Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


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1.  Distance Learning Research #6:  Language/Literacy Level Summary

Threshold Levels of Language or Literacy

Most Montana ABLE providers are finding that it is easier to deliver online services to students with fairly solid reading and math skills.  As Dr. Lennox McLendon would say, “That is a BFO – Blinding Flash of the Obvious.”  However, the research has noted that those at a literacy level are very interested in online learning.

Determining threshold levels of language or literacy associated with successful learning or demonstrating casual achievement gain solely to a technology a technology intervention cannot be done at this time.  Instead, the field is amassing reports, evaluations, and evidence of the catalytic nature of technology-enhanced learning for even the lowest skilled learners.  The motivational draw of learning with and about new technology application energizes learners’ literacy, numeracy, language, and self-development.  It is no longer a question of whether enhancing literacy and language learning with technology is appropriate for low-skilled learners, but rather how.

Silver-Pecuilla, Heidi and Reder, Stephen, "Investigating the Language and Literacy Skills Required for Independent Online Learning."  NIFL, October 2009, p.27-28.


For those of you providing Distance Learning opportunities for students, are you making any modifications for literacy students so that they may also participate in online learning?  If so, what are you doing?   

Any thoughts? 

·       Email:  Click here to email MTLINCS.  OR

·       Blog:  Click here to post on the DL Blog.

2.  PEP Talk Reminder

A reminder from OPI ABLE Director, Margaret Bowles:

Don’t forget to take a look at the staff modules on PEP Talk.  A link has been posted on MTLINCS to PEP Talk on the MTLINCS OPI ABLE page under Workshops at .


3.  Montana ESOL Conference Update

    If you haven’t already visited the ESOL Conference 2009 Discussion page ( ), please visit soon and see what your colleagues have been up to since the conference. There are already several reflections posted. Jacqueline Teasdale (Missoula) gives us a short and practical lesson plan outline for use in a multilevel class. Her reflection on a recent lesson she taught provides us with some specific ideas to use when working with students at different levels. Kate McDonnell (Helena) shares her experiences with a new interactive software program “Issues in English 2.” She reviews the usability and applicability of the software for adult ESOL, and explains how it engages multiple intelligences, specifically Linguistic, Kinesthetic, and Intrapersonal. Ellen Guettler (Bozeman) describes the results of the needs assessment that she conducted with 9 Intermediate  learners using two available tools related to literacy skills and situational English. Read her reflection to find out how she is using these results to impact classroom instruction! If you’re interested in the newest version of the Rosetta Stone software program, Bobbi Kandarian and Shirley Burns (Flathead Valley) review its strengths and weaknesses, while assuring us that it does engage adult ESL students’ multiple intelligences. Katherine Howe (Livingston) describes her work with a 25 year-old Mexican student and how she used TESOL’s “Standards for ESL/EFL Teachers of Adults” to reflect on her effectiveness as an ESL teacher in the domains of Assessing (“Teachers recognize the importance of and are able to gather and interpret information about learning and performance to promote the continuous intellectual and linguistic development of each learner”), Identity and Context (“Teachers understand the importance of who learners are and how their communities, heritages and goals shape learning and expectations of learning”), and Content (“Teachers understand that language learning is most likely to occur when learners are trying to use the language for genuine communicative purposes”).

    Many thanks to Jacqueline, Kate, Ellen, Bobbi, Shirley, and Katherine for submitting their post-conference assignments and for sharing so many helpful tips with us! Please make sure to submit your contributions as well to Sarah Young ( for posting on the conference discussions page.

    Thanks!  Sarah Young


4.  Teaching Adults Numeracy

Register now for Foundations of Teaching Adult Numeracy, a new, online, professional development course from The course dates are January 18-February 26, 2010. The instructor is Barbara Goodridge, Lowell Adult Education Center, Lowell, MA.

Course Description:

What is numeracy? Is numeracy just another word for math? How should you approach numeracy with adult students? In this foundational course you'll learn how to keep students at the center of numeracy instruction. You'll explore the context, content, and cognitive and affective components of numeracy, how to address the needs of students with learning gaps, how students' styles of learning math and levels of math knowledge affect their math skills, and ways to build student's success in learning math. You'll plan classroom activities, test them with your students, and share your experiences with fellow teachers.


Course Preview: Watch the slide show at .


Estimated Completion Time: approx. 2-3 hours per week; 12 hours total


Course Topics

·       Components of Numeracy

·       Reasons for Students' Learning Gaps

·       Math Anxiety

·       Learning Disabilities and Language Issues

·       Cultural and Language Barriers

·       Mathematical Problems in Context

·       Math Learning Styles

·       Constructivism

·       Levels of Knowing Math

·       Open and Closed Problems

·       Analyzing and Assessing Students' Mathematical Thinking

·       Using Facilitation Questions in the Classroom

This course is the first in a six-part series of online courses focused on effective adult numeracy instruction.  


For more information and to register: and scroll down to Numeracy


Questions? Please call 888.528.2224 ext. 283 or e-mail


5.  Research-based Strategies and Models for Adult Transitions to Postsecondary Education Class

The online course “Research-based Strategies and Models for Adult Transitions to Postsecondary Education” is now open for registration. Course dates are January 14 to March 10, 2010.  Estimated completion time is 24 hours for the 8-week course.


In Research-based Strategies and Models for Adult Transitions to Postsecondary Education, you will read and discuss the research on the changing workforce and examine the reasons why adult learners need to go beyond the GED and English language study to advance their earning potential. You will also learn about the challenges facing adult students in postsecondary education and investigate strategies and program models that support adult transitions to postsecondary education. Throughout the course, you will gather local and regional data on the labor market, educational needs, and academic programs and support services offered by area colleges to guide future program development and planning.


For more information about the course, or to register, go to . The instructor is Barbara Hofmeyer. The course was developed and written by Sandy Goodman, Director of the New England College Transition Project of the National College Transition Network, a project of World Education's New England Literacy Resource Center.


To ensure a seat, register early. Registrations will be accepted on a first come basis.


If you have any questions about registering for these courses please contact Leah Peterson at

6.  Where in the World

Have you checked out MTLINCS Where in the World lately Click here ( to find out WHO MTLINCS has captured now?  You can definitely COUNT on these two folks!

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