Adult Basic Education

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Adult Basic EducationTim VINCENT
Adult Basic Education which is known by its acronym form ABE in most educational circles is focused on getting adult students a GED and preparing them for higher education while also aiding them in particular aspects of adult life such as, financial planning, family relations, and work placement. The area of adult basic education which will be focused on in this paper is the English language learner aspect of ABE, or ELL aspect of ABE.

First we will cover the basic aspects of ABE here in Minnesota. According to ("Minnesota department of," 2012), each year over 500 delivery cites serve approximately 75,000 students and are assisted by more than 3,000 trained volunteers. Even though the majority of ABE students are above the age of 18, the minimum age requirement is 16 years of age and must not be enrolled in public k-12 or private school. The goals of ABE ELL are to attain employment and or better their current employment, achieve high school equivalency (G.E.D or H.S. Diploma), attain skills necessary to enter post secondary education and training, exit public welfare and become self sufficient, learn to speak and write in English, master basic education skills to help their children succeed in school, become a U.S. Citizen and participate in Democratic Society, and of course to gain self-esteem personal confidence and sense of personal and civic responsibility. Many ABE ELL programs such as the Union Gospel Mission work mainly teaching students only English not specifically with the goal of helping students to attain a GED, their goal is simply to teach the students English.

The basic ABE classroom is offered morning, afternoons, evenings and weekends although many classes prefer to set their times in the evenings as a large percentage of the students are working during the afternoons in minimum wage jobs they wish to upgrade to higher paying ones through ABE ELL. Students typically arrive and interact with each other and the teacher in a very informal way as the students are adults and there is less formality of respect for the teacher, meaning everyone in the room are adults and therefore students are more likely to interact with the teacher in a way that they interact with each other and vice-versa.

A typical classroom lesson plan for the day may include topics that adult ABE ELL’s will find useful and relate to such as financial planning, workplace literacy or how to prepare for college. A good example of a classroom lesson plan is “Identify Entry Level Jobs and Workplaces” I found online on a website by Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning. In this great example the materials needed are: Flashcards or pictures, sample employment application forms, tools – equipment, clothing and magazines and an Oxford Picture Dictionary. The objective for this lesson is for students to be able to recognize job titles and workplaces. The essential vocabulary used: Occupations, workplaces, employment tools and equipment, clothing for workplace (slacks, dress shoes etc...) . As far as the actual activity goes, students will be presented with occupation flashcard (a picture of a doctor for example). Next the student will go before the class with his card and use clothing and/or tools to mimic the occupation they received on their flashcard for the other students to guess. Students will then write the occupation on the board. Next students should write sentences about the occupation using the verb “to be” in order to emphasize important sentence structure for these prospective workers such as the sentence “I want to be a doctor”, “he is a doctor”, or, “in order to become a doctor I must…”. The tense can vary depending on your student’s level of grammatical ability. This example is a good sample because it emphasizes the basic level of language learning most ELL ABE students are able to express and what kinds of content...
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