AEIS Newsletter

AEIS News, Volume 2:2 (September 2004)

by User Not Found | 11/01/2011

In This Issue...

Message From the Chair
Questions and Answers About Publishing Student Writing on the Web
Testing Textbooks in the Adult Education ESOL Classroom
Review: Basic English Skills Test (BEST)
Review: Targeting Listening and Speaking: Strategies and Activities for ESL/EFL Students
Announcement: CA Adult Education Technology Mentor Network
AEIS Executive Board/Steering Committee 2004-2005
About This Member Community

Message From the Chair

By Marilyn Gillespie,

Working in the position as chair of the Adult Education Interest Section (AEIS) has definitely given me a new perspective on the role TESOL has played in defining and shaping our field as well as the extent to which that work is undertaken by a wide network of volunteer labor--people already stretched thin in their work as educators giving their precious little time because they believe in the value of being connected as a field. During this year's TESOL conference in Long Beach, California, in the United States, I tried to listen carefully to discern areas of most concern to our interest section. There was one issue that stood out: the need to encourage new teachers, and particularly younger teachers entering the field, to participate in our interest section.

An "Aging" TESOL Membership

This issue is a concern not just for our interest section but for TESOL as a whole. At the interest section leader's planning meeting, William Eggington, the convention chair for next year's convention, pointed out that currently well over three quarters of the membership of TESOL are over forty. Although there certainly is nothing wrong with the participation of us forty-somethings, we very much need a new generation of members to keep our field vital and growing. In fact, as an incentive to attract younger members to next year's conference, TESOL is reducing the registration fee for full-time undergraduate and graduate students to $50. Also, institutions that send five people will only be required to pay conference fees for four.

A related concern was voiced again at our Saturday AEIS planning meeting for next year's conference. One member who had brought several of her teachers with her was troubled that there were no sessions that addressed the needs of more beginning teachers. "We have to have something there for them if we are to attract them to come," she pointed out. We discussed ways to remedy this, by making sure that the proposals accepted have a balance between teacher-related and policy-related sessions, by using the AEIS booth to help orient new people, by generating ideas on our electronic list to learn what teachers need, and by encouraging state affiliates to recruit teachers to be involved at the national level.

Conference Participation and Teacher Change

This issue resonates for me because, recently, several of my colleagues and I (including Cris Smith, Judy Hofer, Marla Solomon, and Karen Rowe) completed a study of the professional development needs of adult educators and of how teachers change (NCSALL Report #25, available at When we asked approximately 100 adult education and ESOL teachers from three states to talk about their experiences, one of the striking findings was how few of them knew about the larger field of which they were a part. Access to teacher workshops, participation in conferences, and other kinds of training activities was extremely low. Fifty-five percent of the participants received only 12 hours a year or less of paid professional development time. Only 35% received 18 hours or more. Astonishingly, 23% reported that they received no paid release time for professional development at all!

The teachers in our study fell along a continuum with respect to their access to knowledge and information about the field and about teaching and learning in adult education. On the low end were some teachers who were surprised to learn that a "field" of adult basic and ESOL education existed at all! They were unaware of journals in the field, of resources on adult education available through the Internet, or of the existence of national organizations for adult educators.

Among the teachers we interviewed, attending state or national conferences, participating in national research studies, and especially presenting at these conferences represented a tremendous catalyst for growth. Many teachers began to realize that they were not alone in the concerns that they had in their lives as teachers; that there were others who shared the same issues. Other teachers who had been trying out new things in the classroom received validation that they were "on the right track." Those teachers who presented at conferences began to recognize their own roles as "experts" and persons knowledgeable within the field.

Without contact with the field, new teachers face a daunting task. One third-year ESOL teacher described it this way:

I remember as a new teacher thinking, What am I going to do? I've got all these things, I've got all these topics, that's great, I've got all these materials … what am I going to do, and in what order? I remember going to my supervisor … I always got that, "Yes, it's all right, it's fine" … but I always had that question in the back of my mind, Is it good?

When asked about what it was like to participate in the staff development offered as part of our research study, she reflected: "I thought getting the chance to speak with and learn from other professionals in my field was a rare and most valuable prize."

An Agenda for Encouraging Teacher Participation

The theme for next year's TESOL conference, in San Antonio, Texas, in the United States, March 30-April 2, 2005, is "Teaching Learning, Learning Teaching." As we prepare for the conference, I hope we can discuss further how to provide newer teachers, nonnative English speaking teachers and others with the valuable prize of attending the conference and participating in other ways, such as becoming members of national and state TESOL affiliates. Any of you who have suggestions are welcome to post messages on the AEIS electronic list or contact me at If you have not already joined the list, you can do so by going to the TESOL Web site ( and following the instructions from there.

We may also learn more about this issue through our AEIS special project, the "Adult Education Employment Condition Survey," which has been extended to a second year. This project is surveying the working conditions of part-time adult ESOL education programs throughout the United States. Yilin Sun, from Seattle Central Community College, is the principal investigator for the project. TESOL has offered to help us distribute the survey online so we can reach the maximum participation possible. We will be sending you more information about this project in the coming months.

Our Academic Sessions and Discussion Groups

Of course, this issue was not the only one brought up by the membership. Another group of participants wanted to see more international adult educators at the next conference. In response, our chair-elect, Trudy Lothian, who is based in Ontario, Canada, is in the process of organizing a panel of international educators for our academic session next year. In addition, MaryAnn Florez, our assistant chair, is also busy putting together the discussion groups for next year. All of us would welcome your ideas and participation in planning the activities of AEIS during the coming year.

Have a great summer!

Marilyn Gillespie
AEIS Chair, 2004-2005

Questions and Answers About Publishing Student Writing on the Web

By Dorothy Taylor,

At this year's TESOL Conference in Long Beach, California, I presented a poster session on the stories that my students and I have published on the Web. I teach adult refugees and immigrants at the Educational Opportunity Center in Buffalo, New York. My students' literacy levels range from lower than first grade to about fifth grade on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE). I decided to publish my students' writing on the Web for a couple of reasons. There are few low literacy materials available on the Internet, and my students enjoy writing and reading these stories because they are about subjects of interest to them. In addition, the process of preparing these pages develops writing and computer skills. I use software called Hot Potatoes (2004) to put together Web pages of my students' stories. Hot Potatoes allows you to include the text of the stories and activities related to them, such as multiple-choice questions or matching exercises. The handout for my poster session, including the URL for Hot Potatoes and the step-by-step process that I use can be found at: The students' Web pages are available at:

The poster session was well received at the conference, and I thank everyone who stopped by to chat with me. Rather than duplicating or summarizing the handout, I have chosen to address some questions that were raised by people visiting the poster session.

Q: Do your students create their own Web pages?
A: Yes--and no. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the Hot Potatoes software at my school. However, my students do type their stories on the computer, find and select the graphics to go with their stories, take or scan digital pictures, and record their voices to create digital voice files. I take all of those files and put them together using the Hot Potatoes software on my computer at home. In the future, I would like to make the software available for the students to do this final step themselves.

Q: How long does it take to create the Web pages?
A: The students' production time varies greatly depending on their literacy and computer skills. Now that I am familiar with the software, it takes me about half an hour to put all the text and graphics files together to create the Web page. Most of the stories include a recording of the students reading their stories. Recording the stories takes 15 minutes or fewer; I edit the recordings to eliminate miscues and hesitations, a labor-intensive task that can add as much as an hour to the process. However, I think it is worth it for the students recording the text as well as the students using the Web site.

Q: Do the students write their own comprehension questions?
A: Usually, they do. Writing multiple-choice questions is not easy for low literacy students, but I give them lots of models and instructional support. My students often have to take tests that require them to answer multiple-choice comprehension questions, and I think it helps them understand these questions better. Occasionally we run out of time, and then I write the questions to accompany the story.

Q: Can you include other kinds of learning activities besides multiple-choice questions?
A: Yes. Hot Potatoes has templates for matching and cloze exercises, short answer questions, and story sequencing.

Q: Why don't you simply put the students' stories on the Web without questions or other exercises?
A: My students want them. When looking at other Web sites, my students have expressed a preference for sites that include questions or other kinds of activities. I think that is partly because they believe learning entails structured activities and partly because it gives them a quantifiable measure of their success.

Q: How do you use these stories?
A: I use the stories we develop for the Web in two ways. First, I use them to teach writing and computer skills with the students who create the Web pages. Second, I use them to teach literacy and basic Web navigating skills to the students who read them.

Q: Can my students use these Web sites?
A: Of course! They are available on the Web for everyone. In fact, my students are thrilled when I tell them that students from other places have been reading their stories.

Q: Do you get permission from the students?
A: Yes. Prior to launching their Web pages, I ask the students to sign a form giving me permission to publish their writing on the Web and verifying that the story is their original work.

Q: How can I put my students' work on the Web?
A: If your institution does not have a Web server that you can use, there are free services available where you can publish your students' work. At the conference, I learned about one free Web hosting service available at


Hot Potatoes (Version 6). [Computer software]. (2004). Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: Half-Baked Software.

Dorothy Taylor teaches at the Educational Opportunity Center in Buffalo, New York, in the United States.

Testing Textbooks in the Adult Education ESOL Classroom

By Lianne Navran,


A couple of months ago, at a staff meeting, I was handed a textbook called Grammar Links I (Butler & Podnecky, 2000) and asked to look it over. The head of my department wanted to know if it would be a good book to use in place of our current text in adult education ESOL. A few weeks earlier, I had seen a catalogue advertisement about another text called English No Problem (Kerns & Long, 2004) that looked like it might be a good alternative to my current one. When I mentioned this to my department head, he said he actually had a copy of that text in his office and offered to let me borrow it, as well. I took both books home and looked them over. It quickly became apparent that Grammar Links taught more in-depth grammar and was a bit more challenging. English No Problem had more work and life skills exercises, but seemed a bit deficient in the grammar department.

The text I was currently using, The New Grammar in Action Book I (Foley & Neblett, 2003), was also focused more on work and life skills, and I had been supplementing heavily from Azar's (1992) Basic English Grammar. The idea of being able to use one integrated text set, such as Grammar Links, without having to coordinate between two texts from entirely different series, appealed to me. As much as I liked Grammar Links, however, I felt a need to test things out with real students before making a recommendation. After all, the department head was talking about standardizing our entire system, so that all of the teachers of a particular level would be using the same text. My opinion could end up affecting dozens of teachers and hundreds of students. Caution was definitely in order!


I came up with a plan: I was currently teaching the present progressive tense chapters from Grammar in Action. I chose a lesson on the simple past tense from Grammar Links, and a simple future lesson from English No Problem. I had photocopy packets made up, and also created a survey (see Appendix) to ask students to compare all of the books, including Azar's.

I started the past tense lesson from Grammar Links, full of enthusiasm for this interesting new book, only to be stopped cold by the students' response. I had not realized how much of the vocabulary would be new to them, nor had it occurred to me that the historical content of the readings would seem irrelevant and even boring to students who wanted to learn work and life skills, not U.S. history. What I had seen as culturally interesting, and a nice change from "the usual," was actually too academic and theoretical for my practical-minded students. To be fair, some of my students with a more academic bent actually did enjoy the lesson, but I could see that this was a textbook more appropriate for a college preparatory ESL program, rather than my adult-ed group.

After only two classes with the Grammar Links text, I gave up on it and used the students' regular textbooks to complete the past tense lesson. The feeling in the classroom was one of relief that the ordeal was over. Next, we gave the English No Problem lesson a try. The students seemed to like and understand this lesson better than the one from Grammar Links. Whether they liked it better than Grammar in Action I could not tell.


My survey results were inconclusive. I think that part of the problem had to do with the students' understanding of my survey questions. For example, some students responded "yes" to both "The exercises in this book are too difficult for me" and "The exercises in this book are the right level for me." Perhaps the students interpreted "too" as "very," a common error.

Another problem was attendance. Only 4 students out of 10 were present on the day we did the survey. I hope to have those who were absent fill out the survey at a later date. Fortunately, I am not entirely dependant on the survey results for my conclusion. I also have my own observations and opinions to report.

As stated earlier, I think that Grammar Links would be a wonderful text for a class focused on academics. The longer readings and realistic listening practice would be good preparation for students wishing to go on to college in the United States. However, Grammar Links is not the right book for a workforce development/life skills-based ESOL course.

There are many things to like about English No Problem. The topics of each lesson are relevant to the development of work and life skills, and although the grammar explanations and practice are definitely insufficient, supplementing from Azar works just as well for this text as for Grammar in Action. My main concern about English No Problem is that several grammar points seem to be included in each lesson, which I think could be confusing. Grammar in Actiongenerally focuses on only one key grammar point at a time. I plan to spend more time examining both of these, and perhaps also look at a few other textbooks, before making a final recommendation.

Future Implications

Although my results were somewhat inconclusive, I learned a lot from this experience. I was reminded of my own academic bias and the need to control it when teaching a work skills-oriented population. I also found that experience really is the best teacher, and that listening to the needs of the students, whether voiced or implied, is my most important priority.

If I do this again, I will plan further ahead and do the whole project earlier in the term to allow longer experiences of various texts and more time to discuss what the students like and do not like, and why. I will stick to books that are aimed at the students I currently teach. I will also rewrite my survey to make the results easier to understand and include some open-ended questions such as, "Which of these textbooks would you choose, and why?"


Azar, B. (1992). Basic English grammar. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents.

Butler, L., & Podnecky, J. (2000). Grammar links 1. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Foley, B., & Neblett, E. (2003). The new grammar in action book 1. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Kerns, T., & Long, P. (2004). English no problem. New York: New Readers Press.


Table, grammar section only.

The full appendix is available as a 110k PDF document [].

Lianne Navran is an adjunct instructor of ESOL and Chinese at Daytona Beach Community College in Florida, in the United States.

Review: Basic English Skills Test (BEST)

Reviewed by Gena Bennett,

Purpose: To assess the English language ability of adult ESL learners at the survival and pre-employment skills level.
Cost: Computer Adaptive Version: required training (up to 25 participants), $3,250; test, from 20 administrations for $30 up to 500 administrations for $500; additional picture cue booklets $15. Paper-based: (complicated, but for 100 administrations) $430; additional picture cue booklets $15.

Author and Publisher: Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington D.C., USA.
Contact Information: Dorry M. Kenyon,, (Director, Language Testing Division); Laurel Winston, (Coordinator, BEST Administration); Center for Applied Linguistics, 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016-1859, Tel. 202-362-0700; Fax 202-362-3740;

Background and Introduction

The Basic English Skills Test (BEST) was first developed in the 1970s in response to the new communicative method of teaching to test adult ESL learners at the survival and pre-employment skills level. Today, the test is published by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and is used primarily by adult ESL programs across the United States for placement, progress, diagnostic, screening, and program evaluation purposes. The latest version of the paper-based test (Forms B and C) was updated by CAL in 1989; in 2003, CAL released a computer adaptive version of the oral interview section. For purposes of reviewing the BEST, I piloted paper-based test Form C on 10 students in my adult English class for parents of ESOL learners.

Test Content

The BEST consists of an oral interview section and a literacy skills section that are scored separately. The oral interview section has a total of 46 questions and provides scores for communication (50 points), fluency (24 points), and listening comprehension (9 points) skills. The oral section is administered individually and should take approximately 15 minutes, although in my experience, 25 minutes was the average interview length; tasks include telling time, asking for directions, following directions, counting money to buy items, and conversing socially. The literacy skills section has a total of 55 questions and provides scores for reading (49 points) and writing (25 points) skills. The literacy section can be administered individually or in a group and should take approximately one hour. Reading tasks include dates on a calendar, labels on food and clothing, bulletin announcements, and newspaper want ads; writing tasks include addressing an envelope, writing a rent check, filling out an application form, and writing short letters.


Overall, the BEST is very authentic; however, there were some particular problems with the oral interview section. First, questions for the oral interview section were generally worded in an unnatural and sometimes unnecessarily difficult way. For example, number 32 says, "Which one hurt her foot?" I believe it would be simpler and easier, as well as more natural, to say, "Who hurt their foot?" Second, some of the questions used difficult grammatical structures that were not appropriate for the pre-employment, survival skills level the test aims to meet. For example, number 21 says, "What questioncould she ask?" (Italics added). Although questions do need to be discriminatory, this is above the level of English students at the survival and pre-employment levels would possess. Third, some questions were awkward; for example, number 14 says, "What question does he ask?" Although theoretically this question may elicit the target response, "Where is the bus station," it does not mirror authentic communication, is awkward in this sense, and does not make it clear to test-takers how they should respond. When reviewing the test, each of these questions struck me as unnatural; when I administered the test, all were also found difficult by the testees. In addition, the pictures provided in the Picture Cue booklet, although appropriate in what they portray, are out of date.

The literacy skills section had good, authentic questions; for example, finding the price of oranges on a grocery label, and makes good use of example items. Pictures provided in the literacy skills section were not necessarily out of date.

Scoring and Placement

Scoring for the reading tasks is multiple choice and fill in the blank objective scoring; for the oral and writing tasks, scoring is subjective, but raters should adhere to a stringent scoring scale found on pages 19 and 25, respectively, in the training manual. Additionally, a comprehensive "Notes" section is available in the test manual, which gives clear ideas of acceptable and non-acceptable answers. Once all scores have been totaled, raw scores are converted to a scaled score, which is used for placement purposes. The BEST provides descriptions of particular instructional levels (Levels 0-VII) with which specific scores from the test correlate. Level 0 (a scaled score of 0-2) indicates no ability in reading, writing, or oral skills. Level VII (a scaled score of 66+) indicates a reading ability with partial understanding of some non-simplified materials on everyday subjects; a writing ability of performing routine writing tasks in familiar contexts with some errors; and an oral ability to satisfy survival needs, routine work, and social demands and to follow simple oral directions in familiar and some unfamiliar situations. A complete list of levels and abilities is found in Appendix B in the test manual, pages 65-73.


The BEST is practical for programs that are large and offer multilevel classes. Administration is practical only if you have a large staff who is very familiar with the test; however, many pieces are required for the paper-based version (6, including the test manual), and this is not particularly practical when dealing with large numbers of test-takers.

I considered using the BEST as a proficiency test for my adult ESL class for parents of ESOL students (the class from which my pilot subjects came). For various reasons, I was unable to use this test at the beginning of this class. After becoming familiar with the administration process of the test, I am grateful I was not able to use it. It would not have been practical for me, as the only instructor, to administer the test to over 30 students, especially because we only offer one class (multilevel). In large adult education programs, where multiple levels are offered and a testing staff is available, I can see the BEST being practical for use.

Reliability and Validity

The BEST manual provides extensive information about reliability and validity of the test on pages 55-60. Overall, the test boasts high reliability and validity estimates. Table 1 gives overall reliability estimates for the oral and literary skills sections; Table 2 gives interrater reliability estimates. The BEST claims high face validity because the questions are quite similar to the real-life language tasks it aims to test. Further validity evidence was merited through a project with the Mainstream English Language Training (M.E.L.T.) project, where test scores were correlated with the pre-assigned group ratings based on M.E.L.T.'s language training program assessment. Student Performance Levels (SPL) (Levels 0-VII) were calculated from the test-takers' performance on the BEST, then compared to their level in M.E.L.T. Table 3 illustrates the data and score ranges.

Table 1 BEST Reliability
Oral Interview Section Form B Form C
L/C .785 .727
Communication .863 .866
Fluency .864 .843
Total .911 .906
Literacy Skills Section Form B Form C
Reading .957 .968
Writing .899 .909
Total .966 .972
Table 2 BEST Interrater Reliability
Oral Interview Section Form B Form C
L/C .983 .988
Communication .970 .980
Fluency .976 .956
Pronunciation .842 .833
Literacy Skills Section Form B Form C
Reading .999 .999
Writing .999 .982
Table 3 Validity
SPL N Mean S.D.
0 30 10.1 11.5
I 76 14.4 10.0
II 168 24.3 13.1
III 179 35.9 14.0
IV 229 46.7 13.1
V 128 53.1 12.4
VI 143 61.3 9.5
VII 34 68.2 8.1


The BEST provides for positive washback, as it is a useful diagnosis of test-takers' strengths and weaknesses. For example, one of my pilot test-takers, although at a particularly high level for this group of students, had problems with the writing section. I was able to work with him on his writing skills based on his performance on the test. However, in the sense that the bottom line of the BEST is a scaled score to place students in a particular level, it does not promote extensive positive washback.


Overall, the BEST is very appropriate for the purposes for which it is used. Tasks are authentic, although the oral interview section presented several issues discussed earlier. One problem I encountered with my pilot of the test was that it did not seem to accurately place my students. I had been working with these particular students for approximately 30 hours when the test was conducted. The Literacy Skills Section accurately demonstrated the students' abilities, but the Oral Interview Section placed the students at too low a level, based on my experience with them in class. Had I given the students this test as an actual proficiency test before I worked with them in class, my perception of their skills would have been significantly lower than they actually are. Perhaps the reason for the students' poor performance relates to the issues discussed previously, namely awkward wording of questions and grammatical structures which are not appropriate for the pre-employment, survival level.

Another reason that could account for the poor performance of my pilot subjects is in regard to the "fluency" score. Fluency is determined on a four-point scale (0-3), from incomprehensible or no response (0) to an elaborate response (3). Although some of my pilot subjects should have received ratings of 2-3 based on their actual ability (as I witnessed in and out of class discussions), many of the questions did not provide a situation for test-takers to "elaborately" respond to merit the 3-point answer as described in the test manual. For example, numbers 45 and 46 require test-takers to look at a picture of a cook, server, dishwasher, and cashier. Test-takers are to select which job they would like to have and tell why. The responses of my test-takers was that really they would not want either job, or they would choose a job, but would not really know why they would like that job. Had I been taking this test, I think I would also have had trouble elaborating reasons why I did or did not want these particular jobs.


Although weaknesses include outdated pictures and samples, awkwardly worded oral proficiency questions, expensive initial training for the computer adaptive version, and too many pieces for the paper-based versions, the BEST is an authentic and overall practical test for large adult ed programs. Strengths of the BEST include an extensive training manual, instructions, and scoring scales; high construct validity; efficient per test administration cost for the computer adaptive version; and the availability of the new computer adaptive version of the oral interview section.

Gena Bennett is currently a curriculum/program developer for the Topia English Zone in Seoul, South Korea.

Review: Targeting Listening and Speaking: Strategies and Activities for ESL/EFL Students

By Keith S. Folse and Darren Bologna Reviewed by Frank DiGiacomo,

Targeting Listening and Speaking is a carefully planned text. It contains approximately 70% listening focused activities and 30% speaking focused activities. The text seems best suited to the low intermediate-level learner. Activities are structured around high-interest topics such as "Travel" and "Family and Friends." Students listen to and complete listening activities that open each unit. These can be quizzes or other interactive tasks such as filling in a family tree. All are effective in generating classroom discussions and involving students in each unit's theme.

Another feature of the text is "Dictation in a Dialogue." Students follow a listen/repeat, listen/write, and listen/check format. I find the formula effectively addresses the variety of needs typically present in my classrooms. Best of all, the dictations avoid a dry disconnected structure by using engaging conversations on relevant topics such as "Finding the Best Airfare." For learners requiring more practice, extra activities follow.

Listening skills exercises provide bottom-up activities, allowing students to recognize important basic sound differences such as can and can't in sentences. When the teacher has found a problem area, these exercises present the necessary drills to address it.

The lively format may be at its best in the speaking and discussion activities. First, students must read about a topic and write answers to questions on the topic. These questions are not wide-open but rather are focused to require interaction between students. Productive pair and group work result. Topics such as choosing a pet and planning a trip to an exotic location ensure solid class participation.

Exercises in understanding simple conversations focus on improving students' skills in prediction. Like most exercises in the text, the exercises have ready application in academic and everyday contexts. Sound practice exercises have been structured to address the likely problem areas for students from a variety of language backgrounds. I have found excellent learning opportunities for my Hispanic, Korean, and Vietnamese learners.

Simple lectures and comprehension exercises are also provided in this ample classroom toolbox. These lectures will be particularly welcome in a lower level English for academic purposes classroom. Next semester I look forward to using them in mine. Pair talking activities encourage students to create questions using picture prompts. Each unit then finishes with a rapid vocabulary review.

This text provides an excellent balance between challenging drills and high-interest interactive activities. Each unit provides students the opportunity to work as a class, alone, in pairs, and in groups. This allows the teacher to tailor lessons to each class and individual needs. Every page requires a student to interact productively with the text. Students write, make selections, or focus on an interesting issue. I have piloted a few units in my class and found the text a treasure. Folse and Bologna demonstrate that they understand the need for varied and interesting activities in generating student motivation. It is difficult to imagine anything but lively lessons using the text extensively, as I plan to do next semester.

Frank DiGiacomo is a full-time ESOL instructor at Seminole Community College in Florida, in the United States.

Announcement: CA Adult Education Technology Mentor Network

By Marian Thacher,

In California, many adult education programs, including ESOL programs, have computer labs and computers in the classrooms, but teachers still need help integrating computers into the classroom experience. In response to this need, some programs are creating a position, often part time, called something like Technology Coordinator or Technology Mentor. Mentoring might include offering small workshops, teaching demonstration lessons or team teaching with an individual teacher who wants to learn more about using technology with students, asking questions and sharing ideas via e-mail, and posting resources online.

Recently, the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) started an e-mail list for technology mentors. The list quickly grew to over 70 members, many of whom are ESOL teachers and coordinators. Participants are asking each other about software, hardware, and lesson activities, and are able to network with other programs in the state. For example, one program in the mountainous area of the north has begun using interactive whiteboards in the ESOL classrooms, and through the Technology Mentor Network list they were able to find a few other programs in the state that have been doing this and had suggestions for the teachers.

The list is being used to plan technology-related workshops for our state CATESOL conference next year, and list participants have also signed up for an online meeting where they can share their Web browsers with each other in order to demonstrate their favorite instructional Web site. Another online meeting is planned to address the topic of ways for teachers to use PowerPoint in the classroom.

Marian Thacher is the coordinator of Technology Projects at OTAN in California, in the United States.

AEIS Executive Board/Steering Committee 2004-2005

Marilyn Gillespie
SRI International
1100 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 2800
Arlington, Virginia 22209-3915
Work Phone: 703-247-8510
Work Fax: 703-247-8493
Home Phone: 301-571-1263

Trudy Lothian
Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board
893 Admiral Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K2A 1N9
Work Phone: 613-224-6281
Fax: 613-723-7510
Home Phone: 613-759-4142
E-mail: and

Assistant Chair
MaryAnn Florez
Lead ESL Specialist
Arlington Education and Employment Program
2801 Clarendon Boulevard, #218
Arlington, Virginia 22201 USA
Work Phone: 703-228-8026
Fax: 703-527-6966
Home Phone: 703-532-4612

José A. Carmona
Daytona Beach Community College
Dept. of Modern Languages/ESOL
1200 W. International Speedway Boulevard
Daytona Beach, Florida 32120-2811 USA
Work Phone: 386-506-4568
Fax: 386-947-5474
Home Phone: 386-445-6396
E-mail: and

Beth Wallace
UAE University
P.O. Box 17172
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Phone: 971-03-7511361

Immediate Past Chair
Rosie Maum
JCPS Adult and Continuing Education
Jacob Annex
3670 Wheeler Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40215 USA
Phone: 502-485-3892
Fax: 502-485-3609

Mary Jane Bagwell
Chemeketa Community College
P.O. Box 14009
Salem, Oregon 97309-7070 USA
Phone: 503-589-7714
Fax: 503-399-3914

Members at Large
Pauline McNaughton
Center for Canadian Language Benchmarks
200 Elgin Street, Suite 703
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1L5
Work Phone: 613-230-7729
Work Fax: 613-230-9305
Home Phone: 613-230-7729

Beth Thompson
3034 N. 85th Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53222 USA
Phone/Fax: 414-873-0611

Carol Van Duzer
Center for Applied Linguistics
4646 40th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20016-1859 USA
Work Phone: 202-362-0700
Work Fax: 202-362-3740
Home Phone: 703-522-7134

About This Member Community

ESOL in Adult Education Interest Section (AEIS)

The ESOL in Adult Education Interest Section serves the interest of adult students in ESL programs, their teachers, and administrators. It brings together the knowledge, precepts, and skills of two distinct but compatible areas: adult education and English as a second language.

AEIS Community Leaders, 2004-2005

Chair: Marilyn Gillespie,
Chair-Elect: Trudy Lothian,
Newsletter Editor: José A. Carmona,

Web site:

Discussion e-list: Visit to subscribe to AEIS-L, the discussion e-list, or if you already subscribe.