- Ask learners about their barriers to participation.
- Brainstorm possible solutions with learners.
- Have a list of community resources that can help.
- Provide an orientation for new learners.
- Set realistic and achievable goals.
- Ensure learners see progress with short-term goals, authentic activities and assessments.
- Involve your learners in class planning.
- Focus all instruction on learners’ daily communication needs and specific goals.
- Build community between program participants.
- Journal with learners – exchange short letters to connect and practice writing.
- Send personal notes (birthday, congratulations, encouragement, etc.)
- Encourage learners to support each other.
- Make sure learners know they are missed when they are absent.
- Ask learners why they leave your program, and use the data to improve programs.
- Require quality training and professional development for all tutors and instructors.
- Recognize achievement and celebrate successes.
“Learner Persistence in Adult Basic Education” from NCSALL: www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/resources/teach/lp.pdf
“Recruitment and Retention of Students for Literacy Programs” from the NCFL Comprehensive Recruitment and Retention Toolkit. http://www.cal.org/caela/esl_resources/digests/BROD.html
How do we recognize and celebrate learner successes?
- Awards and certificates
- Goal achievement
- Program completion
- Nominate an outstanding achievement learner for Wisconsin Literacy’s statewide award.
Board/Wall of recognition
- Hang pictures of learners, staff and volunteers in the program
- Display writing sample and other learner work
Feature learners’ stories (with learner permission)
- Newsletter article
- Social media post
- Invite learners to speak at an agency event
- Graduation ceremony
- Semester end reception
- Learner (and family) annual celebration picnic
- Incentives (gas cards, workbooks) for specific attendance goals
- Hi/Lo reader at the end of the semester
Put together a collection of adult learners’ writing samples