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 #12:  Using Authentic Materials

Members of the Leadership Academy have recently surveyed their colleagues to determine which research studies they may find interesting.  One of the top interests was in the Literacy Practices of Adult Learners (LPAL) Study conducted by a team of researchers led by Victoria Purcell-Gates.  The research states the following:

Adult students in classes using real-life (authentic) literacy activities and texts read and wrote more often and used a greater variety of texts in their lives outside class than students from classes that relied on textbooks and workbooks. Students from the classes that used real-life texts for real-life purposes were more likely to report that they spent more time reading and writing outside of school.

Taylor, Jackie; Smith, Cristine; and Bingman, Beth.  "Program Administrators' Sourcebook."  NCSALL, December 2005.  p.14. < >

The Sourcebook suggests the following implications of LPAL Study:

Implication: Make improvements in students’ literacy practices a goal of your program and ensure that instruction helps students reach that goal.


What the research says: Participating in classes that used real-life activities and texts was related to increases in literacy practices in students’ daily lives.


Therefore, you should …

… ensure that increasing adult students’ literacy practices is a part of your program’s mission and that instruction is organized to maximize use of texts from students’ lives.

Taylor, Jackie; Smith, Cristine; and Bingman, Beth.  "Program Administrators' Sourcebook."  NCSALL, December 2005.  p.14. < >

Gathering appropriate, authentic materials may seem a time-consuming task.  However, it is one strategy that is recommended for teaching adults.


    • Do you use authentic materials in your classroom?  If so, is it easy to implement?
    • What kind of authentic materials do you use? 

Click here to mail a response to MTLINCS.

2.  Data Diving Meeting:  Using Spreadsheets from MABLE 

Recently, thirty hardy Montana ABLE staff members from eighteen braved the ice and snow-packed roads to Lewistown to attend a spreadsheet training.  Monique Fortmann of Missoula provided some basic spreadsheet instruction and an opportunity for participants to evaluate their own MABLE data.  

Have any of you had a chance to use some of your spreasheet training?  If so, what suggestions do you have for your colleagues?  Click here to mail a response to MTLINCS. 

3.  MAACE at MEA Conference - Let's Reconnect :  Call for Presenters Deadline May 8 

Click here  for more information about the MAACE Conference.   

4.  Advocacy Webinar:  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

5.  Learning Disabilities Discussion:  Emotional, Occupational, and Self-Esteem Issues in Adults with Learning Disabilities 

Discussion Dates:  April 6, 7, and 8, 2009


Guest Speaker:  Dr. Mary S. Kelly


Dr. Mary S. Kelly is the Director of the Fisher Landau Center for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities and its Adult Literacy Program.  She is an associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  After graduating from Boston College, she worked as a special education teacher.  She then went on to earn her M.A. in Remedial Reading and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She has taught courses in reading, learning disabilities, and psychology at the graduate and undergraduate levels.  She has worked with adults with learning disabilities at the Fisher Landau Center since 1994 and has directed the program since 2002.

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6.  ESL:  BEST+ Trainer for Montana

Montana ABLE now has its own BEST+ trainer, Yvonne Hauwiller.  Congrats Yvonne!  Need training?  Contact Margaret Bowles at


7.  ESL:  Department of Homeland Security Releases ESL, Citizenship, Civics Guide

The Department of Homeland Security has just posted a new start-up guide Expanding ESL, Citizenship and Civics Education in Your Community, prepared in partnership with OVAE, that is available for download. The document offers a blueprint for assessing community needs, identifying resources, marketing services, and evaluating performance. The publication features online templates that local programs can adapt for their use, such as a volunteer position description and agreement form as well as student-related forms.

8.  Post-Secondary Readiness:  Challenges in Assessing for Post-Secondary Readiness

Click here ( to access the Policy Brief by Daryl F. Mellard and Gretchen Anderson, Division of Adult Studies, Center for Research on Learning, University of Kansas.   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.


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