Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I have no idea what I'm doing!

You've attended training, read the handbook, and been assigned to a student. You watched the language and literacy assessment. The volunteer coordinator has packed up her materials and headed out the door. Now, it's the moment you feared: You are alone with your student and you have no idea where to start.

Don't panic. There are a couple of things to know.

  • First, you can't do this wrong, and you won't inflict any permanent linguistic damage.
  • Second, there are a wealth of resources available to you, and many of them are free and online.

A week ago, we had the good fortune to attend a training session with Kathy Santopietro Weddel (see the post below this one). Her presentation focused on addressing literacy with the nonliterate student. Kathy encouraged us to go online and check out the teacher's toolkit at the Website for the Center for Applied Linguistics.

The document is over 200 pages of valuable and practical information. Again, don't panic--you can read it online, print it out, print out the sections you want, save it to your hard drive, etc. It's a pdf file, but you probably have Adobe Acrobat's reader already installed on your computer.

This toolkit has something helpful to address almost any ESL or literacy tutor (or classroom teacher). You don't need to enroll in a university class--the information you're looking for is in this toolkit!

To access the toolkit, click here. While you're on the CAL/CAELA site, look around--there is a lot of valuable information here to support your teaching. Remain calm--there is no need to panic!

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