LCNV ESOL Writing In-Service & Basic Computer Skills Workshop

October 31, 2011 at 4:05 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Class, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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On November 5, 2011, the Literacy Council will be hosting an ESOL Writing In-Service, and a Basic Computer Skills Workshop for Students; both opportunities are free.

ESOL Writing In-Service: The PWCS Adult Education ESOL Program has developed curricula for integrating reading and writing instruction with literacy level through advanced students.  Learn about these excellent resources for use in the classroom at all levels. Understand how students’ own writing can be used as authentic text for learning.  Although this curricula was designed for use with ESOL learners, it is also appropriate for students whose first language is English.

Date: November 5, 2011 
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
Contact: or call 703.237.0866

Basic Computer Skills Workshop for Students: Learn how to use a mouse or a keyboard. Find out how to search for information on the internet or use e-mail. Learn how to talk long distance with Skype. Volunteers will be here to help you learn basic computer skills. Your friends and adult family members also can attend the workshop and improve their computer skills.

Date: November 5, 2011
Time: 12:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Location:  Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
Contact: or call 703.237.0866

Come out and take advantage of these free learning opportunities!

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866


In the Classroom Everyone is both a Teacher and Student

October 28, 2011 at 3:24 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Throughout this first month of teaching I have sought advice from a variety of sources and have settled on a quote from one of my favorite musicals “The King and I.” In the musical Anna says: “It’s a very ancient saying, but a true and honest thought, that if you become a teacher, by your pupils you’ll be taught.” I’m a complete musical nerd so this definitely resonates with me. Teaching adults ESL, you enter the class thinking that you know exactly what learners know in English and then proceed to be constantly surprised. For example, the other day we were talking about adult responsibilities, such as meetings and my students started throwing out words like Unions, Strikes, Political Parties, and Knitting Clubs. It was fascinating to see the range of words they knew and made me want to push myself to cover more vocabulary and topics.

Catherine K. Ludwig
AmeriCorps Instructor
Literary Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd Falls Church VA 22042
(703) 237-0866

Using Children’s Books with Adult Learners

October 26, 2011 at 1:13 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | 2 Comments
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Tutors often ask about using children’s books in working with their adult students.  The Literacy Council is always searching for new materials that can meet the diverse needs of our students.  Most materials designed to assist early readers and writers are intended for children and therefore, obviously appear juvenile to an adult.  However, materials made for children can be very useful since they reinforce the foundations of written English, which adult learners need in order to become more literate individuals.  Some characteristics that make children’s books helpful to early readers and writers are:

  • Pictures – Pictures help support a student’s hypothesis about a word or story, assist in the memorization of a word, and reinforce the learning of a particular concept.  Many LCNV students are not native English speakers. Pictures are essential to clarifying a word or concept, and linking it to something learners may know in their native language.
  • Repetition – Frequently, children’s books repeat words and phrases.  Even children’s television relies on the use of repetitive characters and storylines.  Repetition provides learners with opportunities to understand and practice new concepts in slightly different contexts, until a concept becomes familiar and easily integrated into a learner’s existing knowledge.
  •  Predictability – Children’s books use different predictable elements that support a new reader’s use of phonics, sentence structure, and story grammar. Simultaneously, these predictable elements help learners develop fluency.  Many children’s books use patterns such as rhyme and alliteration, helping a novice reader narrow down choices for a word and develop a sense of rhythm that assists in proper phrasing of sentences.

Whether using a book intended for a child or adapting a book to meet the needs of your adult learner, including the above characteristics can be helpful for new readers of any age.

For more information, please visit: Tutor Resources.

Molly Chilton, Basic Literacy Tutoring Specialist

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

2855 Annandale Road

Falls Church, VA 22042

(703) 237-0866

September Accomplishments in the Family Learning Program

October 19, 2011 at 12:07 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Class, Family Learning, Teaching, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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September is back-to-school for staff, teachers, volunteers, and the parents in the Family Learning Program.  As a result, the month is a flurry of training, volunteer placement, book ordering, preparation, and more!  It isn’t until about mid-October when the dust begins to settle for Classroom Programs at LCNV.  September is more or less a whirlwind and here are some of the great accomplishments that made it so busy:  

AmeriCorps Training

September, 6-13th

  • New AmeriCorps members Setara, Raymond, Jessica, and Catherine were trained on numerous aspects of the LCNV Classroom Programs. 
  • All four AmeriCorps members are teaching at least one Family Learning class:     

Classroom Teacher Training

September, 17th

  • Volunteer teachers and aides were trained on some of the fundamentals of teaching English to adult learners.

FLP Registrations

September, 19-22nd        

Family Literacy Training

September, 23rd

  •  AmeriCorps members and children’s teachers participated in PACTs, and learned ways to incorporate children’s books into the classroom.

FLP First Day of Class

September, 27-29th

  • Welcome new FLP volunteers! Barbara Glotfelty, Shameika Ingram, Rebecca Thomas, Bernice Golden, Melissa Hunter, and Prachi Chitnis.

Visit our blog, Literacy Live!

-Carisa Coburn Pineda, Family Learning Specialist

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

2855 Annandale Road

 Falls Church, VA 22042

(703) 237-0866

It Happened Last Night

October 14, 2011 at 11:12 AM | Posted in AmeriCorps, ESOL, Family Learning, Tutoring | 1 Comment
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 My level one class in Lorton has settled down after all the enrollment and registration hullaballoo.  It’s clear to me now who are my regular students and it’s clear to them too.  They’re starting to get to know each other.  After class as I was cleaning up I saw about half of my class standing outside our class site.  They were there the entire twenty minutes I was cleaning.  They were talking, laughing.  Sometimes they spoke English, but mostly Spanish.  But I’m not complaining.  It’s English Only only in the class room.  But outside there’s a community forming.  There are bonds being made. 

 -Raymond K. Chow, Americorps Member

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

2855 Annandale RoadFalls Chuch,

Virginia 22042


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