26th Annual
On the Road to Literacy
Tutor & Adult Learner Conference

Saturday, April 8, 2017

University of Illinois at Chicago
College of Education, Theater, Music & Social Work Building
1040 W. Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607


WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.                                                                                                                                                                           Round One
Vocabulary: The Key to Comprehension
An inability to decode long words with multiple syllables can cause readers to struggle with comprehension and fluency. In this session, we will learn how to strengthen word identification skills and thus improve vocabulary development by using multisyllabic word reading strategies along with basic roots and affixes (prefixes and suffixes) and their meanings. [Audience: Adult learners and volunteer literacy staff and tutors can all benefit from learning these strategies].
Presenter: Christine Maxwell, Volunteer Tutor, Literacy Volunteers of Illinois

Math Activities to Build Number Sense and Problem-Solving Skills
Are you unsure what to practice in beginning-level math outside of paper and pencil calculations such as 75 + 19, or memorizing addition and multiplication facts? In this workshop, we will use real-life objects, drawings, number lines, 100-grids, and diagrams to think about beginning-level math ideas in new ways. Learn how to build number sense, math language, and problem-solving skills in this interactive workshop! Tutors will leave with ready-to-use activities and resources.
Presenter: Becky DeForest, Literacy Works

Using the Language Experience Approach to Enhance Reading, Writing & Even Math Skills
Language Experience is a method of reinforcing listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. This session will demonstrate how the Language Experience approach can be used to help students use their personal experiences to create reading materials. Participants will actively engage in creating a story, writing it, and developing comprehension questions about it. Basic math skills in counting, calculating and graphing will be included as well.
Presenters: Kelly Fitzgerald, Tom Johnson and Mary Madden, Adult Learners; and Sheryl Szot Gallaher, Tutor, Adult Learning Program, Moraine Valley Community College

Tutoring Low-Literacy Adult English Language Learners
Many new tutors find themselves without sufficient materials and ideas for teaching their literacy-level English language learners. What are the first steps to working with an adult who has had no formal education in their native language? We will discuss reasons for literacy issues, discover how to be sensitive to the diverse needs of our students, and review activities and techniques to use with adults who are learning to become literate in a second language. Tutors will leave with materials and a list of resources.
Presenter: Emily Tolzmann, Chinese Mutual Aid Association

The PIAAC Study & More: Using Data to Make the Case for Adult Education
This session will provide a comprehensive overview of the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a global study looking at the key cognitive skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy and problem solving amongst working age adults. We’ll also discuss effective advocacy strategies that you and your students can do using PIAAC and other data sources to make the case for adult education.
Presenter: Alex Ziskind, Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition

Improving Pronunciation and Fluency
A foreign accent can sound cute, but not if communication is unintelligible. Any pronunciation practice should aim at helping the learner produce more intelligible English and be successful at perceiving it. The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with practical ideas about how to improve the English language learners’ pronunciation. Research suggests that effective pronunciation should allow learners to feel, see, and/or touch the sounds in order to raise their awareness of pronunciation issues and improve their intelligibility. Participants will take home techniques and strategies, adaptable to almost any language level, which cover segmentals (individual sounds) and suprasegmentals (stress, intonation and rhythm in connected speech).
Presenter: Jeanine Ntihirageza, PhD, TESOL Program, Northeastern Illinois University

Dive In! Discover the Pool of Resources for Literacy/ELD/ESL/ELL Educators and Students
This session will provide insight for those working with limited English learners who struggle with learning the language and American culture. Pring and online materials will be shown in such areas as citizenship, visual dictionaries, grammar, jobs, language, life skills, reading, stories and tests for educators to build better relationships with their learners and provide a learning environment that allows all learners to learn and grow together. This session will also include a “show and tell” of valuable websites and apps at www.lislelibrary.org to help teachers have many available resources at their fingertips to guide learners in developing language, reading, writing, communication and life skills. Attendees will take away reliable and practical tools, such as lesson plans, worksheets, flashcards, etc. to develop their own teaching materials to work with their learners.
Presenter:
Jean Demas, Ed.D., Literacy Outreach Librarian, Lisle Library District

Autism and Learning Communities
This session will provide a basic understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and associated characteristics that may impact learning. Resources and adaptations to promote educational success will be discussed. Finally, we will explore the vital role that libraries can have to continue learning opportunities outside of school times.
Presenters: Mary Pelich and Suzanne Schriar, Illinois State Library

10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.                                                                                                                                                                             Round Two

Vocabulary: The Key to Comprehension
An inability to decode long words with multiple syllables can cause readers to struggle with comprehension and fluency. In this session, we will learn how to strengthen word identification skills and thus improve vocabulary development by using multisyllabic word reading strategies along with basic roots and affixes (prefixes and suffixes) and their meanings. [Audience: Adult learners and volunteer literacy staff and tutors can all benefit from learning these strategies].
Presenter: Christine Maxwell, Volunteer Tutor, Literacy Volunteers of Illinois

Why Do I Keep Coming to Literacy Classes?
This interactive session will have students from Literacy Chicago along with their tutor share information on how and why they came to the program and will provide and seek insight from those attending on what motivates adult learners to keep coming back.
Presenters: Sally Maybrook, Tutor; and Harold Barnes & George Wright, Adult Learners

Soft Skills & Success
While having the credentials, computer skills and related experience can get your foot in the door, it is the soft skills that will help you land the job you seek and excel in your career. Learn how to develop the soft skills you need to succeed such as: communication, team building, conflict resolution, and problem solving.
Presenter: Laura Knights, UIC Center for Literacy

Upper Level Math: Algebra/Geometry Tools to Learn
Formulas, angles, and equations can be confusing, but we can make teaching them a fun learning experience for students. Come and learn some tools, techniques and ideas to use in the classroom when teaching or learning upper level math.
Presenter: Adult Education & Career Transitions Team, UIC Center for Literacy

Tests Tests Tests! GED, HiSet & TASC Overview
Confused about whether to take the GED, HiSet or TASC test? This session will provide an overview of each. Learn about your options to earning a high school equivalency diploma and ask questions on: the advantages and/or disadvantages of each, the costs, preparation time, and how the materials covered differ.
Presenter: Adult Education & Career Transitions Team, UIC Center for Literacy

Refugees vs. Asylees
The majority of African asylees tend to be educated with a minimum of a high school diploma, whereas the refugees, usually resettled from refugee camps, arrive in the US with low literacy level. The natural differences between the two groups, at their arrival, sharply mark differences in the integration process. They land in different socioeconomic class and can be likened to the haves and the have-nots. Due to low literacy level and multiple migrations through the years, refugees have a hard time navigating US systems, including education and justice, unlike their counterpart asylees, even when they come from the same countries. More specifically, Refugees, unlike asylees, tend to experience more than just language barriers. They encounter socioeconomic, sociocultural and socioeducational obstacles. This presentation addresses some of these issues and offers possible solutions to bridge the gaps so that both groups are treated, with dignity, as assets.
Presenter: Jeanine Ntihirageza, PhD, TESOL Program, Northeastern Illinois University

Digital Challenger: Phonics-based E-learning for Adults
The Digital Challenger series is available in reading levels 1 through 4 and combines computer skills practice with phonics-based adult literacy instruction. The word analysis, reading comprehension, and vocabulary instruction Challenger is known for are reinforced with audio, video, interactive exercises, and games. Dr. Jean Demas has introduced and overseen the inclusion of Digital Challenger into study for a class group of ESL library patrons. We will view a video demonstration of Digital Challenger and share the interactive activities students use as well as the process for using the LMS that teachers and administrators use to oversee students' progress. Computer skills are essential for ABE and ESL students. They are your students' core workplace skills!
Presenters: Carol Larsen, Independent Sales Consultant, Representing New Readers Press & Jean Demas, Ed.D., Literacy Outreach Librarian, Lisle Library District

Autism and Literacy After Aging Out
More than a third of young adults on the autism spectrum are neither working nor in college. Young adults on the autism spectrum experience unique challenges in finding work or enrolling in appropriate educational opportunities after leaving high school due to poor literacy skills. The Answer Inc. is addressing this need with the Spectrum University Tutoring Program.

 

11:30 a.m - 12:30 p.m.                                                                                                                                            Lunchtime Discussion Optional

- Protect Yourself and Loved Ones: An Introduction to Knowing Your Rights

Fred Tsao, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

- Resources Available Through the Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center

Mary Pelich and Suzanne Schriar, Illinois State Library

- Simple Steps in Effective Lesson Planning, Becky DeForest, Literacy Works

- Volunteerism – Your Community and You !, UIC Center for Literacy

- Integrating Current Events into the ESL classroom, UIC Center for Literacy



12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.                                                                                                                                                                            Round Three
Those Crazy Vowels   
Do the sounds that vowels make confuse you? Do you know when the sound of A is like the A in apple? Or, how about the sound of A in the word baby? In this session, we'll learn about the six syllable types and how each syllable type can determine what sounds vowels make.
Presenter: Carol Morris, College of Lake County and Literacy Volunteers of Illinois, Board Member

Learning to Read Using the Bible
This course will explore the techniques involved in assisting adult students, with various reading levels, to improve their basic reading skills by expository study of the bible. The focus of the group encourages any and all adults, regardless of religious affiliation, to join together in reading and discussion of biblical text.
Presenter: Cynthia Draper, Volunteer, Literacy Chicago

Ten (Not So) "Secret Rules" of English Speech
Do you ever wonder why your ESL students don't sound right when they speak, even though they do a decent job pronouncing each word? And why they continue to have great difficulty making themselves understood by native speakers? This session will explore the "secret" rules of English speech that native speakers follow unconsciously, making English sound "natural" and clear to native speakers. By knowing these rules and imparting them to our students, we can help them make that magical leap into more natural sounding English.
Presenter: Margaret Goldstein, ESL Teacher and Tutor, Literacy Chicago

Integrating Digital Literacy
This workshop will introduce digital literacy best practices for teaching, online resources, and efforts across the city of Chicago. Participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm and present lesson plans that they could implement at their locations.

Presenter: Jackie Guzman, Jane Addams Resource Corporation

Smart Phones in the ESL Classroom
We now all hold the world in the palm of our hand. Using our smart phones, we are able to use social media, read news, and communicate in new ways. ESL learners are using smart phones in their own language, but smart phones also offer new ways of learning and communicating for students learning English. Come to learn and share how English language learners use smart phones in and out of class to support learning English.
Presenter: Adult Education & Career Transitions Team, UIC Center for Literacy

New Releases from New Readers Press, Fiscal Year 2017: WIOA; WorkWise; PreHSE; GED, HiSET, and TASC Test Prep, Bridging, & More
Help your students build and refine their life’s work plans through self-analysis and instruction in soft skills. How important are building strong vocabulary acquisition and retention skills from Life Skills Levels through Academic Vocabulary, Pre-HSE Core Skills in Science, Reading and Writing, Mathematics, and Social Studies? Come learn about materials that will help you prepare your students to walk into a GED Test Prep Classroom, a Hi-SET Test Prep Classroom, or a TASC Test Prep Classroom prepared to SUCCEED in their classes and pass the GED. Do you have students that need a BRIDGE as they study in or prior to their GED Test Prep Class? Come explore the newest of New Readers Press materials: Bridging English Language Learners to GED Test Prep.
Presenters: Carol Larsen, Independent Sales Consultant, Representing New Readers Press & Kathy Krokar

Relaxation = Optimal Learning
Learning a new language is demanding and studying can be very frustrating. In this workshop, which is geared towards ESL learners, the presenter, who is a trained yoga/meditation instructor and family literacy specialist, will provide some great tips and techniques for both children and adults for how to ease tension and relax while learning.
Presenter: Leticia Alvarez, UIC Center for Literacy