Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


1.  Research #14: Working with English Language Learners

Montana just celebrated its first annual Montana Adult Education ESL Conference.  One might think that Montana ABLE/ESL Professionals actually work for the United States Postal Service since they drive through rain and sleet and hail and snow to attend professional conferences.  Not so!  Twenty-five dedicated professionals, those who could make it across the state following another Montana spring blizzard, participated in the OPI -sponsored conference in Helena on April 30 and May 1..

Sarah Young and Amber Rodriguez of the CAELA (Center for Adult English Language Acquisition) at CAL (Center for Applied Linguistics) network along with Montana professionals Terrence Kelley, Ellen Guettler, and Katya Mandino Irish provided excellent presentations for participants.  Stay tuned for future postings at and for next year's conference.


According to Mary Ann Cunningham Florez and Miriam Burt  in "Beginning to Work with Adult English Language Learners:  Some Consideration," there are four areas teachers may need to consider:

... recommendations in four areas:  application of principles of adult earning in ESL contexts, second language acquisition, culture and working with multicultural groups, and instructional approaches that support language development in adults.  It's not intended to be comprehensive ... it gives teachers an overview of important points ...

Cunningham Florez, Mary Ann, Burt, Miriam; "Beginning to Work with Adult English Language Learners:  Some Considerations." ERIC Q & A


    • How do you think principles of adult learning apply to English language learners?

Click here to mail a response to MTLINCS. 

2.  Leadership Academy:  Recognizing Program Red Flags

At the April meeting for the Montana Leadership Academy participants, Lennox McLendon of the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium (NAEPDC) provided a relevant resource of Red Flag Indicators for programs.  Click here  ( and go to pages 23-39 to access the Red Flag chart.  


The deadline for applying to present at the MAACE-MEA-MFT conference in October is due May 8 The conference is in Billings and promises to be very exciting.  If you are planning to attend the conference, you may sign up to present at Thanks for not only considering presenting, but for also following through and sharing with the rest of us your favorite activities, lessons, or just the cool stuff you have discovered in your classroom.  

4.  National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Report:  Basic Reading Skills and the Literacy of America’s Least Literate Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)

On May 6, at 10:00am, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) will release a new report, Basic Reading Skills and the Literacy of America’s Least Literate Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL).  This report details two distinct components of the NAAL— the Adult Literacy Supplemental Assessment (ALSA) and the Fluency Addition to NAAL (FAN).  

The report shows a significant literacy gap between those considered nonliterate in English and those with basic literacy skills.

The supplemental assessment – given to those who could not take the main assessment (i.e., those considered to be nonliterate in English) – asked adults to perform simple tasks such as identifying and reading letters or words, to find out what adults with the lowest literacy skills can do.  Common products, such as a box of cold medicine, were used in the ALSA.

The FAN – an oral reading assessment given to all participants – measured the ability of individuals to read printed text accurately and quickly by using laptop computers and an automated speech recognition system.  Speed and accuracy were assessed and used to reflect basic reading skills, such as decoding and word reading. 

To access the report, please go to the NAAL web site at:

NCES is the statistical center of the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education. 

Jaleh Behroozi Soroui

5.  Professional Development for Math Teachers

Professional development for math teachers seems to have more of an impact on learning than either new textbooks or technology, according to a research review by the Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University's School of Education. The review examined 87 previously released studies evaluating efforts to improve math programs in elementary schools. The programs focused on either textbook changes, computer-assisted instruction, or professional development in specific teaching methods, such as cooperative learning. Researchers found that the approaches aimed at changing teachers' daily instructional practices were the most effective in boosting students' scores. 

For more information:

David J. Rosen


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