you're doing doesn't seem to be working.

And lastly, would you share some personal information with the newsletter readers?

I live with my husband, our 7 yr. old cats, Cassie and Trojan, and 1 yr. old dog, Brandy. I worked as a Systems Analyst for several years and then as a Management Analyst with my husbands' small business.

Thank you, Kathleen, for your hard work and dedication to tutoring!

1183 Hits

Farewell, Jasmine!

Farewell, Jasmine!

We are sad to see the departure of Jasmine Brown as our partnerships specialist. She has accepted a full-time position as Outreach Librarian at the Warren-Newport Library. She served with us at LVWCC from August 2013 to April 2015.

Jasmine's been working in outreach and libraries for many years. She brought that expertise to LVWCC to help us connect with libraries and non-profits in our service area. Most recently she worked with the Melrose Park Library and Margaret Flanagan to establish a standing reservation for our Wednesday night ESL group. Anne Cothran, a new LVWCC tutor, now facilitates the group.

Warren-Newport is lucky to have Jasmine and we wish her all the best! We will miss her dearly.

If you would like to say a personal farewell to Jasmine, you can still email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

1167 Hits

Teach Speaking for Multiple Intelligences

b2ap3 thumbnail 2215626The Art of Teaching Speaking, by Keith S. Folse is a great resource for any ESL tutor. This resource is a deep dive into strategies for teaching conversation classes. What makes the Art of Teaching Speaking uniquely useful is its strong collection of "successful" and "unsuccessful" activities. The book contains twenty activities that are proven to be successful in conversation classes and explains why they are successful (e.g. English Language Task Cards and Find the Differences). It also contains ten activities that have proven to be unsuccessful and explains the pitfalls of those activities (e.g. Using Discussion Prompts That Can't Generate Discussions and Using a Task with Overly Complicated Instructions). 

 

 

Multiple Intelligences and Language Learning, by Mary Ann Christison, is "a guidebook of theory, activities, inventories and resources" for tutors. This book is based on Multiple Intelligences Theory. It includes an introduction to the Theory of Multiple Intelligences and many activities that cater to linguistic intelligence, logical/mathematical intelligence, visual/spatial intelligence, bodily/kinetic intelligence, personal intelligence, musical intelligence, and naturalist intelligence. The activities range from kindergarten to adult level.

1156 Hits