Lesson 1 - Adult Literacy in Illinois Illinois State Library


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Illinois Community College Board

The Illinois Community College Board funds Adult English as a Second Language (ESL), English Language Civics (EL/Civics), Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Education Development (GED), vocational skills training and adult high school programs across the state. These programs are housed in community colleges, school districts, regional offices of education, community-based organizations, and correctional facilities. These programs serve adult students 16 years and older who are no longer attending their traditional school and who do not have a high school diploma.

ABE classes are for adults with less than a 9th grade competency level as determined by standardized testing. Adult Secondary Education is designed for students with between a 9th and 12th grade competency level as determined by standardized testing. Some programs offer high school credit to these students. Students may be working towards completion of the High School Equivalency exam (HSE) . The HSE consists of five tests: Language Arts Reading, Language Arts Writing, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. Statistics show that the majority of students who do not pass the HSE test battery need more work on their essay writing and the math test.

ESL classes are conducted in English and are offered to those learners whose native language is not English. Students participate in these classes to increase their competency in spoken and written English.

In many agencies, volunteer tutors work closely with Adult Education and Family Literacy programs. Tutors may work with individual students within or outside of the classroom.

Visit the Illinois Community College Board's website for more information about how they support literacy.

Materials on the Internet

For additional information on adult literacy, review the information located at the following websites: