2022 Gulf Coast Literacy Symposium

About This Year's Sessions

Fun and Effective Strategies for the ESL Classroom

In this session, participants will engage in interactive activities to increase engagement in the ESL Classroom. Learn how you can take control of your class by incorporating activities that promote student interaction and build community. Developing a collaborative learning community within your class will foster peer learning, meaningful discussions, and increased student retention.

Presenter: Martin Loa

Contextualizing Instruction Across the Four Language Domains

Learn how to contextualize new and essential topics for your Adult Education and Literacy students by linking your instruction to the four language domains: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. By focusing on the application in a specific context, participants will learn how to extract relevant vocabulary from different sectors and provide quality instruction. 

This class will take a deep dive into Energy Literacy and its complexity.

Presenter: Alicia Procter

The Importance of Digital Literacy

Transformative digital literacy: If images of laptops and desktops and broadband connections are the only things that come to mind when you hear the words digital literacy, then there is definitely a whole new technological world awaiting you. 

This session will explore the transformative impact of digital literacy contextualized within the Literacy Ecosystem. Attendees will explore skills and knowledge needed to prepare their instructional programs for post-pandemic digital expectations and equity.

Presenter: Jacqueline Aguilera

Houston’s Literacy Blueprint

In 2021, the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL) in Houston developed an Adult Literacy Blueprint that serves as the local strategic plan for the field for the next 15 years. The Blueprint is the only such plan in the country and the Mayor of Houston officially adopted it in June 2021. In order to develop it and start implementing it, the MOAL engaged a large representation of the community, developing a collective impact approach that has become a national model in just under a year.

Come hear about the process the MOAL followed to develop the blueprint and learn the strategies that are making possible the implementation of the plan.

The presenter will engage participants to identify strategies that may work in their localities and will share a Blueprint for the Blueprint, a set of considerations for cities or towns wanting to develop their own plans.

Presenter: Federico Salas-Isnardi

Breaking the Code: Helping Readers Understand How Words Work to Improve Reading Skills

In this session, you will learn how words work in English and the essential skills that all readers need to be successful. Learn how to determine your students’ reading skills using the Quick Phonics Screen (an easy tool that gives a wealth of information), how to help students improve their ‘decoding’ skills, gain an understanding of the six basic types of syllables in English, and ways to divide and conquer multi-syllabic words. 

This session is appropriate for tutors of students with low, middle, or high reading skills as it will teach you how to further develop their ability to read simple to complex words.

Presenter: Sally Kubiak

Learning Styles and How to Maximize Them

Come and get the tools necessary to assess and accommodate your students who may suffer from an undiagnosed learning disability. This session will teach best practices and techniques in the classroom to help your students grasp and maintain the material presented. 

Typical strategies and accommodations that may help adults with learning disabilities include reading out loud, audio texts, color-coding for organization, use of graphic organizers (charts, diagrams, etc.), having opportunities to re-state information in one’s own words, and one-on-one instruction.

Presenter: Kim Mason

Working Lunch – The Power of Collaboration

This session will focus on the power of collaboration between state or federally funded community based organizations and those CBOs who do not receive federal or state dollars. Learn how and why collaboration can further the mission and vision of all organizations involved.

Presenter: Ernest Lewis III

Retention and Persistence in an Adult Education Classroom

In this session, participants will be guided through the planning for first contact with participants through the use of research on student persistence. This first contact is the initial step to retention. The session will review the Drivers of Persistence as well as 10 strategies for improving retention and attendees will be provided strategies for addressing areas identified by research that likely impact student persistence.

 Participants will share in a discussion on motivation and how it impacts AEL students.

Presenter: Martin Loa

How to Teach the Skill of Reading Comprehension

This session focuses on reading for understanding and how to build students’ reading comprehension skills. Learn how to help students do what good readers do, including reread, make predictions, sound out words, etc. 

Gain an understanding of the comprehension skills and strategies that need to be explicitly taught to students such as inferring, visualizing, asking questions, and using context skills. We will talk about building vocabulary and the resources that are available to you as a tutor.

Presenter: Sally Kubiak

GED Mathematical Reasoning

Experience how the High Impact Indicators (HIIs) for Mathematical Reasoning provide a roadmap for teaching better problem-solving strategies and utilizing more real world examples.

Presenter: Krista Mosher

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