Marshall Adult Education


Welcome to the March Volunteer Coordinator Newsletter for ABE professionals!



1. Sessions Set for MLC’s Sharing the Power Event April 21

2. Technology Review: Teaching Job Interview Skills with Online Resources

3. Improve Your Data Collection and Management Skills with ProLiteracy

4. Proposals Needed for ABE Summer Institute

5. New MLC Tutor Trainer

6. Upcoming Trainings

7. Job Announcements


For more information, please contact Cathy Grady, MLC Adult Program Director: 651-645-2277, Ext. 208 or


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1.      Sharing the Power: MLC’s Mini-Conference and Awards Luncheon

Saturday, April 21

8:15 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Roseville, MN

***Please remember to nominate your outstanding learners, volunteers, and community partners for awards (see more information below).***

Here is the day’s agenda with a list of the breakout sessions that will be presented at the conference:

8:15 - 8:45 a.m.          Registration


 8:45 – 10:00 a.m.  Breakout Training Sessions


English is Stress Full! – Suzanne McCurdy

Are there times when you say the correct English words, but people still don’t understand what you mean?  This is most likely because, not only do we need to use the right words, but English also has a special stress pattern that is essential for understanding.  Come learn about the rhythm of English pronunciation and ways to practice – even at home!  This is a workshop especially for learners!


Quick Study Ideas for Busy Adults – Jessica Grace Jones, Anne Johnson

Are you busy?  Are you trying to learn English or new vocabulary?  Learn about easy ways to study in the car, on the bus, waiting in line…even while you’re watching TV!  This presentation is designed for volunteers, teachers and students at any level.


Teaching ESL with Music and Chants – Nima Salehi

Music and chants can be used to teach a wide range of ESL skills; reading, writing, speaking and pronunciation. This hands-on presentation will encourage participants to analyze music and chant lesson handouts and modify them to suit their own classroom curriculum. 


Creative Ways to Learn Critical Thinking Skills for the GED – Megan Banick

Rote learning and content-based memorization alone will not enable an individual to pass the GED tests.  Teaching critical thinking skills gives learners the ability to decipher information across all subjects encountered in the GED.  Join us as we discuss methods for learning and teaching these invaluable skills using political cartoons, diagrams, charts and much more!


10:15 – 11:30 a.m. Breakout Training Sessions


Managing Multi-Level Classrooms: Strategies and Tips – Suzanne McCurdy, Jessica Grace Jones

This workshop will focus on effective strategies used in the facilitation of a multi-level ESL classroom. Sample activities and tips will be discussed with each approach


Literacy Activity Grab Bag – Rob Podlasek

Come learn a variety of fun ways to learn, review, and practice reading and writing.


Theater Games for Learning ESL – Gail Irish

Theater games are a fun way to play with language and to interact in a group where there are varying levels of language ability. We’ll try a number of different games using pictures, words, and sounds to create dialogs and short scenes. Come prepared to play and have fun.


Culture – Nima Salehi

Who are you and what is your background? Come to this session on culture and diversity to share information about your ethnic, national and cultural background with students and teachers. Explore common stereotypes and think about they affect our teaching and learning.


11:45 a.m.  - 1:30 p.m.  Awards Luncheon

Registrations and nominations are now being accepted for this exciting training and recognition event for volunteers, teachers, learners, coordinators and others involved in ABE in Minnesota. Please visit the MLC Web site for all the details, and all the forms you need to attend: (You can also download forms to nominate your volunteers, learners, and community partners for awards here). Please consider nominating a volunteer, learner or community partner involved in your program for an award! We are accepting award nominations through March 23, 2007.

We hope you will join us and spread the word to those who share the power of learning with your program: learners and their volunteer tutors. Space is limited to 144, so early registration is encouraged.


2.                  Technology Review: Teaching Job Interview Skills with Online Resources

By Nima Salehi


Helping our students improve their employment skills is a key element of the ABE life skills curriculum. Now we have an exciting new online tool created by a Minnesota educator to help us accomplish this goal. Ric Dwyer of Rochester ABE, with funding from a Minnesota Literacy Council innovative technology grant, has put together a series of excellent video segments illustrating the “do’s” and “don’ts” of job interviews. These videos are available online along with interactive vocabulary, comprehension and listening exercises. The interviewees are five ESL students from Rochester who play the role of job applicants with a professional interviewer from a Rochester employment agency. ESL students can relate to the range of Hispanic, Asian and African faces and see ways they too can succeed in presenting themselves as marketable potential employees. Video segments cover typical interview questions, such as “Tell me about yourself” or “What did you like about your last job?”  In the first section students model a range of appropriate answers. Then in the “don’ts” section they respond with amusing but unacceptable descriptions of their actions or personal qualities. The applicants’ clothing, comportment and posture correlate to good and bad interview protocol, providing teachers with a rich array of class discussion topics.


Teachers can use these entertaining videos in the classroom with a computer/projector combination, and then follow up with print versions of vocabulary and comprehension activities. Additional independent or class review can be conducted in a computer lab. This Web site ( offers ABE educators authentic and stimulating materials to prepare students to secure jobs.





3.                  ProLiteracy Data Collection and Management Training in Brooklyn Park 


The Minnesota Literacy Council will host ProLiteracy’s north central regional presentation of Data Collection and Management on April 23 and 24 in Brooklyn Park, MN. ProLiteracy Worldwide is a nonprofit international literacy organization based in Syracuse, NY, that was formed by the 2002 merger of Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. ProLiteracy Worldwide is now the oldest and largest nongovernmental literacy organization in the world and pursues a mission of sponsoring educational programs that help adults and their families acquire the literacy practices and skills they need to function more effectively in their daily lives.


There is no fee for the Data Collection and Management training, and stipends of $750 and $1500 are available to support two levels of program participation in the project.


Programs wishing to participate should submit an application by Friday, March 16. Data Collection and Management is the first of three training modules being produced through the Dollar General/ProLiteracy Performance Accountability Initiative. Over the course of nine hours, participating programs will identify their accountability system gaps while they learn about promising practices related to:

-- assessment

-- data collection

-- data storage and retrieval

-- building a culture of accountability and improvement within the program


Programs that participate in the training will be asked to implement one or more of the promising practices over the nine months following the training. Their challenges, experiences, and successful strategies will be shared through print pieces that ProLiteracy will distribute nationally at the end of the project. Much of the content of the training is drawn from exemplary literacy and adult education programs across the country.


If you are interested in attending this training, please e-mail Cathy Grady at or Melanie Daniels at

for an application.


To be considered for participation, your program must submit its completed application via e-mail (snail mail or faxes cannot be accepted) by March 16, 2007, to Up to 20 programs will be selected and invited to send two people from each program to the training.


For more information about Data Collection and Management or about the initiative in general, please contact Melanie Daniels, project manager, at the e-mail address given above. 


In addition to a timely training topic, the session will provide opportunities to network with other literacy professionals interested in strengthening their performance accountability practices.



4.                  Proposals Needed for ABE Summer Institute


Some days it seems like summer will never come, so it’s good news that Literacy Minnesota and the Minnesota Community Education Association are already accepting presentation proposals for the 2007 ABE Statewide Summer Institute August 8-10. The conference is for ABE professionals, registration staff and community education directors, and will be held at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN (just over an hour drive from the Twin Cities).


If you would like to present a session at the conference, please fill out and return your application by March 30, 2007. Click here for an application. Sessions on a wide variety of ABE teaching and administrative topics are needed.




5.         A New Trainer in Town

by Casie Moen


MLC is proud to announce a new addition to our team of professional tutor trainers: Gail Irish. Does that name sound familiar? Perhaps you might remember Gail from her role as ESL Volunteer Coordinator from 2000 – 2004 at South Hennepin Adult Programs in Education (SHAPE). Or, maybe her work as the Program Coordinator who launched the MLC Learning Center on Lake Street in February of 2004 rings a bell. You could have caught her at ELS Language Center where she taught small groups of ESL learners, or you might have seen her around Lincoln Adult Education Center where she volunteered as a classroom assistant this past year. To be sure, Gail Irish is well acquainted with the Minnesota literacy community and brings an abundance of knowledge and experience with her to her new ESL Tutor Trainer position.


Gail began her journey in teaching while instructing adults in English and French language classes in Italy. “That’s when I found out that I really enjoyed teaching adults,” Gail notes. After a few years pursuing other interests, Gail returned to her love of teaching by joining the team at SHAPE. “In those days, we had so many volunteers that we did the whole 12-hour Pre-Service training on-site,” Gail explains, “Amy Libman [now Program Coordinator at Minnesota Internship Charter School] and I learned the training from Rob [Podlasek] and modified it to fit the needs of our site. That’s when I found out how much I love training!”


Gail sees her work in the literacy community as highly collaborative and finds value in connecting volunteers to learners and resources to programs. “One thing about this profession,” she notes, “is that there is a lot of sharing of learning and knowledge. I remember when I was running the MLC Learning Center on Lake Street and found learner registration on demand very challenging. Nicole Pettit at the English Learning Center allowed me to come over and see their group registration process. She even let me copy all of the forms she had developed. Sharing like this is a huge strength of our network.”


When asked about what her hopes are for her new ESL Tutor Trainer position, Gail’s face lights up. She says, “I am just so honored to be a part of this important cause and helping others to get involved as well. When it comes down to it we are all here to serve the learners.” She adds: “One of the gifts of volunteering with ESL learners is the opportunity to learn about other cultures, other perspectives, other world views.  We find many commonalities, of course, and we also discover many differences, which hopefully lead to greater understanding, less fear, and a desire to learn more about the world beyond our borders.  I have felt humbled and honored in my work with immigrants and refugees, especially when they have trusted me with their stories and invited me into their lives and homes.”


As anyone who has the chance to sit down with Gail would agree, she possesses one very essential quality of being a fantastic teacher: a love of learning. “I see my role as a trainer as a new opportunity to share and grow and learn,” she says. “In the end, they are all very interrelated.”


Gail can be reached at or 651-645-2277, extension 291.




6.         Upcoming Trainings and In-Services

All trainings held at the Minnesota Literacy Council, 756 Transfer Road, St. Paul, 55114. Please contact Jennifer Levenhagen at 651.645.2277, ext. 241 or to register. For more details about any of the training topics below, please visit


ESL Tutor Pre-Service Trainings


April 2, 4, 9, 11

Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


April 17, 19, 24, 26

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


April 23, 25, 30, May 2

Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


May 8, 10, 12

Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.



Reading, Writing and GED Tutor Pre-Service Trainings


April 24, 26, 28

Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Monday and Wednesday, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


May 29, 31, June 5, 7

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


In-Service Workshops


Teaching with Music and Chants

March 26, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Effective Teaching Strategies with Hmong Learners

April 12, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Teaching Writing

April 18, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Teaching Citizenship

May 3, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


Building Cultural Competency

May 7, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


Teaching Low-Level Literacy Skills in the ESL Classroom

May 16, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


Teaching with Games

May 30, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.


Technology In-Services


ESL Software Practice – at the MLC office

April 10, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.





7. Job Announcements


Position:           Part-Time Workforce Education Teacher

Location:          Various Locations in the Northern Suburbs

Schedule:          Varied Hours and Duration

Start:                Position Currently Available


Duties and Responsibilities


Deliver customized Adult Basic Education courses in Math or English Language Learning to corporate clients.  Must have the ability to develop curricula for native and non-native speaking adult learners; establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, management and public; and negotiate with and work within diverse corporate cultures.


Minimum Qualifications


Must have a valid Minnesota teaching license or advanced ESL degree.  Also required is knowledge and experience in professional practices, procedures and techniques of adult education.  Work experience in a corporate environment preferred.


To Apply


Interested candidates should visit the Anoka-Hennepin ISD #11 website at and click the 'Employment Opportunities' link > 'To apply for job openings and to explore employment opportunities CLICK HERE'. 

Please apply to Job Posting number YR07-1.


For further information contact Julie Dincau at 763-576-4789.




Training Coordinator – Early Literacy and Families

Minnesota Literacy Council


Individual needed for full-time Training Coordinator position in the Early Literacy and Families (ELF) program. Under the guidance of the Children’s Program Director, this position oversees revenue-generating training sessions, MLC Adult Learning Center activities, and Family-Friend-Neighbor (Resources for Child Caring) partnership. The ELF Training Coordinator also plays a key role in facilitating sustainability efforts for the program, managing budgets, modifying the training program as needed, and participating in the evaluation of the program.


Specific responsibilities for the ELF Training Coordinator include, but are not limited to:


  • Develop and facilitate early literacy trainings for professionals and others in the early literacy field in coordination with early literacy team at MLC and CEED (Center for Early Education and Development);

  • Coordinate family events at MLC learning centers;

  • Conduct program planning, monitoring and evaluation;

  • Ensure that ELF services comply with professional standards;

  • Maintain regular contact with staff about program needs;

  • Ensure reports are completed in a timely manner;

  • Assist with agency communications regarding ELF, such as writing articles, providing data, speaking to groups, attending meetings, etc.


Qualifications for this position include:


·                                Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Parent Education, Social Work or equivalent of education and experience;

·                                Two or more years of direct service with families in capacities such as home visiting, adult/family/child literacy, parent education, early childhood education or the equivalent;

·                                Demonstrated success in developing and delivering trainings and/or teaching;

·                                Ability to relate effectively with people of other cultures and varying educational backgrounds;

·                                Ability to collaborate effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders;

·                                Good judgment and resourcefulness;

·                                Excellent oral and written communication and presentation skills;

·                                Ability to work a flexible schedule, including occasional evenings and weekends;

·                                Fluency in English required; proficiency in a language other than English (Spanish, Somali, Hmong) desirable.


To apply, please submit resume and cover letter by Tuesday, April 3rd to:


Debbie Cushman

Human Resources

Minnesota Literacy Council

756 Transfer Road

St. Paul, MN 55114-1404

Fax: 651-645-2272

Ph: 651-645-2277 x 242



The Minnesota Literacy Council is an affirmative action /equal opportunity employer.




Cathy Grady

Adult Program Director

Minnesota Literacy Council

756 Transfer Road

St. Paul, MN 55114-1404

651-645-2277 ext. 208

Fax: 651-645-2272


Web site:


The Minnesota Literacy Council shares the power of learning through education, community building, and advocacy.



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