The ESL Literacy Network at Bow Valley College in Calgary has won the National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) 2011 Innovative Technology Award for providing ESL literacy practitioners with access to innovative online resources that inform classroom instruction and support ongoing professional development.
“The website provides an in-depth look at ESL literacy levels, learning needs, programming considerations, curriculum development and strategies for classroom instruction,” the nominator’s submission reads.
“Finding level-appropriate learning materials for adult learners with interrupted formal education is a challenge that all ESL literacy instructors face. More than just a website, the ESL Literacy Network is a place for literacy practitioners to connect, share ideas and learn from the expertise that has been amassed at Bow Valley College.”
The content provided on the website is based on years of classroom experience at the college combined with research and feedback from ESL literacy practitioners locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. The website recognizes that ESL literacy programs are diverse and serve different learner populations in both urban and rural contexts and in part-time and full-time settings. The ESL Literacy Network is funded by the Government of Alberta.
“The ESL Literacy Network responds to the professional development needs of practitioners by providing a forum for ongoing professional growth and development,” said the NALD Board of Directors members who comprised the selection committee for the award competition. “The innovative website has successfully leveraged technology and the Internet to provide more than an information hub – the website provides opportunities for extensive sharing of resources and in-depth discussion and reflection on classroom practice and research.”
“Educators will benefit from this user-friendly website, which provides a pedagogical approach for curriculum development, along with strategies and resources that support ESL literacy instruction. In this era of economic restraint, educators will appreciate the reproducible photo stories that can be downloaded and used in the classroom. The technical aspects of the ESL Literacy Network’s website – navigation, accessibility, aesthetic and visual appeal – are exemplary.”