Generating Inspiration in Adult Literacy Learners
I have been working with a few students in the classroom the past few weeks on their essays. I have combined the regular classroom setup with tables and chairs with a row of computers.
I had also been encouraging learners to bring in their netbook, Iphones and laptops to take advantage of the wireless connection.
I found that students were more comfortable moving between pen and paper work and electronic composing and surfing when these activities were modelled by me first. It gave them a feeling, I guess, that it was in fact permissible for them to work back and forth as they needed.
For example, I found using BUBBL.US, a mapping site, very useful for guiding one learner to come up with ideas while working through the planning step of her essay writing. In this case, this learner needed to be guided through the process to generate ideas about symbolism used in Monkey Beach. After talkign with her, I mapped out a map connecting ideas.
I have also used Itools.com to search for a synonym and demonstrated this process with one learner to help her with creating her thesis statement.
An interesting development that came out of this was that this one learners set up her schedule to take advantage of two instructors and spend three hours a day completing her essay assignment. I realized that the student probably benefitted a great deal from being asked to look at the writing process from two different perspectives, guided by two instructors focussing on different elements. Alas, the student has completed the task in a matter of two weeks. There might be potential for researching team teaching efforts with literacy students to mentor them in advanced writing skills.