Contextualized Writing - Adult Basic Skills Professional Development


Make it Mine!

Strategies for Contextualizing

Writing in the Adult Basic

Education Classroom

Laurie Weston

Chair, Transitional Studies

Pitt Community College

PO Drawer 7007

Greenville, NC 27835-7007

(252) 493-7439 [email protected]

What is Contextualized




Relevant to work, home, community

Real Life

Addresses personal interests, goals

“A set of teaching, learning and assessment practices that:

are aimed directly at developing the skills and knowledge that adults need to deal with specific situations or perform specific

tasks, and that they have identified as important and

meaningful to themselves ‘right now’ in their everyday lives…..

In addition, rather than focus only on the

possession of basic skills and knowledge, contextualized instruction focuses on the

active application of those skills and that knowledge ‘in a context.’ (And this context should be as ‘real-world’ as is feasible.)”

A collection of practices that “relates subject matter content to real world situations; motivates students to make connections between knowledge and its applications to their lives as family members, citizens, and workers; and encourages student persistence.”

(Motheread/Wake Tech Research Project on

Contextual Teaching, retrieved 10/22/13)

(Equipped for the Future, retrieved 10/22/13)

Contextualized Writing


To Be or Not To Be?

Pardon Me…..

SnapShot Bio

Parts of Speech??

Silly Proverbs

Where I’m From Poem

Pardon Me, but your Participle appears to be dangling.

Now You Try…

Riding along on my bicycle, the dog knocked me over.

Donna saw the ball walking by the lake.

I found a dollar walking home.

He made a table for his aunt with wooden legs.

The young girl was walking the dog in a short skirt.

The dog was chasing the boy with the spiked collar.

The library has several books about dinosaurs in our school.

While camping, I saw a bear in my pajamas.

Snapshot Bio Activity

Provides the opportunity to examine personal experiences with culture, family, history, and identity

Connects writing with social networks, websites, and the Internet in an unthreatening way

Provides experience with technology

Contextualizes learning

Inspires creativity

Promotes community within classroom

Provides a basic framework for beginning essay writing

Twas brillig and the slithey toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.

All mimsy were the borogoves and the momeraths outgrabe.

Jabberwocky by Lewis


Birds of a feather flock together.

Birds of a feather make light work .

Great minds think alike.

Great minds are not always what they seem.

Bad news travels fast.

The early bird travels fast.

Silly Proverbs Game subject/verb agreement

Where I’m From, By

George Ella Lyon

Writing as a component of

Project Based Instruction

Collaborative groups or individual

Competitive or display

Career oriented or topic of students’ choosing

Make writing a component of the project

Depending on student level, include a template for scoring or feedback

Connects with student goals, interests, needs

[email protected]

(252) 493-7439