Tips, Useful Techniques, Other Relevant Stuff

A Publication of the Literacy Council of Jackson County
PO Box 615, Medford, OR 97501

Happy 2006

Board Members:

              Bob Burger     - Chair
              Sara King Cole - Library/Bookstore
              Ellie Scholz   - Secretary
              Fram Nichols   - Placement
              Lois Nobles    - Records
              Liz Koester    - RCC/CASAS Coordinator
              Rose Cossairt  - Bookkeeper

Notes from the Chair
Staff Changes
Students Waiting
Volunteer Highlight
Got Job Skills?
What's UP?

Abbreviations Dictionary
Chloe's Corner
Stats & Meetings
Helpful Websites
New Web Resources
We're on the Net

Notes from the Chair

Hello, Volunteers and Friends

   If 2005 seemed to whiz by, then you've been doing something you enjoy.  The year whizzed by for me because I enjoy tutoring.  As for my students, maybe it dragged by for them, but I hope not.

   I wish to take this time to thank all of you who are volunteering for the Literacy Council.  Your contribution to the community is both needed and valued.  We need more people to take a proactive stand against illiteracy as you are doing.

   For those of you who wish to access our library of teaching aids, please call to make an appointment.  We have a shortage of volunteers who are able to baby-sit our office.  That's one job that'll make the year drag on.

   To all of our readers, I wish you a very happy and rewarding new year.

By Bob Burger


"Good-bye" and "Hello"

   We must say "good-bye" to Carol Didier, our past librarian who did a wonderful job putting all of the books and games onto the computer.  And then a "hello" to Sara King Cole who will be taking over her position.

We must also say "good-bye" to Rose Cossairt our bookkeeper.  So, the Council needs a new bookkeeper.  Everything is presently entered into Quick Books on the office computer.  The job entails coming to the office once a month to balance the books and a second trip to attend board meetings.  Please call 245-8699 if you can help with this position.


Help Needed!

   We need some willing tutors to teach an ever-increasing backlog of waiting students.  We have students ranging from Ashland to White City.

Those who need ESL tutors.
Ashland - 1 female Chinese student
Phoenix - 2 Hispanic students (male and female)
Talent - 1 Hispanic couple
Medford - 8 Hispanic students (7 women and 1 man)
White City - 1 Hispanic woman

We also have six ABE students waiting for a tutor:
White City - 2 men at the V.A. Domiciliary
Medford - 3 men students
Ashland - 1 woman needs GED instruction

   Another opportunity for a tutor seeking an assistant position: Beginning on March 7 Chloe Wood will be leading a small ESL class every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Lilac Meadows, a low-cost housing complex on Tablerock Road in White City.  At least one assistant is anticipated to be needed for each session.

Please call the Literacy Council Office (245-8699) or Fram Nichols (857-2824) for further information.

By Fram Nichols, Placement


A Top Tutor

   I have spent most of my life in the Rogue Valley and have tutored for the better part of two years.

   I specialize in teaching English as a second language, mainly to speakers of Spanish.  I apply techniques and ideas learned from studying linguistics in college to my lessons.  I strive to focus on one area of communication at a time and add one more layer of depth to the students' knowledge each time.  It can be a challenge to establish a clear view of what we've aimed for, but it's always a benefit for each of us to succeed.

from Damon Gragg


Is Your Student Ready for the Job Market?

   How many of the following tasks can your student perform?  He will need all of these skills to get and then keep a job.  Your student is ready for a job if he:

  • has demonstrated the ability to make informed career decisions.
  • has the ability to access labor market information during career decision making.
  • has a written up-to-date resume that is appropriately designed and comprehensive.
  • has written an appropriate cover letter.
  • can complete a 2 or 3 page employment application form.
  • can perform an effective interview, meets punctuality standards, meets job attendance requirements, and demonstrates good interpersonal skills.
  • has a positive attitude toward the job
  • dresses appropriately for the job.
  • completes tasks in a timely and effective manner.
  • uses appropriate communication strategies.
  • thinks creatively to make decisions and solve problems
  • uses efficient learning techniques to acquire and apply new knowledge.
  • demonstrates responsibility, positive self-esteem, sociability, self-management and integrity.
  • can allocate time, money, materials and other resources needed to balance life roles.
  • demonstrates workplace appropriate behavior.
  • acquires and uses information effectively.
  • identifies families, schools, communities and workplaces as systems with interdependent parts.
  • is able to work with a variety of technologies, including computers, calculators and other tools.

From: Pre-Employment Work Maturity Skills,
Workforce Readiness, Workforce Supplemental Record,
Fall 1998


UP - What Does It Mean?

   There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP."

   It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?  At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?  Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

   We call UP our friends.  And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.  We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP their old cars.

   At other times the little word has real special meaning.  People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.  To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

   And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.  We open UP a store in the morning, but we close it UP at night.

   We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!  To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word in the dictionary.  In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost one quarter of the page and has UP to about thirty definitions.  If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways Up is used.  It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

   When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.  When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.  When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

   One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP for now, my time is UP, so  ...  Time to shut UP!



Abbreviations Dictionary

ABE Adult Basic Education: teaching basic kindergarten to 8th grade skills such as reading, writing and math to native speakers of English.

ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder

CASAS Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System: A battery of tests that we use for tracking student progress.

ESL English as a Second Language: teaching basic kindergarten to 8th grade skills such as listening, speaking, reading, writing and math to non-native speakers of English.

GED General Education Development test: test which gives students a diploma equivalent to a high school diploma.

LCJC: Literacy Council of Jackson County

LD: Learning Disabled

RCC: Rogue Community College

TELT Training Effective Literacy Tutors: The training program for new volunteers.

TOPS Tracking of Programs and Students: form used to collect student demographics and test results reported to RCC.


Chloe's Corner

   Chloe Wood has been an ESL tutor for about 4 years.  Here are more of the techniques that Chloe has to share.

1. Make up word cards and then have students put them in proper sentence order.  For students having trouble, or very new to English, you might put all nouns in blue, adjectives in red, verbs in yellow, etc. so they can start to visualize how English sentences are constructed.  For more advanced students, we agreed that color coding is not necessary.

2. Give your student blank paper and ask him to fold it in 4ths or 8ths and number each section.  Then ask him to draw or write something in each section.  This is good listening practice.  An alternative is to have the student tell you what to do in each square - good speaking practice.

3. Scrounge thrift shops and garage sales for small dollhouse people and furniture - good for developing vocabulary and working with prepositions, plurals, pronouns, this/that/these/those.  Also look for flash cards and other types of games.



Averages for Sept. thru Dec. 2005

Active Tutors      11
Tutor Hours        37
Prep Hours         15
Misc. Hours        37
Active Students    17
Student Hours      47


Board Meetings

February 21
March 21
April 18
May 16

All meetings - 1pm to 3pm on the third Tuesday
Literacy Council office:
1175 Royal Ave, Suite B, Medford
Phone: 245-8699

How Are We Doing?

                  Aug  Oct  Dec
Tutor Hours        62   48   15
Student Hours      74   62   17
Prep Hours         26   20    2
Travel Hours       16   12    4
Misc. Hours         1    2    0
Admin Hours        54   50    9
Active Tutors      15   12    9
Active Students    25   18   16

   It appears that as the weather got nastier and the holidays got closer, students and volunteers found other things to do.  It's a new year and time to get back into the "literacy swing."

Lois Nobles, Records


Helpful Websites

Tips for teaching word families, steps in language experience stories, find quizzes


You can print out these exercises or student can do them on line

Variety of activities for the more advanced student

If you have internet access at your tutoring site this is a great address for more advanced student activities

Help with developing writing skills

Variety of activities: grammar, conversation topics, cultural awareness, games, etc.


Pizzaz: Creative writing lessons

Self Study Quizzes

Crossword Puzzles

Conversation Questions for the ESL Classroom


Opportunities in ESL: Creative writing/ discussion topics

Free Services for Students


ESL Curriculum, Beginning Level

Diversity Calendar: Holidays around the world

If you try one of the above sites let us know what you think of it, how you used it, did your student enjoy it, etc.


New Resources

www.netac.rit.edu/onlinenotetakertraining.html - the training at this website is interactive and free of charge.  There are three 90-minute modules entitled "What is Note taking," "Taking Good Notes," and "Working with Students and Faculty."  There is a final quiz that students can take to test their note-taking skills.

www.vocabulary.com - Vocabulary University uses activities and puzzles to help develop vocabulary.  Based on learning roots and cells of words.

From LitBits, a publication of Oregon Literacy, Inc.
- October 2OO5


Coming Soon - Our Website

   The Council will soon have a web site hosted by Oregon Literacy, Inc.  Our address will be www.oregonliteracy.org/litjack.  Check it out in a few weeks.  The site will include all of the pertinent information about contacting the office, have general information about becoming a student or volunteer, and the latest newsletter.


Newsletter Editor - Liz Bestor