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Focus On Basics

Volume 8, Issue A ::: November 2005


Problem-Posing at Work: English for Action and its companion book, Problem-Posing at Work: Popular Educator’s Guide, (2004), by Nina Wallerstein and Elsa Auerbach, are available from Grass Roots Press.
The student book (English for Action) contains 30 lessons that focus on workplace themes and issues related to the working lives of immigrants and refugees. The book invites learners to share and analyze their experiences, to acquire the language, skills, and information necessary for greater power over their circumstances, and to strategize together for changes. Originally published in 1987, this edition incorporates a focus on the effects of globalization on workers’ lives; it now includes information about Canada as well as the United States. The text is intended for intermediate to advanced English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) students. Problem-Posing at Work: Popular Educator’s Guide is new; it explores the underlying rationale for the problem-posing teaching approach, and presents strategies and tools for classroom and community settings. It is for educators interested in critical reflection and social action from diverse fields: ESOL and literacy, public health, labor and community organizing, health and safety education, community psychology and facilitation, high school settings, and teacher education and other professional education programs. For information on both books, go to:

Something to Talk About: A Reproducible Conversation Resource for Teachers and Tutors (2001) by Kathleen Dunn Olson (a member of the editorial board for this issue of Focus on Basics), is available from University of Michigan Press/ESL. The spiral-bound book provides teachers, students, and conversation partners with ready-to-use material for practicing conversation and language skills. Questions for conversation as well as unusual related information about American culture provide lower-level students of English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) with stimulating and engaging conversation topics. It includes 13 content areas, ranging from personal to societal. Each activity is independent and may be used in any order.

Insights from Research and Practice: A Handbook for Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL Practitioners, edited by Margaret Herrington and Alex Kendall, is available from NIACE (21 De Montfort Street, Leicester, England LE1 7GE.

Featuring a selection of articles from the British Research and Practice in Adult Literacy (RaPAL) journal, this text offers articles by teachers, managers, students, and researchers. The work is organized thematically, relating the key debates in areas such as assessment and accreditation, curriculum content and process, management of, provision of, and the nature of literacy and numeracy.

Updated 7/27/07 :: Copyright © 2005 NCSALL