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Trainings to fit your needs. 

Our trainers offer custom trainings at your location.

Andrea Echelberger is the ESL Training Coordinator at Literacy Minnesota, where she conducts professional development trainings and develops resources for teachers and ESL volunteer tutors throughout Minnesota and surrounding states.

Before becoming a professional trainer, Andrea spent ten years working with refugees and immigrants from around the world in St. Paul, Minnesota. She also served as an English Language Fellow for two years in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she developed a professional communication skills training program for government officials. Andrea holds an MA in ESL from Hamline University and an ABE Teaching License from the University of Minnesota. She presents on a wide variety of adult ESL topics, including volunteer training, listening and conversation, and trauma-informed and brain-based teaching, but her favorite topics are pronunciation and emergent readers/literacy-level instruction. Andrea has presented at the International TESOL Conference, National COABE Conference, International LESLLA Conference and National PSLLT Conference, and she was a featured webinar presenter for COABE in 2018 and 2019.

Contact Andrea at 651-251-9062 or aechelberger@literacymn.org.

  • A Roadmap to Success: Lesson Planning for Adult ESL Virtual Classes: Whether you are teaching one learner on WhatsApp or large group on Zoom, lesson planning is a critical part of ensuring learner success with virtual instruction. During this webinar, you will learn how to design lessons so that both the teacher and the learners experience success. Topics covered include: how to write effective objectives to guide your planning, tried and true planning methods and lesson plan formats, and how to build in comprehension checks throughout the lesson.
  • How Adult Brains Learn Languages: Learn what research has to say about how adult brains learn a new language, how trauma and stress impact learning, and how this influences the teaching practices that we use in the language classroom. Participants will leave the webinar with suggestions for ways teachers and tutors can apply brain-based teaching practices as we are helping adult ESL students develop their language skills.
  • Let’s Start at the Very Beginning: Adult ESL Literacy Level: Do you work with an adult learner or a class of learners who are just beginning to read and write? Tutoring literacy level adult ESL learners has unique rewards and challenges. There are very few textbooks aimed at this level, and it can be difficult to break down their learning goals into smaller, achievable steps. This session will cover suggested goals, processes, and activities for helping an adult ESL learners get successfully started on the road to literacy.
  • Our Lives, Our Stories: Contextualizing Phonics Instruction for Literacy Level ESL Learners: Literacy level adult learners need explicit phonics and phonemic awareness instruction in order to develop decoding skills necessary for reading. Traditional methods provide the phonics instruction, but fail in providing learners with the rich vocabulary they need for the world outside of the classroom. In this session, learn how to combine Language Experience Approach (LEA) stories with whole-part-whole phonics instruction to provide contextualized reading support and vocabulary development for beginning adult readers.
  • Integrating Pronunciation into Adult ESL Lessons: English language learners are hungry for pronunciation instruction, but it is challenging for ESL teachers to find a teaching method that is effective without being too technical and confusing. As a result, teachers often leave it out altogether. During this workshop we will look at areas of pronunciation that will have the greatest impact on ESL learners’ intelligibility. We will explore how to tackle pronunciation at any instructional level and how to integrate pronunciation instruction into existing content-based curriculum and lesson plans to increase communication effectiveness and help learners share their stories and communicate with new friends.
  • Teaching Listening to ESL Learners: In order to speak, we must first be able to listen, yet the explicit instruction of listening skills is often neglected in ESL classes of all levels. In this session, discover the benefits of listening instruction, and learn best practices to make it as effective as possible. Participants will also gain concrete activities that can be implemented immediately, and have the opportunity to discuss methods for incorporating them into virtual or blended instruction.
  • Trauma-Informed Teaching Practices for Adult ESL Learners: Trauma and chronic stress can come in many forms, and impact people’s ability to learn new skills and process information in a variety of different ways. In this webinar, learn how stress and trauma can manifest in the classroom, and learn about trauma-informed teaching practices that can help to support positive learning behaviors and increase retention and learner comfort.

I wanted to tell you personally how much I valued your presentation last night. From your opening remarks about your city to your wisdom about having "grace" in this strange time, I took away more than just the 101 content.  You have a very approachable training style and I appreciated all of your tips and techniques.

That was an astoundingly good [Zoom training]! Great content, but also solid facilitation, and I loved that you encouraged the chat. Time was managed well, you used a poll - it's the best Zoomcraft I've seen yet, and, like you all, I've been to a lot of Zoom meetings! But the content, pedagogy and practice are also the best I've seen yet.

I just wanted to say "thank you" for your COABE presentation a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't able to attend live, and I just finished watching, but I knew it would be well worth the time. Your pronunciation workshops at our South Dakota Adult Education conference two summers ago were very memorable for their high quality. All of you at Literacy Minnesota do such great work, and I just wanted you to know how much it's appreciated by other teachers in the field. Thank you for keeping the resources (which it obviously took you a lot of time and effort to create) in a public space for all of us.

Now I really feel like I randomly hit the jackpot when I selected yours as my first workshop to attend at COABE!

Thank you SO much. I can't tell you how practical all of these resources are to my volunteer tutors and me in our tutoring program.