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November 26, 2008 > El Civics

El Civics

Submitted By Nicole Steward

EL Civics is a federally funded program directed to help limited English proficient populations live successful lives in the United States. The goal is to assist programs in providing instruction in civics that goes beyond the classroom lessons and requires students to apply their English in a practical way, so that they can fulfill their roles in the family, on the job, and in the community. Fremont Adult School has been delivering EL Civics instruction in the ESL program since September 2000.

Throughout the school year, Fremont Adult School ESL students study different Civic Objectives such as Health, Employment, Banking, Emergencies, Nutrition, DMV, and Housing. During this Fall Quarter, students participated in the Government Civic Objective to coordinate with the upcoming November 2008 elections.

As part of this objective, students not only studied about the voting process, including rights and responsibilities and the political process in the United States, but they were also tested on what they learned. Students were required to complete a voter registration form using a fictional character's information. They were also required to write an email to a friend or family member reminding that person why it is important to vote. Students used a paper email template to write their note.

Their final test was writing a letter to the editor to communicate their opinions on a current political issue on the local, state or federal level. Students used a PowerPoint template during computer lab time to draft their letters. The students then emailed their letters to the coordinator so they could be included in the Fremont Adult School EL Civics Letters to the Editor PowerPoint. The PowerPoint was posted on Fremont Adult School's website so students could share their letters with classmates, family, and friends. The PowerPoint can be viewed at More letters will be added soon.

As a culminating activity, students participated in a mock presidential election. During computer lab time, students "cast their votes" using a teacher created internet survey. Students received "I Voted Stickers in Fremont Adult School's Mock Presidential Election" after they voted. The results were tallied by computer. Then the results were posted on Fremont Adult School's website so teachers could share the information with their students. The mock election results can be viewed at

For more information, contact: Yelena Zimon, ESL Department Chair, 793-2240 X 29116

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