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  • GATESOL Adult Education Professional Development Meeting

GATESOL Adult Education Professional Development Meeting

  • 02/15/2021
  • 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Virtual

Registration is closed


TAP Into Workplace Literacy

Adults learning an additional language, in their new country of residence, are emergent bilinguals and, as such, can play a valuable role in the workplace. “Multilingual problem solvers have multiple perspectives on how to solve problems and are crucial to any healthy workforce and economy” (Sanchez, 2019). The primary goal of adult education programs is to improve the economic mobility and job preparedness of learners, to help them “integrate” into their new country. For example, in the United States, the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE) and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 amended by the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (U.S. Department of Education, 2019) are designed to improve career and technical education and help students gain the skills they need to compete for in-demand, high-wage jobs in their communities.

Within this context and goal to help adults access and be successful with learning and using English, teachers of workplace readiness literacy need to have a set of specific strategies and supports to help learners develop work-related literacy skills. Teach, Apply, & Practice (TAP) provides strategies to teach, apply, and practice work-place vocabulary, reading, and writing within the context of the texts of target professions.


About our Presenter: Mr. Shawn Slakk


Shawn Slakk is the CLO and Founder of ABCDSS Consulting Consortium and works with teachers, administrators, school, & state agencies to offer strategies and supports for emergent bilinguals and their classmates both K-12 and adults.He is co-author and developer of new professional development sessions for all levels of educators, focusing on whole-school implementation, administrative support, and coaching. As a former ESL and Spanish teacher, Certified WIDA Trainer, Title III SIOP Coach, administrator and state coordinator Shawn brings a wide understanding of a variety of strategies and how they relate to bilingual learners, language acquisition and lesson delivery regardless of age.

Shawn started his teaching career at Spokane Community Colleges, WA where he enjoyed working with adult bilingual learners. He chaired several committees, helped develop an adult ESL driver’s ed program as well helped to develop and pilot a state-wide benchmark assessment. 

Throughout his career, Shawn taught ESL in grades K-University, Spanish across all grade levels and curriculums, and even once taught Japanese to K-2 students. He has served as an elementary and middle school administrator, served at the Central Office level as a district coach and as a state level coordinator.

Shawn’s curriculum and instruction doctorate from the University of Virginia focuses on supporting the needs and instruction of emergent bilinguals and the teachers who work hard to help them learn reading and writing. He holds an MA in TESOL from Eastern Washington University, a Master of School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a bachelor’s in English and Spanish education from Whitworth University.




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