Literacy Now Downloadable Material

This section includes books from Literacy NOW workshops, and testing materials developed for ESL Programs.

ESL Testing Package (Please e-mail Amy Diehr for this testing package) – The Tacoma Community House ESL Testing Package was developed over many years to test refugees’ level completions. Today TCH uses Speaking and Writing tests along with CASAS Listening and Reading tests to provide documentation for level increases. For the most part, a passing score should confirm what the classroom teacher already knows—whether the student is ready to go up to the next level or not.

Equipped For the Future Content Standards Visuals – Jamie Treat, Illustrator, 2000, 21 p. Visual illustrations of all 16 EFF content standards. Each titled illustration is 8.5″ x 11″.

Making it Real: Teaching Pre-literate Adult Refugee Students – Alysan Croydon. 2005, 108 p.

Recently, refugee families have been arriving from Somalia, Liberia, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Thailand to begin their new lives in communities across Washington State. Many of the adults have never had an opportunity to attend school, so they are not literate in their first language. Some have never lived in homes with electricity and plumbing or towns with buses and shopping malls. As a result, they face many challenges during their resettlement process. As they enter beginning-level ESL classes, their teachers, too, are finding the task of teaching them challenging. With funding from the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Section, the Tacoma Community House Training Project has developed this book containing a wealth of successful strategies and techniques for teaching both beginning literacy and speaking skills. The richly illustrated text includes:

  • A list of survival competencies for speaking, listening, reading, and writing
  • A plethora of activities for introducing, practicing, and applying these new skills to the students’ lives
  • Strategies for teaching pre-literate refugees in a multi-level ESL class

Tales from the Homeland: Developing the Language Experience Approach – Anita Bell, Som Dy. 1985, 169 p.

This book serves as a guide for using the Language Experience Approach (LEA) to literacy, using stories by Cambodian students as examples. The goals of language learning are comprehension and self-expression. The student’s own experience and language are the best source of lessons designed to meet those goals. This book describes the philosophy and approach of LEA and includes many student stories accompanied by suggested instructional activities.

Talk Time Handbook – Marilyn Bentson, Elisabeth Mitchell. 1995, 125 p.

This guide presents all the steps for developing and managing a successful Talk Time program, including recruitment of volunteer facilitators and limited English speakers, conversation session planning, and evaluation and assessment of both the students and the program. This book provides very practical advice on initiating this supportive, non-critical model for practicing English conversation. It includes a description of the volunteers’ roles and activities that work.

Volunteer Literacy Principles – This set of standards was developed by a group of experienced volunteer program managers in Washington State. This document contains the criteria used to assess the quality of volunteer literacy programs receiving funding for Adult Basic Education.

Teaching English Language Learners: A Handbook for Volunteers – Literacy NOW Staff, 4th edition 2008, 182 p.

This handbook that accompanies the ESL Pre-service workshop covers topics including the first meeting with the student, pronunciation Total Physical Response, Language Experience Approach to reading, lesson planning, and evaluating student progress. There is a brief chapter on vocational ESL, and the book concludes with suggested tutoring activities.

Literacy in Life: A Handbook for Volunteer Tutors – Designed to support Literacy NOW’s Volunteer Literacy Pre-service Tutor Training workshop and to serve as an ongoing source of information for literacy tutors. Topics include background on adult literacy and adult learning. Basic theories and useful strategies and activities for teaching reading and writing are interwoven with four distinct learner profiles.