ELA SEI Teacher and ABE teacher



I am teaching a young adult ELA SEI class to newcomers, most spanish speaking males, ages 17-23. Many of these students are a sub-population of ELL, SIFE (students with interrupted formal education) and/or the education received in their home country does not match the US education equivalent. I will be teaching targeted literacy skills in my ELA class this year, which is new to me as I am not a certified reading teacher. I plan to create centers for targeted reading, writing and foundational literacy skills (decoding, sight words, phonics).

I am looking for any resources, research articles this community may suggest for teaching literacy skills to adult learners. My biggest struggle and question at this point, is to find age appropriate resources for older students. For example, I want to have an audio option to listen to sight words individually and in context. I have found apps - but few websites that aren't geared toward Kindergarten/1st grade, hence the material/images/voices are too young. My plan at this point is to create ppts that have audio of my own voice pronouncing the sight words and sentences in context. However, if I don't have to create the wheel, that is my preference! Should anyone have any online resources students could use at a foundational skill center (audio) or useful materials otherwise - please share! I will be creating flashcards (sight words) and picture glossaries (new vocab). We do use Raz-Kids for audio books with our ABE/ELL adult student population, which again is geared toward younger kids but has options that are relevant to older students too.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and guidance.

NIki R.


Niki, thanks so much for posting this request. We have a lot of expertise in this group that I hope is shared with you right away! You have your hands full, I'm sure, working with young adults who are apparently, working at different levels!    So that we are all on the same page, would you define ELA (English Language Aqcuisition?), SEI (Structured English Immersion?), and ELL (English Language Learners?)?    When you refer to "centers for targeted reading," will they work like stations, where students will complete activities and then move to the next target or station? I really like using stations with multi-level groups. It takes time to set them up for independent work, but they are very effective!   For sure, Niki, mark your calendar to join the three-day discussion on Let's Talk Phonics, August 27,28, and 29. In fact, in addition to learning a lot from the short phonics-instruction videos that we will discuss from the Partners in Reading, Read Santa Clara, and the California State Library, you will really learn a lot about reading instruction to adults in many other videos that model instruction in all four "pillars" of reading instruction: Alphabetics (phonemic development and phonics), Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Fluency. CLICK HERE to see the announcement.   I'll come back here and add my two cents to some of your questions on resources and ideas. In the meantime, consider joining the ELA (English Language Acquisition) group to expand this discussion among even more practitioners. Once you do, you can Edit your original post and check the ELA group to receive copies of entries here. More later. Leecy

Hi Niki, Thanks for your important questions. I think you would find the the ELLU course on teaching emergent readers quite helpful since it includes many practical ideas for teaching this special group of learners.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP

Niki, as promised, I'm posting a few suggestions to add to others in this group. 

On LINCS Toward the top of our LINCS pages, you'll find link to our Resource Collection. Once there, enter different keywords to identify resources to meet your needs, such as "teaching literacy to adults," or "English Language Learners," or "Phonics Instruction." Among them are the following; The list goes on.    Audio You and your students will love two sites. 
  1. Audacity  is an open source platform that allows you and, more importantly, your students to easily create audio files. I recommend this site for students to hear themselves and each other, for short dictations (a lost art), paired dialogues, and more. 
  2. Voki.com  is another gem and a real hoot! In just a very few minutes, you/your students can select from many avatars and accessories and have it say whatever you want. The site has voices that will read what you write, or you can read the words yourself. The segments can be downloaded and shared in many ways, including email. Here are a couple of examples. I didn't have a voice at the time, so I used Voki voices.
The free option is more limited than the paid, but it's still very good.   Flashcards   Now you've  called upon another favorite: Quizlet.com. On Quizlet, you/students can find umpteen pre-made flashcard series on unlimited topics. You can also create cards, which can then be practiced with games and other fun activities. Again, the free version has more limited options (no images, for example), but the app is super popular with instructors and students. Enter any topic and then play with the practice tools that show up from someone else's work. As you said, no need to reinvent the wheel.   Finally for now, if you do a search on OER Commons, you'll find umpteen resources for adults. The nice thing about OER (Open Educational Resources) is that you/students can download and modify the content!   OK. I'll let others drop in and add gems to this thread. Leecy


Thank you very much for welcoming me to the group and providing me with some great resources and asking additional questions. I will review the resources, as well as the suggestions to connect to other groups. I will also answer your questions regarding the acronyms I referenced. I want to give this thought and allow time to review everything. I will be back in touch very soon.

What a lovely learning community - I didn't expect such quick responses! I also have to change my settings so I receive notifications that people have responded to posts.

Talk soon.


Wonderful, Niki! You'll find an option for receiving notifications every 12 or every 24 hours. Let's keep talking! Leecy

I am looking for a good home for a collection of materials related to adult learner writing (e.g., research articles, guidebooks, and collections of adult learner writings from around the U.S.)   I compiled these over the past three decades but now need to turn them over to someone else for use and safekeeping.  (I am in the process of moving and can no longer store these materials.) I think these represent a treasure trove of good work done by creative practitioners and learners and could be very useful for others (e.g., practitioners, learners, researchers, graduate students and faculty in university adult education programs . . . ) interested in the helping learners develop writing skills and related areas like student publications and adult learner leadership. If you might be interested in taking ownership of these materials, please contact me ASAP.                              Paul Jurmo                                                        www.pauljurmo.info, pjurmo@comcast.net