Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


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1.  Montana ABLE Grant Application


Click here  to access information about the Montana ABLE Grant Application.  Due May 18!


2.  Montana College Now Conference


Click here to access information about the College Now Best Practices for Serving Underprepared Students on June 6 and 7 in Billings.


National Information


3.  Adult Literacy Instruction:  Free Webcast on May 30


 Taken from LINCS Diversity Discussion List


******SAVE THE DATE ******


Free WEBCAST of a Public Discussion Meeting Focused on the National Research Council report Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Options for Practice and Research

May 30, 2012

9:00 a.m. to Noon, ET


This public event is an opportunity to discuss the newly released NRC consensus report Improving Adult Literacy: Options for Practice and Research. Members of the committee that wrote the report will present the report’s key findings and messages, and invited experts will examine opportunities for acting on the report recommendations and related challenges. Invited speakers and audience members will include policymakers, business leaders, administrators of adult literacy programs offered in adult education programs and community colleges, public and private funders of research and development for literacy, and developers of curricula and education technologies. The discussion is designed to establish some common understandings about the report and to consider how the report may be used to shape and support activities at federal, state and local levels for improving adult literacy instruction.

Information about signing on to the webcast will be available on the NRC website This webcast will be free and open to the public.



A high level of literacy in both print and digital media is required for negotiating most aspects of 21stcentury life ‐‐ succeeding in a competitive job market, supporting a family, navigating health information, and participating in civic activities. But according to a recent survey, more than 90 million adults in the United States lack the literacy skills needed to have fully productive and secure lives.

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction recommends a program of research and innovation to gain a better understanding of adult literacy learners, improve instruction, and create the supports adults need for learning and achievement. Focusing on individuals ages 16 and older who are not in K12 education, the report identifies factors that affect literacy development in adolescence and adulthood and examines their implications for strengthening literacy instruction for this population. It also discusses technologies that show promise for supporting adult literacy learners.

The report is a valuable resource for curriculum developers, federal agencies, literacy program administrators, educators, and funding agencies.


4.  ESL:  Interactive Websites


 Taken from LINCS ELA Discussion List


Interactive Online Activities for ESL and ABE / GED ESL Activities


Looking for more ESL interactive websites?  Check out recommendations from ELA below.


●    USA Learns -  -1st Course for beginners now approved (SP0-3)

●    English For All  - - Great for workforce and life skills as well as general English – SP2-5

●    California Distance Learning Project -  - Lots of reading and vocabulary, also good for lower level ABE (SP4-7) With Spanish Support

●    Puma Rosa – Student favorite, multi-level including civics instruction - Great for computer novices.

●    Saber Inglés – Good grammar explanations and  activities

●    Curso Inglés – Lots of activities and instruction, but may be hard to navigate for inexperienced users.

●    e-Aprender Inglés -  – Very similar to Curso Inglés.  Lots of activities that may be overwhelming for beginners

●    Hello World – Designed for kids, but has great activities.  Includes other language groups as well.  However, to access all the activities, you have to have subscription, and they require you’re you email them details before they give you the subscription cost.

●    GCF ® for Everyday Life - - Everyday Living takes a while to load, but it is very interactive - For ABE or ESL with teacher support - Involves an easy signup.

●    Livemocha -  - Free and paid options for learning a variety of languages with first language support and social networking with native speakers No Spanish Support

●    Breaking News English - - One of my favorites because you can either print out the lessons for use in the classroom or have students work independently online - Hundreds upon hundreds of lessons taken from headlines.  Audio is British English, though.

●    Many Things - - Fairly easy to use.  Some activities are designed for pair work, so it’s great for classrooms with limited computer access.

●    Real English - - Good videos, with and without subtitles.  Activities and exercises. Recording with a microphone.  I suggest starting with the lessons page (/new-lessons.asp).  All levels.

●    Activities for ESL Students -  - Lots of activities but mainly grammar and vocabulary.  I like the bilingual quizzes with a wide range of languages included.

●    Starfall - - Designed for children, but great for emerging readers of all ages.  This is phonics based, however, so students should have some level of vocabulary before starting.

●    ESL Gold -  - Lots of activities broken down first by skill and then by level.  The biggest drawback is navigation for literacy and low beginning students.  There are many pages with multi-language support, but not all.

●    Literacy Works - - lots of reading and/or video for comprehension practice - Best for low intermediate and up.

●    Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab - - Lots and lots of listening comprehension opportunities divided by levels and different topics.

●    Botspot  - - Practice


5.  Learning Disabilities:  Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Environmental Toxins


 Taken from LINCS Learning Disabilities Discussion List


More and more research is drawing a link between neurodevelopmental disabilities and environmental toxins found in everyday products. Now a recent editorial published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives listed 10 widespread chemicals that are to blame.


While more science needs to be done to learn more about the complex relationship between these environmental factors and genetics, it’s clear that genetics alone aren’t enough to explain the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other learning disabilities. According to the editorial, “Autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mental retardation, dyslexia, and other biologically based disorders of brain development affect between 400,000 and 600,000 of the 4 million children born in the United States each year.”


1. Lead

2. Methylmercury

3. PCBs

4. Organophosphate pesticides

5. Organochlorine pesticides

6. Endocrine disruptors \

7. Automotive exhaust

8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

9. Brominated flame retardants

10. Perfluorinated compounds


While these are certainly not the only harmful chemicals encountered in our daily activities, they top the list as the most prevalent...




Rochelle Kenyon, Moderator


6.  Professional Development:  Discussion on Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education


 Taken from various LINCS Discussion List


Dear Workforce Competitiveness List Colleagues:


I am pleased to announce that the Professional Development List is hosting a two-part discussion of Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education, May 9-18, 2012. Mariann Fedele-McLeod, Principal Researcher with the American Institutes for Research, will be joining us as a guest. You will have the opportunity to shape national teacher competencies by providing your input in this discussion.


Subscribe to the Adult Literacy Professional Development Discussion List:


Based on the belief that every student deserves high quality, effective teaching, what do we mean by teacher effectiveness in adult education? How do we define “effective” teaching of adults? What knowledge and skills do instructors need in order to improve student learning? Join the Professional Development List to explore what we mean by TE in adult education and inform the creation of national teacher competencies in our field.



Part I: What makes effective teaching in adult education?

May 9-11, 2012

Facilitator: Jackie Taylor, Professional Development List Moderator, LINCS


Part II: Introduction to the Promoting Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education Project and Field Input on Draft Adult Education Instructor Model Competencies

May 14-18, 2012

Guest Facilitator: Mariann-Fedele-McLeod, Principal Researcher, American Institutes for Research


To Prepare, Review:

·        Promoting Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education Fact Sheet

·        Draft Adult Education Instructor Model Competencies

Jackie Taylor, Moderator



 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