Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS
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1.  BUDGET INFORMATION about Montana ABLE!!!

 Click below to find the most up-to-date budget information.

2.  Critical Services Survey:  What do you value about the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) services?

Dear Colleagues,

The following survey sponsored by the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) pertains to what you value about the National Institute for Literacy’s services. Please see below for a way you can have a voice in what you value about professional development and research services offered by the Institute.

Jackie Taylor

Dear Colleagues,

If the house is on fire, what will you save? 

The 2010 Budget proposes to eliminate the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL). Whether or not that will happen will depend on Congressional action. In the meantime, we must identify those services that are important to us so we can direct our efforts at preserving them, regardless of whether the Institute continues to exist, and where these services might later be housed.

While all the services at the Institute have had value to the field, if only some could be saved, which ones would you choose?

NCL’s NIFL Services Survey:

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. Share your thoughts about the work that the Institute has done, how important it has been to you and your program, and how you would prioritize similar activities in the future.

Please complete the survey by Wednesday, May 27. We will publish the results on Friday May 29, 2009.

If you would like to revisit some of these services, go to: and click on “Adulthood” and “LINCS.”

Thank you,

Sherrie Claiborne, President, National Coalition for Literacy

3.  Research #15: Promoting Success of Multilevel ESL Classes

Since participants of the Montana ESL conference are still digesting what they have learned, the month of May will finish out with one more research item regarding multilevel classrooms.

Multilevel esl classess can provide many challenges, but they may also provide several opportunities.  In the CAELA Brief "Promoting Success of Multilievel ESL Classes:  What Teachers and Adminstrators Can Do", Julie Mathews-Aydinili and Tegina Van Horne state the following:


Multilevel classes can provide opportunities for learners. Those with limited proficiency have an opportunity to interact with more proficient English speakers, and advanced learners benefit by using their English skills to help lower level students negotiate meaning. Students in multilevel classes can learn to work together across differences and develop learning communities in which members learn from one another’s strengths (Corley, 2005; Hofer & Larson, 1997; Jacobson, 2000; Wright, 1999) ...

... If the instructor plans activities that meet only the needs of learners whose skills fall in the middle, those learners with lower skills may become frustrated, and those with more advanced skills may become bored (Boyd & Boyd, 1989; Wrigley & Guth, 1992). Multilevel lesson planning must include strategies for organizing group, pair, and individual work ...

Mathews-Aydinili, Julie and Van Horne, Tegina, "Beginning to Work with Adult English Language Learners:  Some Consideration."  CAELA Brief, April 2006, <  >


  • What challenges and opportunities do you have in teaching multilevel esl classess?

Click here to mail a response to MTLINCS. 

4.  ESL and iPods

Click here   ( ) to check out e-School News posting about the use of i-Pods with esl students. 

iPods help ESL students achieve success
Students are learning English through songs, audio books, and more
Since participants

5.  MAACE Postings

MAACE Board minutes - click here

MEA-MFT Scholarship Application

MAACE is offering four $125 scholarships to applicants looking to attend the MEA/MFT/MAACE Co-conference in Billings this October!  Click here ( ) for the application.

6.  Assessment Discussion:  Basic Reading Skills and the Literacy of the America's Least Literate Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) Supplemental Studies 

To subscribe to this discussion, go to: . 


The 2003 NAAL assessed the English literacy skills of a nationally representative sample of 18,500 U.S. adults (age 16 and older) residing in private households. NAAL is the first national assessment of adult literacy since the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS). The NAALproject comprised three assessment components: the main literacy assessment, the Fluency Addition to NAAL (FAN), and the Adult Literacy Supplemental Assessment (ALSA). Results from the main literacy assessment are reported as averages and as the percentage of adults in each of four literacy levels: Below Basic, Basic, Intermediate, and Proficient. This report focuses on results from the FAN and the ALSA.

The Adult Literacy Supplemental Assessment (ALSA) was administered to adults unable to successfully answer a screening set of 7 easy questions. Instead of completing the main literacy assessment, these adults completed the ALSA, which gathered information about their letter reading, word reading, word identification, and basic comprehension skills.

The Fluency Addition to NAAL (FAN) measured the accuracy as well as the fluency with which adults decode, and read words and passages. The FAN was administered to all adults who participated in the NAAL project following the completion of the main literacy assessment or the supplemental assessment.

The full report is available as a PDF file at:

7.  Archive of House Hearing - one more time

On May 5th, the House Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness held a hearing on the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title II, as a part of their work in reauthorizing WIA. The hearing’s purpose was to examine best practices for improving adult education and family literacy. Thanks to Lennox McLendon and Vonda Burns with the NAEPDC, here are some resources out on that:

  1. The URL to the Committee webcast, print testimony and You Tube clips:

  1. Q and A: The attached document (thanks, Vonda!) indicates where to find questions from the Subcommittee Members and witnesses answers in the archived webcast.  (When playing the webcast, go to full screen and you will see a counter to indicate how many minutes have passed. You can slide the bar to the time indicated on Vonda's document to find specific witnesses or Member's questions.)
  1. Gretchen Wilson’s website:  Thanks to Jennifer Maloney, NCL Director, for Gretchen Wilson's site where you can read her testimony and news about taking nearly 10,000 student letters to Tennessee Members of Congress:

8.  NPR - All Things Considered:  Economy Spurs Demand For Literacy Programs

Since the recession began in December 2007, more than 5 million jobs have been lost.  

Callers are inundating literacy agencies because they realize they can't compete in this difficult job market without a GED. At the same time, many of those callers are forced to recognize and admit their inability to read simple documents, including a job application.

Click here  ( ) to listen to the NPR story!

9.  College Success:  "Getting Back on Track: Effects of a Community College Program for Probationary Students"

In this study, Chaffey College, a large community college in Southern California, ran two versions of a program that was designed to improve outcomes among students who are on probation. Both versions offered students a "College Success" course, taught by a college counselor, that helped probationary students understand college rules and regulations and develop better study skills. As part of the course, students were expected to visit the college's "Success Centers," where individualized or group instruction in math, reading, and writing was available. One of the interventions resulted in an increase in both the number of credits that students earned and their grade point averages, as well as the proportion of students moving off of probation.  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).  


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