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Podcasts

Voices from the Field

Welcome to VALRC’s collection of podcasts connecting you with voices from the field of adult education and literacy. Here, you can explore topics that are relevant to adult education in Virginia.

Latest Podcast

Podcast 11: Adult Learner Perspectives on Writing and Submitting to SPOTLIGHT

This podcast discusses engaging adult learners in the writing process and showcasing authentic student voices. It celebrates SPOTLIGHT, a new statewide publication of work by Virginia adult learners. VALRC specialist, Hillary Major, interviews two adult learners who talk about their experience writing for and submitting to SPOTLIGHT and share inspirational advice for their fellow adult learners.

The learner panel includes:

  • Inocencia Toribio Garcia, adult English language learner at Fairfax Adult High School and author of “Dancing the Marinera”, SPOTLIGHT 2022
  • Rosa Hernandez, adult English language learner at Fairfax Adult High School and author of “Focus and Determination”, SPOTLIGHT 2022

Reflective Questions

For learners:

  • Do you enjoy writing? What’s easy/challenging for you about writing?
  • How does it feel or how would it feel to be published in SPOTLIGHT?
  • What inspires you to write? Do you have a specific audience in mind when writing?

For practitioners:

  • How do you teach writing and/or help learners develop writing skills? How do you integrate writing into instruction? Can you provide an example?
  • How do you motivate learners to persist with challenging tasks, like writing?

Related Links

 

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Music
Digital Lemonade by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 11

Listen to more podcasts

This podcast discusses engaging adult learners in the writing process and showcasing authentic student voices. It celebrates SPOTLIGHT, a new statewide publication of work by Virginia adult learners. VALRC specialists Elizabeth Severson-Irby and Hillary Major interview four educators who talk about how they have approached writing instruction, encouraged learners to submit to SPOTLIGHT, and supported these efforts on the programmatic level.

The educator panel includes:

  • Sara Geres (sgeres@brlit.org), Program Director at Blue Ridge Literacy (BRL) in Roanoke;
  • Ninon Hertz (ninon52@gmail.com), Instructor at Blue Ridge Literacy (BRL);
  • Trista Mason (tlmason@fcps.ed), the Assistant Administrator of Fairfax County Adult High School; and,
  • Kim West (krwest@fcps.edu), Early Development Learner Instructor at the high school equivalency (HSE) program at Fairfax County Adult High School.

Listeners can use the contact information above to connect with this episode’s speakers to ask questions or further discuss the strategies presented in this episode.

Reflective Questions

Writing Instruction:

  • How do you teach writing and/or help learners develop writing skills? How do you integrate writing into instruction?
  • What challenges have you faced when incorporating writing into your instruction? How do you plan for or react to these challenges in your classroom?
  • How do you make space for, value, include, honor, and/or highlight student voice during writing instruction or assignments?
  • How do you balance helping writers build fluency/creativity/voice with strengthening accuracy/command of conventions/mechanics/structures?

Programmatic Support:

  • What supports can your program provide to support SPOTLIGHT and student writing?
  • What curriculum changes or shifts might need to be made to integrate writing opportunities for SPOTLIGHT or learner writing in general into the classroom?

Related Links

 

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Music
Digital Lemonade by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 10

In this podcast episode, Hali Massey, VALRC’s ESOL Specialist, and Elizabeth Severson-Irby, VALRC’s Literacy Specialist, discuss strategies for connecting English language learners (ELLs) to high school equivalency (HSE) opportunities with Carol Coffey, Director of TJACE in Charlottesville (Region 10), Shekera Alvarado, Northern Virginia Adult Education Program Manager (Region 8), and Laura Hardy, an ESOL Instructor in Newport News (Region 21). The speakers discuss how their programs address transitioning ELLs from ESOL to HSE classes, serving ELLs in ABE/HSE classes, and training ABE/HSE instructors to work with ELLs in their classrooms.

Listeners can use the following contact information to connect with this episode’s speakers to ask questions or further discuss the strategies presented in this episode.

Podcast Speaker Contact Information:

Reflective Questions

  • Transitioning English language learners from ESOL classes to HSE classes
    • What strategies does your program use to provide information and education on what HSE is and its importance for college and career goals?
    • What strategies does your program use to identify ELLs who have the goal of pursuing their high school equivalency? Why or how have those strategies proven to be effective? 
    • What instructional strategies are integrated into your ESOL classes to provide support to learners who may be interested in pursuing their HSE? 
  • Serving English language learners in ABE/HSE classes with native English speakers
    • How do instructors consider English language proficiency levels when providing learners with feedback and support?
    • How do instructors include opportunities for English language development in classes with mixed enrollment while maintaining focus on achieving HSE?
  • Training ABE/HSE instructors to work with ELLs in their classrooms 
    • How does your program ensure that ABE/HSE instructors with ELLs in their classroom receive ESOL training? 
    • What resources does your program use for training ABE/HSE instructors for ESOL instruction? 
    • What support does your program provide to ABE/HSE instructors when placing an ELL in their classroom?
  • Providing additional supports for English language learners pursuing their HSE 
    • What additional supports are provided to ELLs pursuing their HSE? 
    • How are additional supports communicated to ELLs?

Related Links

GED® Testing Service
National External Diploma Program (NEDP)
Learning Circle Resources

 

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Music
Digital Lemonade by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 9

In this podcast with Barbara Gibson, VALUEUSA Executive Director, Marty Finsterbusch and researcher Dr. Margaret Patterson with Research Allies for Lifelong Learning are interviewed. Together, they discuss their groundbreaking research being done for the field of adult education focusing on the adult learner. They give highlights of the Critiquing Adult Participation in Education (CAPE) studies, how results are being used, and where their research is heading in the future.

Reflective Questions

  • How student-centered are you? To what extent is your program(s) student-centered?
  • How committed are you to make all of your program offerings student centered?
  • How are you evaluating your program(s)?
  • How can you take what your adult learners are saying they need and make sure it gets incorporated into your program(s)?
  • Does your messaging effectively convey to your learners that you are delivering what they need? How do you know?
  • How do/can you ensure that adult learners have a voice in their program(s)?

Related Links

VALUEUSA Projects
Research Allies for Lifelong Learning
PIAAC Numeracy Skills and Home Use Among Adult English Learners by Dr. Margaret Patterson
8 Tips for Implementing Learning Circles in Any Program by Maryann Peterson

 

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Music
Digital Lemonade by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 8

In this podcast with Barbara Gibson, adult learner leaders—Luisa Jacqueline Bonilla Santos, Elaine Randall, and Marty Finsterbusch—share their insights into adult education for both practitioners and students.

Reflective Questions

  • How are adult learner leaders best utilized in programs?
  • What role(s) could current or former adult learners assume in their program(s)?
  • Why is it important to involve adult learners in outreach and information efforts?

Related Links

What is VALUEUSA?
VALUEUSA.org
Hear the Voices of Adult Learners Who Have Gone Beyond – Part 1 (33 min)
Hear the Voices of Adult Learners Who Have Gone Beyond – Part 2 (32 min)

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Music
Digital Lemonade
by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 7

 

In this podcast with Barbara Gibson, Dr. David Coogan, Terrence Scruggs, and Ronald Fountain are interviewed. All three who have written a book called Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail. They spoke with us after their presentations and book signings at the conference. This interview includes some of their readings, a little about them, the impact the writing program had on their lives, and an update on what they are doing now.

Reflective Questions

  • What would be included in “your story” if you were writing it today?
  • Can you remember a time in your life when you chose to go down a specific path and that choice changed your life?
  • In this interview, Ronald Fountain said, “If we could see our differences as a place of opportunity and growth, we can change the world for a better place.” How do you think the act of writing made Ronald define his place of opportunity and growth?

Related Links

Writing our Way Out at Amazon

 

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Music
Digital Lemonade
by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 6

 

Voices from the Field Podcast 5

This podcast from Barbara Gibson is an interview with Ira Sockowitz who is an expert in the educational technology field. He is CEO and founder of Learning Games Studios. Ira completed two presentations at the 2018 Adult Education and Literacy (AE&L) summer conference in Williamsburg and answered some follow-up questions to expand on some of the concepts that he introduced in his luncheon speech and the workshop afterward.

Reflective Questions

  • Mr. Sockowitz’s definition of educational technology is, “any piece of technology that serves to further teaching and learning.” What technologies do you know of and use for teaching or learning?
  • Are the technologies you use for learning in the classroom setting different from those you use for learning outside of the classroom setting? How are they different or the same and why?
  • What does personalized learning mean to you? What does Mr. Sockowitz believe about the benefits of personalized education? How do you believe personalized education could be achieved in adult education?
  • How would adult education be different if it were considered the “office of lifelong learning”?

Related Links

National Skills Coalition
Digital Promise
Research Allies for Lifelong Learning Critiquing Adult Participation in Education Report 3: Technology Use
Technology for Teachers on the VALRC Website

 

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Music
Digital Lemonade
by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 5

 

In this podcast with Barbara Gibson, Regional Program Manager of Mount Rogers Regional Adult Education Program (Region 3), Shirley Carlson, and Marty Holiday, New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Board, discuss their partnership.

 

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Music
Digital Lemonade
by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 4

In this podcast from Barbara Gibson, Regional Program Manager for Middle Peninsula Adult Education (Region 18), Danielle Robinson, and Mike Jenkins, Executive Director of the Bay Consortium Workforce Development Board, discuss their partnership.

 

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Music
Digital Lemonade
by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 3

In this podcast with Barbara Gibson, Program Manager for Central Shenandoah Adult Education (Region 6 ), Katy Parrish, and Sharon Johnson, Director of the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Development Board and Chair of the Virginia Association of Workforce Directors discuss their partnership.

 

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Music
Digital Lemonade
by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 2

This podcast with Barbara Gibson is an interview with Dr. Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, the Coordinator of Virginia Adult Education at the VDOE Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. Dr. Silver-Pacuilla discusses the role of Title II, Adult Education, as a Virginia Workforce partner.

Reflective Questions

  • What is adult education’s role in the Virginia Workforce System?
  • What is your professional role in this system? How do you represent your educational expertise and how adult education contributes as a workforce partner in your region?
  • What do you know about your region’s sector strategies and career pathway development? How could you find additional information in your area?
  • Have you visited or toured your local One-Stop? If not, make a plan to do so and talk to them about adult education as a workforce partner.

Related Links

Virginia Career Works
WIOA and Policy Resources on the VALRC website
VALRC YouTube Channel WIOA Playslist

 

Click the button on the player to listen to the podcast.

Music
Digital Lemonade
by Kevin MaCleod
Transcript for Podcast 1

Got a suggestion?

Do you have a topic or suggestion that would make for a great podcast? Let us know. We would love to hear from you!