What Works! Research and Practice in Adult Education


Join us for a special afternoon with adult education and literacy researchers from throughout the U.S. Choose from among five different sessions, covering relevant research and evidence-based strategies designed to help you to enhance programming and instruction for your adult learners.

Date: December 7, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: John F Germany Public Library
900 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
Registration: FREE
Certificate for continuing education credit is available.

Session Descriptions

The symposium will include two rounds of concurrent sessions.

Contextualizing Instruction – Family Literacy
Sophie Degener, National Louis University
Kristen Perry, University of Kentucky

This session will focus on how teachers can support literacy development by creating meaningful reading and writing activities that are contextualized within the lives of adult students and their children/families. The presentation will highlight how to investigate learners’ current literacy practices in their homes and communities in order to use these as the basis for curriculum and instruction. We will also focus on using family and community strengths and existing funds of knowledge to develop literacy skills in out-of-school settings. Participants will work together to identify the kinds of “everyday” literacy practices that can connect homes and schools, and offer opportunities for literacy instruction that includes authentic uses of text.

ESOL Teaching Strategies
Carmela Romano Gillette, University of Michigan

Learning a language is a complex undertaking, and students often spend more time studying elements of language than using them. In this interactive session, we will explore ways learners can practice English, allowing them to develop their grammar, fluency and pronunciation skills while becoming more comfortable and confident speaking English. This evidence-based approach is founded on communicative language and actors’ training theories, and allows for increased student engagement.

Digital Literacies for the 21st Century
Jill Castek, University of Arizona

With the idea that literacy learning occurs across the lifespan, this session examines digital literacies for the 21st century through the lens of digital problem solving and flexible application of learning strategies. Using an expanded model of literacy that can be applied widely across lifelong and life wide learning, this hands-on session will introduce an expanded model of adult literacy that: (a) introduces and defines digital problem solving, (b) describes the strategies involved in digital problem solving, and (c) introduces strategies to support digital problem solving.

Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Adult Learners
Greg Smith, Florida Literacy Coalition

If you build it, they will come. Think again. Nationally, adult education and literacy providers are only serving approximately 10% of the population in need. So how can we do better? Join us and learn about a Florida Literacy Coalition market research project that studied key messages, terminology and communication methods that may be more or less effective in recruiting new students. We’ll also share several research-based strategies to help keep students coming back.

Learning Disabilities
Leah Katherine Saal, Loyola University Maryland

This session will focus on how teachers and program administrators can support learners in their classes or program with learning differences and/or disabilities. The presentation will highlight some of the common characteristics and expressions of disabilities in the adult education classroom. We will focus on how to differentiate classroom instruction to better facilitate learning for all using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles along with other evidence-based strategies and supports. Participants are encouraged to bring existing lesson plans for reflection on current practices, including strengths and areas for growth in supporting learning differences in the classroom. Several resources for support will be shared.

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited, so click here to register today!

Hosted by Florida’s Adult and Family Literacy Resource Center, a program of the Florida Literacy Coalition. Special thanks to our presenters and to Hillsborough Literacy Council for providing the location for this event. This symposium is made possible through the generous support of the Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education.

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