Tips, Useful Techniques, Other Relevant Stuff

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

Happy Autumn

Board Members:

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

Message from the Chair
Welcome New Tutors
Our Celebrity
Lois Nobles Joins Board
Library Notes
TELT Gets a FaceLIFT
Chloeís Corner

Abbreviations Dictionary
Stats & Meetings
Helpful Websites
Available Resources

Message from the Chair

Hello, Volunteers and Friends

   Changes continue to occur at the Literacy Council.  Callie Marek trained two volunteers to take on the responsibilities of maintaining student and tutor records.  She can now do more volunteering around her household.  Liz Koester is our new TOPS liaison with RCC and is busy scheduling CASAS evaluations.  Lois Nobles is our new Records person whose duties include maintaining our student and tutor databases.

   The Pizza Party, held in September, was both fun and informative.  Carolyn Shaw-Strauss from RCC announced that the next joint training for tutors will be November 11 and 12.

   Another guest was Steve Patterson, the Financial Director of Rogue Federal Credit Union.  He was thanked for the office space the Credit Union gives the Council at minimal charge.

   The party was also to acknowledge our volunteers who provided 100+ hours of service during the last 12 months.  These wonderful people include:

         Damon Gragg    109 hours
         Walda Reeder   136 hours
         Joe Suste      114 hours
         Leo Van Dijk   110 hours
         Chloe Wood     250 hours
   Robert Burger and Callie Marek also put in over 100 hours each.

   Have a great fall.  Oops!  Make that ... a great Autumn.

By Bob Burger


Welcome New Tutors

   In May the following participated in their first TELT training session:

            Lois Campbell         Thalia Keple
            Michelle Spohn        Darby Cooper
            Deborah Rosenberg     Conrad Gartee
            Robbin Pearce
   They will be participating in follow-up training on November 11.


Our Celebrity

   Fram Nichols received the Jackson County Community Service Award for October 2005.  She was honored on Wednesday, September 28 at the Courthouse Auditorium.  Fram was nominated by Ellie Scholz, Council secretary, for her commitment to the Literacy Council.  Ellie noted that Fram has worked with the Jackson County Literacy Council for about five years as the placement person.  She matches tutors with applicants who wish to learn to read or improve their reading skills or who wish to learn English as a second language.  Fram attends monthly board meetings, administers progress reports for students and also attends the training sessions for new tutors and does all this from her wheel chair.  Because of Framís work, and others of the Literacy Council, some adults in Jackson County have been able to pass the GED and some have attained their citizenship.  Others have improved their job skills and have even started their own businesses.


Lois Nobles Joins Board

   Lois Nobles has joined the office staff and board as Records Person, taking Callie Marekís place.  Lois keeps track of hours volunteered each month.  She also sends out and receives applications for tutors and students and maintains their information in our databases.  If someone hasnít already sent out test results, she does.  Tuesday is her afternoon in the office.

   An Oregonian by birth, she is new to Medford, having recently retired from 36 years in corporate life (financial, newsletters, project management and regulatory work) in San Francisco.  She has many interests including gardening, photography, travel, reading, church work, entertaining, and volunteering.  She quickly got involved with volunteering at four places in Medford.  Our Literacy Council is one of them.  At the recent Literacy Council pizza gathering, she was impressed, hearing even briefly, how the tutors work with and inspire their students.


Library Notes

   The Literacy Council of Jackson County has recently received a gift from the National Scrabble Association.  Six Scrabble games have been added to the Literacy Council library.  The games can be a very useful tool for you and your students.

   The sets consist of a board, a bag of tiles and racks to hold the letters.  Because of the size of the games, I have placed them on the top of a bookcase, above the Level 2 materials.  The National Scrabble Association has a website that contains materials you may download to assist you with your Scrabble lesson plans (http://school.scrabble-assoc.com).  Click on the Educator Idea tab.

   Other games in the Literacy Council Library include AD-LIB, Boggle, Spellmaster, UpWords and Spill and Spell.  I hope you and your students will enjoy using some of our games during your tutoring sessions.

By Carol Didier


TELT Gets a FaceLIFT

   LIFT (Literacy Instruction For Tutors) is the new name of the tutor training program provided by Oregon Literacy, Inc. and the Department of Community Colleges.  The changes will be based on input from both community college and community-based programs.  Only 36% of tutors in a focus group felt they were prepared to tutor after participating in a TELT training, the remainder felt they were not ready to tutor; every program involved in the focus groups considered the present manual to be overwhelming for incoming tutors.  More than half of the programs think the training should be offered in modules and that learning disabilities and cultural differences need more emphasis.

From Literally Speaking, OLI quarterly newsletter


Chloeís Corner

   Chloe Wood has been an ESL tutor for about 4 years.  She and I met one sunny afternoon at Bear Creek Park and she shared some of her techniques with me.  In the next few issues I will share her ideas with you.

   This first installment is based on using pictures from magazines, newspapers, or even, personal photos, which you should laminate so they can be used many times.

   Improving reading comprehension:
      Make sentence strips to go with each picture and have student match picture and strip.

   Improving oral skills:
      Find pictures with a lot of activity.  Make a list of questions for each picture, you ask questions and have student answer.

By Liz Bestor


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.



May, June, July & August 2005

      Active tutors                    20
      Tutor hours                      62
      Prep hours                       24
      Miscellaneous hours              60
      Active students                  26
      Student hours                    85


Board Meetings

October 17
November 21
December (no meeting)

All meetings - 2pm to 4pm
Literacy Council office:
1175 Royal Ave, Suite B, Medford
Phone: 245-8699


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.


Available Resources

   The Practitioner Toolkit: Working with Adult English Language Learners was designed in response to the increase of ESL students in the United States.  It provides support and resources to adult education and family literacy instructors who are new to serving ESL students.  The toolkit supplies answers to frequently asked questions, a first-day orientation guide, lesson plans, an annotated list of English and Spanish language assessments in use, and research-to-practice papers on English language and literacy students.  These research papers show the best ways to teach English to ESL students.  This 244-page toolkit is organized into five sections: Background Information, Activity Packets, Parent Education in Family Literacy Programs, Topics in Adult ESL Education and Family Literacy, and Resources.

   Download the entire free toolkit or just sections that you need at www.cal.org/caela. For further information contact Lynda Terrill at lterrill@cal.org.

   As a new immigrant, the lifestyle, laws and opportunities of America might seem opaque and unusual.  To help new immigrants adapt to the United States, the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has created the guide Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants.  The guide is divided into six sections:

  1. Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Permanent Resident
  2. Getting Settled in the United States
  3. Education and Childcare
  4. Emergencies and Safety
  5. Learning about the United States
  6. Becoming a Citizen.

   Currently itís available only in English, but according to the website, it will soon be available in Spanish, Tagalog, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, French and Haitian Creole.  If your literacy organization serves one of these language groups, you might check the website periodically to see when these versions become available.

   The guide can be accessed in pdf or html format at uscis.gov/graphics/citizenship/index.htm under Products and Publications.  Free Civics Flashcards are also available at this link.

   How to Communicate with Police is a free OLI workbook that addresses how to communicate with the police effectively.  It comes with worksheets and nine lesson plans.  Itís available in Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese.

   The guide can be obtained from OLI, 1001 SW 5th Aye, Suite 320 Portland OR 97204 or 503-244-3898

   Fire Safety - ProLiteracy has been working with the Home Safety Council and Fire Protection Publications at Oklahoma State University to develop materials to teach critical fire safety information to adults with limited reading or English-language skills.  The materials include the following:

   A brief video introduction to the Project for fire safety educators and literacy providers.

   A userís guide for educators and literacy providers.

   Two pictogram teaching cards (visual illustrations of basic fire safety messages for adult learners).

   A DVD Flash presentation which teaches adults eight important fire safety lessons through a series of photographic slides with instructions in simple text.  These can be used as part of group instruction, or individually on a computer.

   A short story in English and in Spanish with photographs and simple text that details home fire escape planning and practice (10 of each).

   Two posters and 50 take-home sheets with step-by-step, illustrated instructions for installation of smoke alarms and planning a home fire drill.


Newsletter Editor - Liz Bestor