Adult Literacy and Education
Internet Resources

Literacyworks, an educational nonprofit organization, was created to address these unmet needs of underprivileged and underrepresented adults, families and children. By using educational technology to increase the quality, availability, and accessibility of literacy curriculum for individuals with low literacy skills, Literacyworks is helping people secure better jobs, become better parents, and contribute more to their community. Literacyworks manages Western/Pacific LINCS.

Western/Pacific LINCS
The Western/Pacific Literacy Network (part of the NIFL Literacy Information and Communication Network System) is a premier Web-based resource for the literacy community. The Western/Pacific Literacy Network has established an on-line interactive structure for increasing communication and sharing information about adult literacy among the eighteen western states and Pacific islands.

Western/Pacific LINCS covers nine time zones and numerous international telecommunication infrastructures. The states and Pacific islands in Region IV are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau.

Western/Pacific LINCS is one of five Regional Technology Centers (the Ohio Literacy Resource Center, the Tennessee Literacy Resource Center at the Center for Literacy Studies, ABLE Net, Northwest Regional Literacy Resource Center, and the State Literacy Resource Center of California) funded by the National Institute for Literacy.

The other Regional LINCS sites are:

Region I RTC: Eastern LINCS
Region II RTC: Southern LINCS
Region III RTC: Midwestern LINCS
Region V RTC: Northwest LINCS

National Institute for Literacy (NIFL)
The purpose of the Institute is to enhance the national effort to achieve full literacy by the year 2000 by creating a national support system for literacy and serving as the national focal point for interagency policy development, dissemination of information, technical assistance, program evaluation, & research & demonstration.

California Library Literacy Services
The mission of California Library Literacy Services is to enable Californians of all ages to reach their literacy goals and use library services effectively.

The Center for Applied Linguistics
The Center for Applied Linguistics most often called simply "CAL". CAL is a private, nonprofit organization that has been involved in applying research and information about language and culture to educational, cultural, and social concerns since 1959.

Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System
The Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) is a non-profit organization that provides competency-based curriculum management, assessment and evaluation systems to education and training programs. These systems are learner-centered and are designed to meet the needs of adults and youth in today's multi-cultural society.

Easy Voter Guide – California and Nevada
This site is dedicated to the education of new voters. The goal of the EasyReading Voter Guide is to give an overview of upcoming elections and let the reader decide which candidates and measures they want to learn more about. It also includes learning modules on How to Register to Vote, How to Pick a Political Party and How to Vote.

English as a Second Language Home Page
This home page is a starting point for ESL learners who want to learn English through the World Wide Web. Some people have created ESL learning materials for the Web. This home page links you to those ESL sites and other interesting places.

ESL (English as a Second Language) TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) An interactive TOEFL testing site.

ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education
Located at the Center on Education and Training for Employment (CETE), the ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education (ERIC/ACVE) is one of 16 clearinghouses in the ERIC system. ERIC/ ACVE provides comprehensive information, publications, and services in adult and continuing education, all aspects of career education, & vocational & technical education including work force preparation.

ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English, and Communication (ERIC/REC)
This site is dedicated to providing educational materials, services, and coursework to everyone interested in the language arts. It also offers lesson plans.

The Family Literacy Center at Indiana University
This site promotes family involvement in literacy--all types of family activities related to reading, writing, and general communication. The Center engages in research on family literacy, and it develops and disseminates materials (print, video, and audio) for parents and for parent educators.

Hawai'i Statewide Literacy Network
This is a statewide literacy Web site developed to enable the public access to literacy and educational resources. Clicking on the Programs and Activities button will connect you to a directory listing of literacy services and resources. Use the pull-down menu on that page to access information about services and resources, sorted by island location.

Hawai'i Family Literacy Consortium (HFLC)
The vision of the Hawaii Family Literacy Consortium (HFLC) is to help create a literate Hawai'i where families read, write, reason and communicate so they can fulfill their hopes in a safe, thriving, diverse and healthy society. HFLC was formed via a US Department of Education Even Start grant to unify, strengthen and expand family literacy services in Hawaii.

National Adult Literacy Database (Canada)
The National Adult Literacy Database Inc. (NALD) is a federally incorporated, non-profit service organization, which fills the crucial need for a single-source, comprehensive, up-to-date and easily accessible database of adult literacy programs, resources, services and activities across Canada.

National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL)
The National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL), founded through a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), was established in 1990 to provide national leadership in research and development in the field of adult literacy. NCAL seeks to improve the quality of adult literacy programs and services on a nationwide basis by means of applied research and development and dissemination of the results.

National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy (NCSWL)
The mission of the Center is to improve understanding of how writing is best learned and taught--from the early years through adulthood. The Center supports research projects examining how students learn to write, how teachers can best help students who come from an increasing diversity of cultural backgrounds, how writing can be used more effectively across the curriculum, how larger social forces (such as ethnic background, relations with family members, social class, and the neighborhood) affect success in school, how we might develop better ways to assess what students are learning, and how new technologies and new demands in the workplace affect the literacy skills students need to learn.

National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE)
NCLE is the only national clearinghouse focusing on literacy education for adults and out-of-school youth learning English as a second language. NCLE's most important job is responding to questions by providing resources and referrals. Each year, thousands of ESL practitioners, program administrators, students, and policymakers contact the clearinghouse requesting information.

Proliteracy Worldwide
The merger of the world's two adult volunteer literacy organizations, Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America, Inc. has become ProLiteracy Worldwide.

Rural Clearinghouse for Lifelong Education
The Rural Clearinghouse for Lifelong Education and Development is a national effort to improve rural access to educational providers working in rural areas in several ways:

Online Literacy Curriculum and Material

Learning Resources: Western/Pacific Literacy Network and CNN San Francisco
The Learning Resources site offers web-delivered instruction using current and past CNN San Francisco bureau news stories. The Western/Pacific Literacy Network and the CNN San Francisco bureau have partnered to develop an online literacy site that benefits all learners and instructors. This material is intended for adult literacy and educational purposes. Though the intended audience is adults, instructors and learners (of all ages) are encouraged to use this material to promote better literacy.

Each module includes the full text of each story and interactive activities to test comprehension. The learner can choose to read the text, listen to the text, and view a short video clip of the story. Each module is designed for ease of use so the learner can use it independently. The instructor can also incorporate any story into class activities and lesson plans.

How to Buy a Home: Fannie Mae Foundation
In partnership with the Fannie Mae Foundation, Literacyworks and Western Pacific LINCS have adapted the Foundation’s excellent "Homebuying Readiness" workbooks. This is an interactive Web site based on the paper versions of Fannie Mae Foundation’s How to Buy a Home in the United States and How to Buy Your Own Home. It includes the "Expanding Your Resources: Tools for Teachers" section of The Money Management and Home-Buying Readiness Sourcebook providing additional resources for the topics covered. There workbooks, one geared toward learners in Adult Basic Education programs, the other written for English as a Second Language learners. Each workbook has two versions, one for students and one for teachers, which includes lesson plans and answer keys. The online versions of these workbooks contain nearly 100 interactive exercises and dozens of printable PDF versions of the worksheets found in the workbooks.

Multiple Intelligences for Adult Literacy and Adult Education
Excellence for All: Focusing on Learning Strengths is a project, which has explored the ways in which adult learners with low literacy skills learn most effectively. It features an instructional model which strengthens the emphasis on understanding a student’s learning styles by applying the Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University to basic skills instruction.

Integrated Curriculum for Achieving Necessary Skills (I-CANS)
I-CANS was developed as a skills-based instructional system for all providers of basic skills instruction to youth and adults. It assists learners to achieve the skills necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve their personal goals, and to increase their knowledge and develop their full potential. The I-CANS project is coordinated by the ABLE Network, the program and staff development resource center for the Office of Adult Literacy.

Learning to Learn... with Style
Learning to Learn... with Style is designed to be adaptable to various class structures. It can be used with whole classes, in small groups, or on an individual basis. The information presented is intended to be accessible to a wide variety of adult learners. However, learning styles theory has not been validated with second language learners; cultural and linguistic factors could interfere with the satisfactory use of this learning styles package.

Oregon Weather
The Oregon Weather web site offers nine very interesting interactive online weather lessons and activities. Developed for adult learners in basic skills development programs, the site also included instructor notes, weather links and hints on adapting the lessons regionally. All of the project's authors are adult education teachers teaching areas including basic skills, G.E.D. preparation, reading, and writing.

Teaching from a Hispanic Perspective: A Handbook for Non-Hispanic Adult Educators
This handbook is geared toward non-Hispanic ESOL teachers who teach Hispanic adult education students. The issues addressed in this handbook are intended to ease the tension caused by the cultural misunderstandings between the Hispanic adult student and the non-Hispanic ESOL teacher. Also, since this handbook is presented as an evolving document, ESOL instructors and other interested readers are invited to add to the individual topics discussed.

Teaching and Learning with Native Americans: A Handbook for Non-Native American Adult Educators
This handbook is geared toward for Non-Native American Adult who teaches Native American adult education students.

Antes de Mis Padres: Exploring New Mexico history and Hispanic genealogy
This New Mexico Coalition for Literacy site explores New Mexico's history and the genealogy of common Hispanic names and is for by adult learners interested in improving their reading skills. It teaches how to make a "family tree" and how to use the Internet to find out information about one's family history. It was developed through a Western/Pacific LINCS mini grant.

Visiting the Doctor: Lessons in Language and Culture
Visiting the Doctor is a web site for ESL students. It is especially helpful if a learner has recently come to the United States from another country and needs to visit a doctor. The site helps ESL students practice language needed in getting medical care through vocabulary lessons and activities. This site was developed through a Western/Pacific LINCS mini grant.

Workplace ESL Instruction: Interviews from the Field
Just as the workplace itself is changing, ESL educators need to change in order to be successful in workplace ESL instruction. They need to learn new skills, to learn about specific jobs and how work is done in the private sector, and about creative problem solving and team-based management.

Workplace Basic Skills in Washington State
This site offers information, resources and technical assistance to help employers successfully create and support workplace basic skills programs.


LINCS Special Collections

The LINCS Special Collections are one-stop electronic gateways to specialized information on high-quality literacy practices and materials for use in adult education and literacy programs. LINCS Special Collections are built around specific content areas, specific settings or contexts, and professional development topics.

Western/Pacific LINCS

English as a Second Language (ESL)
This site is dedicated to providing adult ESL curricular materials and resources, news in the field, and a forum for adult ESL issues. This collection is a collaboration between the National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE) and the Western/Pacific LINCS project. It is supported by funds from the National Institute for Literacy's LINCS project. WWW Address:

Science and Numeracy
The initial intended audience for this page is the practitioner in adult literacy programs. This special collection will allow instructors to develop and incorporate into their teaching and learning processes a series of inquiry-based activities in the context of science and technology. A second audience will be adult learners and their families: a special section will target scientific resources for families and family literacy programs. This collection is a collaboration between the National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE) and the Western/Pacific LINCS project. It is supported by funds from the National Institute for Literacy's LINCS project. WWW Address:


Southern LINCS

Midwest LINCS

Eastern LINCS

Correctional Education Resources

Family Literacy

Family Literacy Special Collection (NIFL LINCS Special Collection)
The Family Literacy Special Collections provides individuals working with families a means to access a variety of resources electronically.

Healthy Families: Family Health Literacy Saint Vincent’s Day Home

Kid Pages
Kid Health
Teaching Resources
Parent Resources
Even Start Resources

Volunteer Resources

Literacy Connections provides a wealth of information on reading, teaching and tutoring techniques, ESL literacy, and adult literacy. We recommend resources that are useful for teachers, volunteers, and directors of literacy programs. Topics include the language experience approach, phonics, word study, and the best in children's literature.

Using Volunteers as Aides in the Adult ESL Classroom: National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE)

Staff Development for ABE and ESL Teachers and Volunteers: National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE)

Volunteer Development (ERIC/ACVE)

Copyright on the Internet


National Institute for Literacy

• More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level --far below the level needed to earn a living wage. The National Adult Literacy Survey found that over 40 million Americans age 16 and older have significant literacy needs.

• The National Literacy Act defines literacy as "an individual’s ability to read, write, and speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential."


• As the education level of adults improves, so does their children’s success in school. Helping low-literate adults improve their basic skills has a direct and measurable impact on both the education and quality of life of their children.

• Children of adults who participate in literacy programs improve their grades and test scores, improve their reading skills, and are less likely to drop out.


• Forty-three percent of people with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty; 17 percent receive food stamps, and 70 percent have no job or a part-time job.

• Workers who lack a high school diploma earn a mean monthly income of $452, compared to $1,829 for those with a bachelor’s degree.


• The federal government provided $361 million for adult education programs in 1996. This funding enables millions to participate in basic education programs that help people help themselves.

• Federal adult education funds leverage an additional $800 million each year in state funds for literacy, and millions of dollars in private funding. 

For additional information, please contact:

Paul Heavenridge

Western/Pacific LINCS
(National Institute for Literacy Information aNd Communication Network System)
State Literacy Resource Center of California

1394 Park Avenue
Emeryville, CA 94608


Prepared by Literacyworks, which maintains Western/Pacific LINCS
Updated: 2/04