Network 2016 Conference

Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education – Network 2016

On MAY 13 the Newton Free Library had four people participate in a fascinating conference on adult education.  The conference was held in Marlborough, MA. and was attended by more than 500 persons.  The conference focused on many aspects of adult education including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Below is a picture of the four participants from the Newton Free Library.  The picture shows Anna Yan Shi, Professor Art Gerstenfeld, Susan Bécam, English Language Learning & Literacy Coordinator and Hongrui Chu.



The workshops of particular interest for us in the area of ELL were the following “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words”, “Word Study”, and “Using Music to Teach ELL”. A brief description follows:

In the workshop on “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” a huge picture was shown on a screen and the participants were asked to describe what they saw in the picture.  We discussed how this can be an excellent way to have ELL students practicing their English.

Another workshop for ELL focused on “Word Study: Increasing Vocabulary and Comprehension through Morphology”.  We discussed the smallest units of words including prefixes, suffixes, and base/root words.  The students learn how “s” can pluralize for example.  Further it was explained how “ed” and “ing” can alter root words but keep the word class intact.  It was explained how this can improve vocabulary by helping to organize mental dictionaries so related words are easily associated and retrieved.

We will feed many of these ideas into our ELL classes and tutoring at the Newton Library.  We already look forward to participating in Network 2017.




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