Montana LINCS Update
Greetings from Montana LINCS


Go to the Email Archives in the upper left-hand corner on the home page at


1.  MTLINCS Research Item #11:  Multitasking -- It's more than just walking and chewing gum at the same time.

In the March issue of NEA Today, Charles J. Abaté addresses the three myths of multitasking: 

  • Myth One:  Multitasking Saves Time
  • Myth Two:  Multitasked Learning is as Good as Single-Task Learning
  • Myth Three:  Multitasking, Forte of the Young.
He cites some interesting research and makes some interesting observations about multi-tasking and conceptual learning.

Most of us are quite capable of riding an exercise bike and listening to music at the same time. What is far less obvious is our ability to engage in conceptual learning-the type of learning we expect to foster in the classroom-along with other simultaneous activities, such as watching television or text messaging ... In fact, recent experiments provide strong evidence that multitasking is counterproductive, particularly when at least one of the tasks involves higher-level conceptual learning ... What now passes for multitasking was once called "not paying attention."

Abaté, Charles J. "You Say Multitasking Like It's a Good Thing."  NEA Today, March/April 2009  <>

Workshop after workshop discusses the necessity of teaching our students to synthesize information when they read.  During Montana's Reading is the Bridge workshop, Dr. John Kruidenier stated from his text, Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction (2002), that "adult learners may be able to perform daily comprehension tasks, such as locating a piece of information in a simple text, but be unable to integrate or synthesize information from longer or more complicated texts."  The GED has synthesis questions on it. 


    • What is your definition of multi-tasking? 
    • Do you believe that multi-tasking interferes with your students' learning? 

Click here to mail a response to MTLINCS.

2.  Responses Posted to Math Question:  Are fractions outdated?

Two of your Montana colleagues have suggested some ideas for instruction in fractions.  Click here to check their responses and recommended websites.  If you have any more ideas, please click here to email a response.  All ideas will be posted.  

3.  Student Highlights

Check out the newest student success story from Literacy Bitterroot.  Don't forget to share your student success stories with MTLINCS.  Click here for Student Highlights. ( )


Check out the MAACE website for postings about the fall conference, scholarships, board nominations, awards, organization memberships, etc.  Click here to access the website. 

5.  NIFL and American Library Association Webcast:  April 7

Literacy for All:  Advocacy, Libraries, and Literacy

Live Webcast Summit




Literacy for All: Advocacy, Libraries, and Literacy

Sponsored by the National Institute for Literacy in partnership with the American Library Association’s (ALA) Committee on Literacy



Tues., April 7, 2009

1- 2:30 P.M. (EDT)



Daniel J. Miller, Acting Director, National Institute for Literacy:  Welcome/ About the Institute

Jim Rettig, ALA President: The Ecology of Libraries

Camila Alire, ALA President-Elect:  Libraries, The Heart of All Communities

Public Library Directors

School Library Leaders

Academic Library Advocates



q  The role of libraries in literacy

q  Innovative library partnerships

q  Library literacy tools and resources

q  The call to action


Webcast Registration is Free

Check the National Institute for Literacy’s Web site for updates and information

6.  Jobs - Special Discussions Topic List:  Green Jobs and Adult Basic Skills

The National Institute for Literacy's Special Topics Discussion List will address Green Jobs and Adult Basic Skills from April 6 – 10. To subscribe (and later, if you wish, to unsubscribe) go to 


Adult literacy education practitioners, adult learners and those concerned about the environment will find this topic of interest. This discussion will help adult literacy practitioners to understand what new employment opportunities may exist for their students, and how to help students prepare for these “green” jobs. What exactly are “green” jobs? How many of them are there nationwide? Why are these jobs important to adult learners? What are the qualifications for these jobs? What role can adult literacy education programs play in helping students to prepare for “green” jobs? These and other questions about environmentally friendly work and adult literacy education will be addressed by our guests and by discussion participants. We hope you will join us.

7.  Jobs - Articles on Employment:  "The Future of Middle-Skill Jobs" and "Encouraging Job Advancement Among Low-Wage Workers:  A New Approach"

"The Future of Middle-Skill Jobs"
We analyze the likely trends in supply and demand for workers with different levels of education and training over the next decade and
beyond. We present data on the current distributions of jobs and wages, and how these distributions have evolved in the recent past; we also review projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on future demand by occupation. We compare these demand-side projections with forecasts of the supply of workers with varying levels of education and training. Overall, we conclude that the demand for middle-skill workers will remain quite robust relative to its supply, especially in key sectors of the economy. A range of policies could help low-income workers obtain more education and training for these middle-skill jobs, thereby raising their earnings and their family's living standards.

"Encouraging Job Advancement Among Low-Wage Workers: A New Approach"
The problem of low wages for unskilled workers extends well beyond the current or former welfare population. The real wages of
less-educated males have either stagnated or declined (depending on how we adjust for inflation) over the past 30 years, and the earnings of less-educated men and women have fallen well behind their more educated counterparts. The gains associated with education and training programs for disadvantaged workers have generally been quite modest-at least partly because the investments in such training per person are modest as well. This policy brief presents new evidence on the determinants of earnings advances for low earners. The results are based on a new source of longitudinal data for very large populations of workers and their employers. This brief also considers what these results imply for a refined job advancement strategy for welfare recipients and other low learners.

8.  ESL - Citizenship Website by ProLiteracy and Verizon - Free Resource

ProLiteracy and the Verizon Foundation have just put together a terrific set of FREE resources for citizenship teachers and tutors:

The collection includes

  • 3 self-paced on-line professional development courses:
  • Citizenship: The Interview
  • Citizenship: The Civics Test
  • Citizenship: The Literacy Test

(These courses are easy to navigate--you can go forward or back among the screens, skip around, and start/stop/resume anytime you like. The courses include audio and visual presentations, interactive review sections, a course summary exam, and printable certificate of completion.)

  • a pair of podcasts (recorded by yours truly!)
  • Citizenship: Engaging Multiple Modalities in the Citizenship Classroom
  • Citizenship: Teaching Conversation Strategies in the Citizenship Classroom

(with short PDF handouts to accompany each podcast)

  • 4 short fact sheets:
  • Citizenship: Starting a Citizenship Class
  • Citizenship: Becoming a U.S. Citizen Checklist
  • Citizenship: Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen
  • Citizenship: Things to Consider Before You Apply
  • reproducible lesson activities
  • coming soon: interactive on-line activities (for students) with skills practice for the citizenship test

You can find everything at:

Navigation note: For each resource, click on the word "go" in green text--this will lead you to a description of the resource. At the bottom of the description, look for "Resource: Link" (in green). Clicking on this link will take you to the material you have chosen.

Lynne Weintraub
Amherst MA

9.  ESL - CAELA Resource:  Supporting and Supervising Teachers Working with Adults Learning English 

A new brief is available to be downloaded from the CAELA Network Web site at the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)  at .  Written by Sarah Young of CAL (and the CAELA Network, a project of CAL), the brief is titled Supporting and Supervising Teachers Working with Adults Learning English.  

10.  ESL - ESL Curriculum Resource:  Building Basics - Curriculum for the Construction Trades - "ESOL Toolkit for General Construction, Landscaping, Painting, and Plumbing"

Every day more and more non-native speakers of English enter the construction trades in the United States. They are employed by contracting companies to work as general laborers, landscapers, painters and plumbers. Many of them are hired at the entry level but, unfortunately, most of them remain there due to their lack of communication skills in English, especially in the area of construction and landscaping. Although general English can be acquired in the adult ESOL classes offered at local programs, most classes do not offer lessons that directly incorporate the vocabulary and knowledge base specific to jobs related to the contracting business. The curriculum Building Basics: ESOL Toolkit for General Construction, Landscaping, Painting and Plumbing was created by the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center to address this urgent need. The project was funded by the English Literacy/Civics Education Program administered locally by the Office of Adult Education and Literacy of the Virginia Department of

The curriculum has been divided into multiple chapters (lessons)  and further, into Facilitator's Guide and Student Handouts.  In order to print them (or view them), a broadband connection, however, is recommended.  If someone does not have broadband with their computer, then I would recommend going to a local library or university where the chapters can be printed off for a small fee or you can take your own paper. There are two lessons ( 1 and 2 of the Painting Module) that are more difficult for downloading than the others because of all the color handouts.  You should use a color printer for these.

The web site is:

Nancy R. Faux
ESOL Specialist
Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center

11.  Where in the World Are You?

Click here ( to find out WHO MTLINCS has captured now?  This leader has learned the value of balance!

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