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Day 3

A new day, and new opportunities. Welcome!

Tasks for today:

1. As you have seen, a new page has appeared on the menu of this blog. Please gather here all the links you have shared during the past two days, and add any other resources related to the theme of this workshop that you think we all should be aware of. Participants in “the wider circle” are also welcome to contribute their links.

Important: Please don’t just copy and paste a URL. Give your link a title and a brief description (not more than two sentences).

Remember: Your contribution to this task should not be placed as a comment on this page, but on the page called Links

2. Do you know of any on-line resource specifically directed to initial literacy (not language!) training for linguistic minorities? Do you think it would be feasible to create resources of that type? What would, in your opinion, be the success criteria for such resources?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Margaret Benzahia permalink
    June 4, 2014 2:12 pm

    It was a very interesting day and to learn more about the similarities and differences that are going on in our field of work. Thank you to everyone who gave presentations today.

    I have only positive things to say about Bilingual Pupil Support Assistants who are a real asset in the classroom and I do believe that they should be recognised and renumerated for their contributions. The initial selection process is important however and training is essential for the benefit of everyone involved. Again in a school system, we use Senior Bilingual pupils as Buddies, and we do establish Interpreters’ clubs run by the pupils in schools where there is a need. The pupils’ participation helps the integration of others and also helps to raise their self-esteem.

    The model presented by the City of Glasgow college for their students as regards Mentors and Interpreters is an excellent example of good practice. I particularly liked the fact that they do receive a certificate stating their participation in the College which will certainly be a good reference for them in the future.

    We have produced bi-lingual e-books with pupils who have recently arrived in the UK, for example they may compare their old school with their new school or their old life and new life. As part of family learning we present their work to parents on Parent Information Evenings.

    It was such an eye-opener for me to hear of Florence’s experience in French Guyana and made me feel that we should be coping better in Europe. Thank you for such an informative presentation on the reality of this part of the world.

  2. Diana Bolcs permalink
    June 4, 2014 1:58 pm

    It would be so good to know more about different open learning resources for initial literacy learners! I have learnt a lot from the presentations today. Today`s message for me is to be creative and innovative in selecting methods and stategies to help the learners and to encourage our teacher to use techology much more 🙂

  3. Els Plessers permalink
    June 4, 2014 1:53 pm

    We learned a lot today! Thank you all for the presentations.

    In the Flemish part of Belgium and the Netherlands some online initial literacy training materials are available, some of them inspired by materials for children and many of them are not very interactive yet. The basic education center of Antwerp has gathered some, you can find them here: http://www.openschool.be/HTML/Subpaginas/Alfa.html Of course the instructions are in Dutch. I think there is a lot of work to do in this field. When I get back home, I’ll ask my colleagues of our open learning center if they know more materials, which I think, and I’ll share them with you.

  4. Florence Foury permalink
    June 4, 2014 1:52 pm

    Toutes les presentations d’aujourd’hui était très riches et interessantes. Mais je ne vois comment nous pouvons agir au niveau de nos politiques nationales. Comment porter tout ceci pour apporter des changements et de la stabilité à notre secteur de travail ?

    • June 4, 2014 1:56 pm

      Thank you for this comment, Florence! I think that we are creating policy input simply by sharing the knowledge, because each of us in our corner of the world can and should consider ourselves “policy providers”. But I do see your point. This is one of the objectives of the EBSN: to make sure that the imput from policy providers like the participants of this workshop can get a channel for their input. We will continue working to gather inspiration, examples of good practice, recommendations and policy briefs – all aiming at changing structures and policy for the better!

  5. June 4, 2014 1:50 pm

    Variety of nice presentations today. I know some teacher use different online tools they found surfing the net, but I can’t tell now about one of them. I’ll surf the net myself to see if I find something in the big brother (Google).
    In my opinion, little is still being done in the field of OER (Open Eductive Resources) but the EU has already included this issue in its 2030 agenda. It’s not affordable to continue creating locked expensive materials with few users. Hope there are steps being given ahead in free software and resources for good learning sake at any level.

    • Solborg Jonsdottir permalink
      June 4, 2014 1:55 pm

      I agree, it is very important to have open resources and I think open interactive anguage sites like you showed us can help students in literacy training if done correctly and at least help them with their IT skills

  6. Matej permalink
    June 4, 2014 1:48 pm

    I’m not satisfied with Els’s presentation. That approach with initial cognitive test has realy suprised me. It doesn’t have anything with learning languages. Learners can not be divided through IQ test. What shall we do with social inclusion and elementary criteria that education must be available in the same mesaure to everybody without segregation? Besides what does this test mean? Person with very high score in cognitive test can be great student in numeracy, digital skills or science but can have very low potential in learning languages. Also a person who has low result in cognitive test might have huge potential for languages. And we are talking about basic skills program here. So the contents must be surmountable for every citizen. It’s a political question.

    • Solborg Jonsdottir permalink
      June 4, 2014 1:59 pm

      I think this test is not testing anything about language. It merely shows ability to think logically and if you have attended elementary school you have some training in thinking logically. Therefore you can possibly learn faster or in a different manner. But the assessment is done on many levels, not just in this way, also through interviews and other things. Anyway, since it has worked well there must be something useful about it. But it is interesting that it doesnt seem to be used in other countries – I have not heard about it anywhere else.

    • June 4, 2014 1:59 pm

      Matej, I think there might be some misunderstandings here. What the Belgian test aims at is distinguishing who is likely to have a quick or slow progression. It doesn’t really exclude anyone, it just tries to give them the offer they need. But I also agree with you that the test seems to check only one field of cognitive development, the logic one… Interesting issue…

      • June 4, 2014 2:07 pm

        I must agree with Matej because we discused a bit about the tests and it seems it is not practice in belgic shool system to do these tests for deciding about the methodology, pedagogical approach or something else that cosiders the methods of teaching. Test is based on diagnostic pshychology IQ tests for 3 sorts of inteligence and we all know how far away we get counting the inteligences today. The tasks in tests are not relevant for langugae learning and modern is to teacher to have the sence of students need an his own task to teach anyone in the clasrom , not depending the cognitive abilities. Specially if we are talking about imigrants and culture and hidden curricula…think the test and making it is too old for todays times…

  7. June 4, 2014 1:43 pm

    I learned such a lot today from all the presenters. One thing I’d really like to follow up is the idea of how to build autonomy and empower literacy learners to be independent and proactive learners. I can think of various possible ways to work with learners on this, but I can see it needs some research into what is most effective with learners in different contexts.

  8. June 4, 2014 1:41 pm

    Unfortunately I don’t know any open source resource for initial literacy! There are some open resources for language. In Romania exists a database with different open materials created and implemented by teachers but not for adult literacy education. I think it depends on us to have the courage to adapt all the great practices tranmited by our colleagues and to find the way to tranmit to the policy makers. It will be greate if an European data based will be created and this should be free, easily to acces and to have also some methodological instructions and resources also for learners.

    • June 4, 2014 1:46 pm

      Also I want to thank all our colleagues and I have learned such a lot today from all the presentations- many pedagogical approaches, real learning activities and so different tools to used in order to achive our leaners goals!’

  9. June 4, 2014 1:35 pm

    I’d like to see more online resources for adult literacy level learners dealing with phonics. There is an abundance of online resources for children but they are often not appropriate for adult learners.

  10. June 4, 2014 1:34 pm

    Unfortunatly we dont have an open online learning resourse for initial literacy (not even for a language as far as I know) and I think the source like this could be very feasible to create because there are many pages of learnin langugaes in that way, as a helping tool. For oridinary iliterate adult it could mean lot of time for spar, speacially if he is employed and also could not have a stigma for going to the shool. We face this problem of stigma in Croatia so I think it is a great idea to have such a resourse and motivate the adults. Teacher could have only mentoring&consultacy function and adult can learn or practice whenever they want and whatever modul he likes. It is also a reality to have and make because there is going to be centres for recognition of prior learning and it could help the individuals to try. The problem that I see is the level of digital skills of an adult wich is taking the course.

  11. Dee Doyle permalink
    June 4, 2014 1:34 pm

    Thank you to all presenters today. We have been given a lot of food for thought. I would be very interested in following up in a group on using volunteers as assistants and mentors in low-literacy classes. Thank you Emily and Rosie for sharing your good practice.

    Thank you Florence for your inspiring contribution on positive project work with multilingual/multicultural learners.

    Els has started me thinking about looking cognitive processes at assessment. It is not something we do in Ireland, but it is interesting to know how effective it seems to be in Belgium.

    I would also like to learn more about useful Apps after Elizebeth’s presentation.

  12. June 4, 2014 1:28 pm

    Unfortunately I don’t know any open source resource for initial literacy – only language! I would be very interested to find out more about this kind of resources. I think it is very possbile to create one – it is not difficult, you put together some adult educators and IT soft developers and I am sure that miracls can happen 🙂 I think that these resources should be user friendly, FREE, accesabile in many language, should allow interaction betweek the students – one example for learning languages but which can be an inspiration is the app DuoLingo – I am not a fan of online courses / application etc. and this application is the only one that works for me 🙂 it is genius – user friendly, free, allows interaction, can access many languages – shows your progress – just briliant!

  13. June 4, 2014 1:28 pm

    I think it would be feasible to create materials for initial literacy learners. I think successful resources would contain graded language, social sight words, common words that would be useful in everyday life. These resources would allow for practice of reading and writing as well as other Basic Skills. There are currently a lot available for children, but not so many available in motivating contexts for adult learners.

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