Posts Tagged ‘ELL’

Volunteer Dawn Reynolds works with ESL Students at Douglass Community Center


The Loudoun Literacy Council is offering an instructor training course Saturday, May 19th from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. If you would like to teach students in basic literacy or English call us at 703-777-2205 or email Janna, Adult Literacy Program Assistant, at jstarr@loudounliteracy.org to sign up.

Teacher Training Details:

 Saturday, May 19th, 2012 from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Location: Loudoun Literacy Council Office

17 Royal Street SW, Leesburg,VA 20175

The training session introduces volunteers to the experience of being an English Language Learner or ABE (Adult Basic Education) student. We will cover learning styles and characteristics of adult learners, effective lesson planning, and using resources.

Our trainers have considerable classroom and literacy experience.

Lunch will be provided.

There is a $35 fee to cover the cost of training and materials.


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March 10-18th is AmeriCorps Week, and for this week we wanted to let you know more about who we are and what do as AmeriCorps Members!

AmeriCorps is a national service organization that engages over 80,000 members a year. Typically, the role of AmeriCorps is to serve low-income areas of the country; devoting time and energy in programs including education, non-profits, disaster relief, affordable housing, environmental stewardship, and community development. Here in Loudoun County, there are 3 AmeriCorps Members. Two AmeriCorps Members are located at Loudoun Literacy Council working with the Adult Literacy Program (Megan Dieter and Janna Starr). The other Loudoun AmeriCorps is located at the Loudoun Habitat for Humanity.

Most AmeriCorps Members around the country devote a year of service to better their community. AmeriCorps Members are paid a humble living stipend to pay living costs, and at the end of their term they are awarded an education award to help pay off loans or go towards further education. This program is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

To look at AmeriCorps on a smaller scale: there really is no “typical day” in the life of an AmeriCorps Member. Here at LLC, we teach English to adult immigrants in the classroom and tutoring one-on-one, we coordinate with volunteers and input student data, completing various tasks both in and out of the office. We run registrations for English class, take phone calls for classes,  meet with administrators and teachers, and help run the Volunteer Training Program. We love what we do here, and we always look forward to helping our students learn more. Education empowers, and that is one of our main goals here at LLC.

AmeriCorps Member Janna works with students at Douglass Community Center

Rosa is one of my students, and she has been in my Level 1 class for the last two sessions. She works full-time but comes to class at the end of the day, bringing great enthusiasm to learn. I recently discovered that her main goal for coming to class is to develop the English skills necessary to go to NOVA. Rosa is on the path to get her Nursing Degree. She has wanted to be a nurse for years, and she is able to take affordable classes at LLC to be better prepared for the advanced classes at NOVA. I look forward to seeing her move on to the next level getting closer to her personal goal.

Also, check out this week’s publication in the  Leesburg Today about AmeriCorps in Loudoun County!

To learn more about the AmeriCorps program, go to the National Service website at www.americorps.gov

-Janna Starr

Adult Literacy Program Assistant

AmeriCorps Member


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The internet has a wide array of resources for teaching English Language Learners. As one of our trainers Deb Howe says, “Don’t recreate the wheel, use the internet!” Feel free to check out the newest resources we have been using at LLC listed below:

Resources for Professional Development

1. http://www.acp-sc.org/

Our Executive Director Tanya Bittenbender just discovered this website today! This website, Adult Career Pathways, has a variety of curricula, lesson plans, and training for teaching Adult Education. Workforce development curricula is also provided. Registration required.

2. http://valrc.org/trainings/online.html

Here, you can find free extensive training for ELL Teachers through the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. Registration required.

3. http://proliteracyednet.org 

This website offers a wide variety of short online classes for ELL teachers.

4. http://www.newamericanhorizons.org/

On this site, you can find free videos of how to teach adult learners (real class examples).

Resources for Class

5. http://www.eslflow.com/

This all-encompassing website includes game ideas, discussions, ice breakers, and many more for your ELL class

6. http://bogglesworldesl.com

This website is very helpful for finding good worksheets relevant to your lesson topic.

7. http://www.wordle.net/

One of our volunteers recommended this website, it creates “word clouds” from the text you provide. Helpful for class discussion.

Feel free to post any resources you have found helpful! Enjoy!

Janna Starr, AmeriCorps Member

Adult Literacy Program Assistant

Loudoun Literacy Council

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“This is life-changing, it’s more than just English,” said one of our adult learners at Catoctin Elementary School.

The Fall Session classes wrapped up recently, and we are still hearing from our teachers about this past session. One of our volunteers, Jennifer Baker, works as an ELL teacher at Catoctin Elementary School. Jennifer dedicates nearly all of her time to teaching English; she works daily at the school teaching children English and she also helps lead the PEP Program at Catoctin Elementary School and teachers adults English weekly. Below is an excerpt from Jennifer about the program:

This is our fifth year of the PEP (Parents as Educational Partners) program at Catoctin Elementary School.  The PEP program helps teach second-language parents about our school, and makes them feel a part of our school community and their child’s education.  This year, we have worked with Loudoun Literacy Council to provide an Adult English Class in addition to the school information that PEP allows us to give to our parents.  Combining the PEP program and Adult English class has allowed us to quadruple the number of parents that we reach each week; our class size has grown from an average of 6 parents to 24!  Thanks to our amazing group of volunteers, we are also able to provide child care and homework help while the parents are learning English.  While we know that we are expanding and moving the program in a great direction, the real proof comes from the parents themselves.  A father who has three students at Catoctin and his wife in the newly formatted PEP program told us, “This is life-changing, it’s more than just English.”  We are looking forward to helping more parents at our next session, starting in January!

At Loudoun Literacy Council, we greatly appreciate our volunteers and all their hard work! Our genuine thanks goes out to our Catoctin Elementary Volunteers:

Jennifer Baker

Denise O’Kane

Claudia Rabe

Erin Taylor

Jacquelynn Hess

Katrina Davis

Michelle Coggins

Debra Neely

Renee Venegas

Also, a big thanks goes out to our other volunteers from McLean Bible Church who helped with the childcare!

Students and volunteers celebrate their Fall graduation.


Written by AmeriCorps Member, Janna Starr


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