Hello, I am a new member to this group and I joined because I believe that Learning Circles are becomeing more and more important to adult education. I specialize in teaching ESL and, at best, less than 10% of the target population can be enrolled in ESL classes. At the same time, many adults in general simply cannot attend regular classes no matter what the subject. But they certainly can through learning circles,
Below is an article I have written which sums up my classes and approach.:
Bridging The Digital Divide - at last!
For more than 15 years we have been using the term “Digital Divide” in adult education to describe the fact that low-income adults are not able to afford computers or internet service and are therefore unable to access technology as well as they should.
Well, now there is a solution to this problem that includes:
- Teaching computer basics in adult literacy classes.
- Providing user-friendly websites in blended literacy classes, which are regular classes that include computer instruction in a computer lab setting.
- Providing a means for students to own a low-cost computer.
- Using Smartphones as fundamental part of instruction.
- Providing texts, CDs, and DVDs and Thumb Drives.
- Advertising – publicity.
I have been teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language for more than 25 years and I have been using a Drop-In approach at a public library for a over a year and a half.
The students are low income Latino immigrants, usually women between the ages of 35 and 60. Most of them work during the day and have children. I provide classes to about 25 students on one day of the week, in the morning and evening.
When students enroll in the class, they receive a copy of one of my textbooks and a printed sheet with the information concerning my two EFL websites, pumarosa.com and inglesconprofepablo.com.
And if they are own a computer, they receive a thumb drive with many of my texts and videos. I encourage those without computers to buy a used laptop at a second hand store so that they also can use the thumb drive.
All the students are also added to a WhatsApp Smartphone group which I use to send lessons during the week and also notifications, such as cancellations, etc. If students miss a class, I send them the text or video that covers the topic or question.
At the same time I have created Facebook groups which provide English lessons on grammar, pronunciation, Readings and …songs!
People need to solicit membership in these groups and there are about 4000 members in total.
I advertise my program on a Facebook swap meet, and sometimes post a video showing people how to study English at home with my websites and inviting them to the class.
At the same time I am a member of several Facebook groups of English teachers where I post information and participate in discussions. I also have been posting some videos recently and am getting a good response.
Current plans include making my whole program available on Smartphone thumb drives. I have approximately 1500 pages of text, 100 five minute videos and many audios.
The goal is to be able to provide my whole course to anyone who would like to study at home and in a WhatsApp group.
In summary, learning English as a Foreign language is a long process for an adult, and in this way I can provide people with an opportunity to study anytime, anywhere at their own pace – while they also learn computer basics and …bridge the digital divide…at last!!!