Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS!


Snowed in?

Take some time to check out MT LINCS Resources!


1.  MT LINCS RIB Update


Have you seen the new vocabulary resources on MT LINCS RIB?  There is even a student response!

Go to and click on Discussions.

2.  Reading Webcast on Fluency and Vocabulary Now Archived

This follow-up webcast will focus on specific instructional strategies for two other components of reading, fluency and vocabulary. The presenters will show how all four components provide a natural framework for assessing adult students’ reading ability, and how assessment results can lead seamlessly to a program of instruction to improve students’ reading. 

Click here to access the webcast.

3.  NW LINCS Updated

Click here to check out What's New on NW LINCS.

4.  MAACE Update - Board Minutes

Click here to access the minutes from the MAACE Board conference.

5.  MPAEA Conference - Salt Lake - April 23 - 26 - MPAEA Scholarship Applications

Click here to access MPAEA scholarship information.

6.  Online Educational Comics


Online Educational Comics Helping Families Write, Read and Tell Stories Both in English and Spanish; More Characters Introduced

I have launched a new web site -- -- where children and adults can create their own comic strips.  They can select from 15 fun characters with different moods  -- happy, sad,
angry, worried - and write words for  blank talk and thought balloons to make their characters talk and think.  There also are story ideas and prompts to help users create graphic stories.

This site can be used by educators to teach language, reading and writing skills, and also for students in English-as-a-Second-Language programs to facilitate self-expression and storytelling, as well as
computer literacy. Some educational therapists use it with deaf and autistic people to help them understand concepts and communicate.  Parents and children can create stories together, print them to create comic books or email them to friends and family.  Others will find the site a resource to be creative, calm down and have fun.

Because so many Spanish-speaking users asked us for the ability to write their cartoons in Spanish as well as in English, we recently upgraded the site to accept words written in Spanish, including appropriate
accent marks. This can be a useful tool for someone who is  learning Spanish as well as someone whose first language is Spanish.   In time, this feature will be extended to other languages ... As one who learned to read with comic books, I know that creating comic strips can help people tap into their creativity and practice their language and storytelling skills.  The site is free and stems from my lifelong mission to create resources that help people find their voice and express themselves ...

Bill Zimmerman


7.  CAELA Brief

I'm pleased to announce that the latest brief from the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA), Adult ESL Teacher Credentialing and Certification, is now available on the CAELA Web site and can be downloaded at

This latest CAELA brief was written by JoAnn Crandall of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Genesis Ingersoll and Jacqueline Lopez of the Center for Applied Linguistics. Ths brief describes efforts to professionalize the workforce of adult ESL educators, including efforts to certify and credential these teachers; discusses the qualification requirements for adult ESL teachers in the 50 states and the District of Columbia; and recommends steps for states to take to continue to professionalize the field.

Of special interest and use, I think, is Table 1, which lists the credentialing and certification requirements by state, from each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. This information was gathered through conversations with staff at the state departments of education.  The table is a hyperlink, on page 5 of the printer-friendly version, in the section entitled Data Collection.

We hope you find the information helpful.

Miriam Burt
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA)
Center for Applied Linguistics

8.  ProLiteracy Expanded Online Course for ESOL Instructors

ProLiteracy has expanded its online courses for ESOL instructors. The first course, Creating Engaging ESOL Activities Using Computers I, will begin February 11. (Please note - the fall offering of this course filled within a  week, so please register early if you're interested in participating.)

The course description is included below, and complete course and registration information is available at:

ProLiteracy will offer several other courses for ESOL instructors and tutors throughout the spring, including:

  • Creating Engaging ESOL Activities Using Computers I (a follow-up to the course described below)
  • Managing the Multi-level ESL Classroom
  • Using Cultural Artifacts to Teach ESL

For more information about these courses, please go to and click on Professional Development, or click here:

Please feel free to call (888)528-2224 ext. 283 with any questions.

Jane Greiner
Professional Development Coordinator
ProLiteracy America
315.422.9121 ext. 283

9.  To Read or Not To Read 

The National Endowment for the Arts has released a research report today called TO READ OR NOT TO READ .  See the full report at:

Information from conclusion

"Self-reported data on individual behavioral patterns, combined with national test scores from the Department of Education and other sources, suggest three

distinct trends:

·         a historical decline in voluntary reading rates among teenagers and young adults;

·         a gradual worsening of reading skills among older teens

·         declining proficiency in adult readers.

The Department of Education’s extensive data on voluntary reading patterns and prose reading scores yield a fourth observation: frequency of reading for pleasure

correlates strongly with better test scores in reading and writing. Frequent readers are thus more likely than infrequent or non-readers to demonstrate academic

achievement in those subjects.


From the diversity of data sources in this report, other themes emerge. Analyses of voluntary reading and reading ability, and the social characteristics of advanced

and deficient readers, identify several discrepancies at a national level:

• Less reading for pleasure in late adolescence than in younger age groups

• Declines in reading test scores among 17-year-olds and high school seniors in contrast to younger age groups and lower grade levels

• Among high school seniors, a wider rift in the reading scores of advanced and deficient readers

• A male-female gap in reading proclivity and achievement levels

• A sharp divide in the reading skills of incarcerated adults versus non-prisoners

• Greater academic, professional, and civic benefits associated with high levels of leisure reading and reading comprehension

Longitudinal studies are needed to confirm and monitor the effects of these differences over time. Future research also could explore factors such as income, ethnicity,

region, and race, and how they might alter the relationship between voluntary reading, reading test scores, and other outcomes.


Critically, further studies should weigh the relative effectiveness and costs and benefits of programs to foster lifelong reading and skills development.  For instance, such research could trace the effects of electronic media and “screen reading” on the development of readers in early childhood.


Recent studies of American time-use and consumer expenditure patterns highlight a series of choices lurking in the question “to read or not to read.” The future of reading rests on the daily decisions Americans will continue to make when confronted with an expanding menu of leisure goods and activities.  The importance of these national findings, however, is that reading frequently for pleasure is a behavior to be cultivated with the same zeal as academic achievement, financial or job performance, and global competitiveness."


Debbie Yoho
Division Director, TURNING PAGES/VOAC
(formerly the Greater Columbia Literacy Council)
Secretary, SC Association for Adult Literacy Education
10.  Technology in ABE 
Technology Colleagues,

I want to call your attention to the winter 2007 (free, online) issue of Field Notes, published by the Massachusetts System for Adult Basic Education Support (SABES) with support from the Massachusetts Department of Education.

The theme of this issue is Technology in ABE.  It includes articles by Jennifer Rafferty, Diana Satin, Marian Thacher and me, Lenore Balliro and Akira Kamiya, and Lynne Weintraub. It is intended for ABE, ESOL, and ASE practitioners who want to learn about emerging trends in technology that may be useful for them and their students. "Digital immigrant" teachers might like the back-to-back articles on web cam use that reveal its challenges and its opportunities. And don't miss Akira Kamiya's Email Safety Tips. 

It would be great to have your comments on the articles. You could post them here, send them to Field Notes Editor, Lenore Balliro <> or to the individual authors whose email addresses are listed at the end of their articles.

David J. Rosen
P.S.  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