We are the world: Serving language minority adults in family literacy programs.
Wrigley, H.S. (2004). We are the world: Serving language minority adults in family literacy programs, in Wasik, B.H Handbook on Family Literacy: Research and Services, pp. 449–465.
This work appears as a chapter in a handbook on family literacy. The first section describes the community of newcomers who make up most family literacy programs in the United States, increasingly diverse and living in poverty, and highlights how programs can best serve them. The author suggests a hybrid approach to instruction, to provide best fit between curriculum, program resources, and learner needs. The second half of the chapter illustrates effective strategies drawn from promising family literacy programs in the United States. Wrigley suggests that the stakes for these ESL learners is high; thus, programs should strive to offer meaningful learning opportunities that will impact the lives of their learners.
Family literacy, minority, education
Other interesting information
''What factors influence the acquisition of English literacy skills the most? One would think that the further away the writing system of the home language is from the system to be learned (English), the more difficulty learners would have acquiring literacy in their new language. This situation tends to be true, but both research and practice show that other factors tend to matter as much, if not more than mere similarity among print systems. These factors include first and foremost the opportunities for schooling that parents have had and, along with that experience, the level of literacy they have attained in the native language. Many family literacy programs struggle with finding a philosophical approach to ESL and literacy that ties together curriculum and teaching, provides a common language for discussing program goals, and inspires both students and staff to work hard around a common goal. In my experience, programs where staff share a common perspective have an easier time making decisions about teaching and learning, and are less likely to chase new funding that doesn’t match the program focus. Being in a program that has a clear focus has benefits for children and parents as well, as it allows them to see why the program has selected a certain approach and how individual pieces fit within the model. Conversely, parents are often confused and frustrated when classes merely present a series of activities (fun though they may be) and fail to engage them in literacy work that is both important and worthwhile. What to teach and why has long been a question for educators (Bruner, 1996; Freire 1985; Eisner 1994; Pinar 1995, Wrigley, 1992). And debates about the merits of various ideologies have a long history (Eisner, 1974). Among the different conceptualizations of curriculum, five orientations frequently manifest themselves in adult immigrant education. Each is rooted in history and offers the possibility of serving as a guiding philosophy for family literacy programs. 1. Fitting In: Social and Economic Adaptation. 2. Learning how to Learn: Developing the Cognitive Skills Related to Literacy. 3. Basic Skills: A Common Educational Core Experience. 4. Celebrating Our Differences: Personal and Cultural Relevance. 5. Making a Difference: The Social Change Orientation.''
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Stéphanie Barillé - firstname.lastname@example.org