Montana LINCS Update
Greetings from Montana LINCS


1.  MTLINCS Research Item #8:  Multiple Intelligences

Participants of the Leadership Academy discussed several research items the last time they met.  They will soon be surveying your interests in research studies.  Here's just a snippet from one such research study:    

"It's not how smart you are, but how you are smart."

Dr. Howard Gardner

The February 2001 Adult Multiple Intelligences Study sponsored by NCSALL was the first systematic application of multiple intelligences (MT) theory to adult literacy education.  The Adult Multiple Intelligences Study says:

Students whose instructors utilized the Multiple Intelligences theory took more control over their learning, were more engaged in classroom activities that used authentic materials, and, in some cases, attended class more regularly.

MI reflection enhanced students' perceptions of their abilities.

Program Administrators' Sourcebook, A Resource on NCSALL's Research for Adult Education Program Administrators, NCSALL, December 2005, p.21.

Multiple Intelligences and Adult Literacy,


    • Do you consider the variety of ways students learn when you are working with them?  If so, what ideas do you have that you can share with other Montana ABLE instructors?
    • Put the MI in context to Distance Learning.  Do you think Distance Learning will bring a different dimension to your students' learning?  Do you think they will feel more in control of their learning? 

      Click here to mail a response to MTLINCS.

2.  Learning Preferences in Orientation 

Check out what Renee Bentham, Missoula ABLE Director, and her staff have put together for Missoula's new student orientation.  Great ideas!  MTLINCS has posted Renee's presentation in two different formats.  Thanks for sharing, Renee!

Making Learning Work for You

Goal Setting (Student Handout)

Learning Styles and Ways to Support Them (Student Handout)

3.  Responses and Questions to MTLINCS Research Item #7:  Distance Learning and Literacy

More of your Montana colleagues have responded to the following question:  Should you consider reading level of the online learner? 

Click here to check out their responses and questions about the Distance Learning Project.  Click here to send a response to MTLINCS to help out your friends!

4Summary from January ABLE Directors' Meeting

How exciting for ABLE to have access to a summary from the Montana ABLE Directors' Meeting!  Check out goals for 2009 and the results from the new funding formula devised by a cadre of ABLE Directors!  Excellent work! 

5.  Montana Distance Learning Protocol Guide

Click below to access the Montana Distance Learning Protocol Guide.

6.  GED Math CD

Coming soon to an ABLE program near you!  Stay tuned for more information on MTLINCS!

7.  Discussion about Strategies for Addressing Transitions in Adult Basic Education

Click here to register for the Assessment Discussion List, or click here to read all of the postings.

Guest Panel Discussion on the Assessment Discussion List begins February 2 though 6, 2009. 

Strategies for Addressing Transitions in Adult Basic Education

Guest Participants:

  • Forrest Chisman, Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (CAAL), NY
  • Tom Mechem, GED State Chief Examiner, Commonwealth of MA

  • Wendy Quinones, Community Learning Center, Cambridge, MA

  • Cynthia Zafft, National College Transition Network, Boston, MA


Transitioning adult students through the stages of their educational experience is a challenging process.  In today’s society in particular, successful transition from adult literacy classes to community college and beyond, and on to the workforce, can mean the difference between achieving one’s potential and struggling to get by.  Needless to say, for service providers, it’s clear that we must focus attention on the process of successful transition from one education program to another. 

This discussion focuses on several different efforts to address the thorny issues of transitions – ABE and ESOL students to GED, GED to post-secondary and/or job training.  While we will concentrate on assessment-related issues such as measuring application and transfer of skills, we welcome discussing issues in general that affect, or are affected by, transitions. 

Collaboration among service providers is one such area that greatly affects the success or not of a transitions process.  In his research on transitions, Forrest Chisman discovered how one community college worked toward better understanding and collaboration among ESL and ABE/ASE faculty; see the case study on Yakima Valley Community College listed below.

As a college placement test, the ACCUPLACER has its plusses and minuses.  Massachusetts Chief GED Examiner Tom Mechem has pinpointed that the correlations between the GED and the ACCUPLACER math scores are dubious at best, and that the tests’ purposes seem to be at odds.  To address this issue, Tom is developing a curriculum that can be used with both the GED and the ACCUPLACER.  See his story below.

The National College Transition Network (NCTN) brings together the various efforts of educators, professional development providers, policy makers, and researchers concerned with effective college transitions to postsecondary education for GED, ASE, and ESOL graduates and other non-traditional learners (from the website, URL below).  Cynthia Zafft’s work with NCTN led her to identify five models of college transition programs, which are outlined in the NCSALL Occasional Paper Transitioning adults to college: Adult Basic Education program models (URL below).  Cynthia will discuss these program models with us.   

Wendy Quinones will give us an overview of the transitions program she is involved in at the Community Learning Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  She has noted the often striking differences between ESOL and ABE students in terms of their strengths and weaknesses, and suggests some resources that have helped her navigate these turbulent waters, such as the Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles website (URL below).  In addition, Wendy notes the following observations from John Strucker’s work on patterns of reading (from What Silent Reading Tests Alone Can't Tell You: Two Case Studies in Adult Reading Differences; URL below):  

Native speakers tended to have relatively stronger "meaning-based skills" as compared to "print-based skills," while non-native speakers exhibited the opposite pattern. Chall (1991) reported similar findings.

Many second-language speakers in ABE classes had surprisingly low levels of oral vocabulary in English (GE 2 to GE 4), despite their fluent levels of conversational English. Similarly low levels of oral vocabulary occurred among some inner-city young adults who were native speakers.

Recommended preparations for this discussion:

Torchlights in ESL:  Five Community College Profiles

See Yakima Valley Community College for description of how the ESL and ABE/ASE faculty collaborate 



GED and ACCUPLACER by Tom Mechem


 National College Transition Network

Zafft, C., Kallenbach, S., & Spohn, J. (2006). 

Transitioning adults to college: Adult Basic Education program models. 

Occasional Paper.  Cambridge, MA: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy.


Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles (ASRP)  

Strucker, John. (May 1997).

What Silent Reading Tests Alone Can't Tell You: Two Case Studies in Adult Reading Differences.

Focus on Basics, Volume 2, Issue A.  Cambridge, MA: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy.

Resources of interest:

Challenges in Assessing for Post-Secondary Readiness
Policy Brief
by Daryl F. Mellard and Gretchen Anderson
Division of Adult Studies, Center for Research on Learning, University of
December 4, 2007
This Policy Brief examines the major assessments in use today to measure adult learning gains and determine student placements - e.g., BEST, CASAS, TABE, COMPASS, ASSET, and ACCUPLACER - in terms of their uses and how they well they align with postsecondary education entry requirements. Special attention is given to the GED. The authors identify several problems and challenges as well as recommendations to resolve them.

Transitions: Linkages between Adult Education and Community Colleges
Multiple resources from CAAL (Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy)

Transitions to Post-Secondary Education
Multiple resources from NCSALL (National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy).

8.  ESL Software

Interesting discussion on Adult English Language Learners Discussion List regarding esl software.  Click here to read through all of the postings,

Here are some sample sites.

9 MPAEA Conference

The Tuscany has extended the deadline to book hotel rooms at the special conference rate from January 30 to February 20. Many airlines announced sales in January, good for travel through March. The Conference is still a great deal at $395 (full conference) and $60 for pre-conference sessions.  Go to for more infomation.

P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MTLINCS homepage at   .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!

Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101