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I myself am an a non-native speaker of the English language, so I know from my own experience that writing in a foreign language is often challenging, and this is particularly true when it concerns academic work.

A considerable portion of the available research reports and study material in our study field is providing numerous tips and suggestions on how we can help undergraduate non-native speakers and writers.

Having said that, graduate students somehow seem to be receiving far less attention regarding this subject in the provided literature. Still, non-native graduate students are facing an even greater number of challenges when it comes to writing their academic pieces, and my personal experiences have also made that very clear to me. Time to do some research.

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e588cfd6f99848030d69cac41b26404eWhen a child lacks fluency, he/she reads at a pace that is word-by-word, with little attention to phrasing. He/she may also be reading a book that is too difficult, where his/her attention is on decoding and not on comprehension and fluency.

Interventions:

  • Encourage the child to read a book that is easy. An easy book is one with fewer than 5 errors per 100 words.
  • Explain that reading needs to sound like talking.
  • Encourage repeated readings of easy books.
  • Encourage the reader to read to a younger child.
  • Encourage the child to read without pointing.
  • Provide guided practice with a teacher/parent for 5-10 minutes. Choose a reading passage that is easy and be sure both the adult and child can see it. The adult reads it several times to the child, who is following along. Then read it together once or several times, until the child is reading it with expression. Finally, have the child read it alone. Repeat daily for several months.

The Reader Reads Too Fast:

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A Fluent Reader:fluency-anchor-chart

  • Has automatic word recognition
  • Is able to figure out unknown quickly using context and word patterns
  • Reads with appropriate phrasing and expression

Don’t be fooled, however. Just because a child is a fluent reader, does not mean that the child is comprehending.

However, a child who struggles with fluency will also have difficulty comprehending.

Ways to Build Fluency:

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mind-literacy-volunteers-fox-valley-sum13In 2015, almost 200 Literacy New Jersey students were granted U.S. citizenship, meaning they now can register to vote and do so for the first time, and become more active members in their communities.

Chin Vivian Hsieh is a 53 year old woman who immigrated to the U.S. six years ago from Taiwan, and among her most challenging experiences here was just walking into a shop and go to the checkout counter.

She was scared, and thought people were saying ‘What’ya doing’, while they actually were saying ‘How’ya doing’. It was in fact this small misunderstanding, just one simple word, that made that she didn’t venture out on most days.

Finally, Hsieh joined a Literacy Volunteers group on English conversation and started to worked 1-on-1 with a tutor from Literacy New Jersey in Middlesex. It was only then that her life begun to change for the better. In 2015, Chin Vivian Hsieh became a U.S. citizen. She says she now wants to vote for the American presidency, and that she likes the American life, the possibilities, and the freedom.

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When you teach, the content of your teaching automatically establishes the standard by which you are judged.

In other words, if you’re gonna talk it you better walk it. But walking the walk often requires making tough decisions, like changing for example…which many aren’t willing to do.

Another reason business folks don’t share information with the world is because they feel it gives them an advantage over the consumer. If they give the info, they lose their advantage. Information is power, and yes, giving the consumer information does empower them.

I initially thought this was a transfer of power from me to them as well. But what I now understand is that both the teacher and the student gain power in this exchange of information and both end up better off.

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The OMA Program focuses on your career success and it begins with creating a vision and a plan. Our new, innovative and structured approach to career success, life fulfillment, and balance, creates measurable benefits for individuals and organizations.

These programs are designed to assist you in answering questions key to your career success and help you if you want to continue your education. They are in line with college requirements and are endorsed by adult education organizations that help people prepare for the GED exam. As you answer these questions, you achieve greater focus toward your future.

This focus creates the road map to increased career success, decreased stress and increased balance. We offer programs that meet your needs. From individual coaching to assessments and workshops, all are designed to fit your schedule and achieve ultimate career success.

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06_13_2014_border_crisis-jpg__800x600_q85_cropOne at a time, Maria Vasquez’s children crossed the treacherous border into the U.S.

They were fleeing violence and poverty in Guatemala, and lured to New Jersey with the prospect of getting reunified with their mother in Union County and start a new life.

Two of Maria’s children crossed the frontier all by themselves, alone, and as unaccompanied minors.

The children got caught by U.S. Border Patrol officers, who sent them on to New Jersey, where they soon encountered a new barrier: sign up for public school!

Maria Vasquez’ children are two of the more than 5000 unaccompanied minors from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador that were placed with sponsor families in New Jersey by the federal government since end 2013.

An estimated seventy children are staying in various communities in Monmouth County, but the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement is not reporting counties where under fifty migrant children got resettled, such as Ocean County.

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pathNot so long ago, the Maplewood Memorial Library received the largest grant ever in the Library’s history.

The grant ($72,053) came from he pilot program of the Adult Literacy & Community Library Partnership (New Jersey’s Department of Labor & Workforce Development), and is a great help to fund the Library’s ESL (English as a second language) program. The Maplewood Memorial Library library is using the grant for 4 level-1 ESL courses and 2 conversation groups.

The courses are offered in partnership with the Passaic and Essex counties Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) chapters, and are available at no cost.

People who don’t speak English encounter serious disadvantages when they apply for a job, when they want to use a computer, or when writing their name, resumes, or filling out forms.

People who are not able to speak and communicate in English have greater disadvantages in the workforce community and cannot be part of their community like people who do command the language.

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literacycollagemergedLiteracy Volunteers are believing that supported and well-trained volunteers can be highly effective teachers of adults.

Literacy Volunteers provides free, individualized student-focused instruction in basic literacy & English language capabilities.

Literacy Volunteers of East Bay (LVEB) includes some 80 volunteers, 1 administrative director, and Board of Directors of 8 members.

LVEB is serving around 80 adult learners every year through the organization’s group class leaders and well-trained tutors. Most students receive tutoring on an individual basis, but the organization also provide group instruction for local organizations or businesses who have a group of people that needs their services.

Tutors are required to complete a training program of 15 hours and they continually are supported by a literacy specialist.

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download-44The Howell Senior Center is planning to provide an ESL (English as a Second Language) course starting early September.

Melanie Decker, Director of the Senior Center, made clear that there is growing demand for this kind of service because the non-native speaking part of the population is increasing, and lack of transportation options make ESL lessons in Howell really needed.

The Howell Township Senior Center’s membership grows every day, says Decker, and over the last two years, we’ve seen an enormous increase in the amount of people who have only limited or no command of English, and as they don’t have adequate (if any) transportation options to attend an ESL class, our community’s seniors may feel even more alone and isolated.

The Howell Senior Center is already offering transportation services for all of its members, so participants of the the ESL class (spearheaded by social worker Ann Albano) could avail themselves of this. at. The ESL class also comes with instruction in conversational skills, as they form the basis of any language course.

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