Category Archives: Student

Using Creative Ways to Learn Vocabulary in a Beginner English Language Acquisition Class

These are some of the collages they created and the sentences they came up with:

 The river sounds relaxing.

 The orange feels smooth.

The landscape looks beautiful.

As English Language Acquisition (ELA) instructors, we are always looking for ways to engage our English Language Learners (ELLs) to learn new vocabulary words and also to express their creativity, especially when they are learning new words and trying to gain confidence to express themselves. One of the techniques that we have been using with our students is to create collages to express their ideas and to learn English while they are having fun. For that reason, this past Wednesday the teacher encourage students to create a collage to learn about about sensory words and how to describe things. Each student was assigned one of the senses to make a collage.Then the students had to write a sentence about each picture. The instructor wrote the sentences on the board and the whole class helped to edit the sentences.The target vocabulary were the sensory verbs: it looks, sounds, feels, etc. At first the students were skeptical about the activity as making collages was something they used to do when they were kids. However, they had a blast during the process and with the results of the activity. They  learned new words, and practiced all the English skills in one activity.


New Student Orientation on August 14th

We are getting ready for the next Student Orientation at the Taos Education & Career Center.

For students interested in attending High School Equivalency classes, the orientation will be on August 14th at 9:00 am at 115 Civic Plaza Drive. For students interested in English as a Second Language, the orientation will take place the same day during the evening at 5:00 pm.  Please come and learn about our services! We offer great classes free of cost.

Everybody is invited!

If you have any questions, please call us at 575-737-3730 or email us at For information in Spanish please call at 575-7799299.

We are looking forward hearing from you!


The Hero’s Journey Radio Show on KNCE 93.5 FM

Welcome to the Hero’s Journey Radio Show! This is a community radio show hosted by the Taos Education & Career Center the last Tuesday of the month from 9-10 am on KNCE 93.FM. Nina Gonzales and Montserrat Oyanedel-Tolmo are the two radio hosts that give life to this incredible social experiment, that focuses on spreading the word about the amazing people that are part of our program and their educational journey. As guests, we had local and international (English as a Second Language) students, board members, volunteers, teachers, and community personalities that work with TECC.

Please listen some of the shows that we were able to record. We hope you enjoy them!

Hero’s Journey Radio Show July 2016

Hero’s Journey Radio Show September 2016

Hero’s Journey Radio Show October 2016

Hero’s Journey Radio Show March 2017

Hero’s Journey Radio Show April 2017

Hero’s Journey Radio Show May 2017

Hero’s Journey Radio Show June 2017

New Age of Education

Students taking the Reading and Writing for Career Pathways class wrote letters to the editor about their learning experiences at the Taos Education & Career Center (formerly the Adult Learning Center @ UNM-Taos). The center will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration to honor its new name and expanded mission Thursday (Dec. 1), 5-8 p.m. at the Town of Taos Civic Center, 120 Civic Plaza Drive.

Ashley Billie, a recent TECC grad, wrote this piece.

Taos residents, we are at the dawn of the new age in regards to adult education in Taos County. Located in the heart of town is a building called TECC (Taos Education & Career Center), previously named the Adult Learning Center. TECC has given me opportunities that I didn’t know were available, and being that it is a free program makes the biggest difference.

I am 24 years old, Taos Pueblo, a Native American resident born and raised in Taos. I have seen many changes in our adult education over the past 10 years, and TECC is a highly educated college readiness program providing support and educational resources to transition you from taking your High School Equivalency (HSE). Whatever point you are in your life, TECC is ready and always willing to help you find what and when you are ready to higher your education.

As a Taos resident, I found it difficult, as well as many others, to be in a “normal” school system. It just wasn’t for me.

During my sophomore year in high school, I became a mother to a beautiful baby girl. Unfortunately, my education became the least of my priorities, and high school was no longer an option. Providing financially and emotionally for my daughter became my life.

For seven years I kept procrastinating. After the birth of my son and many years of not going to school, I then became immersed in deep thought and came to the realization for my kids to have a future and possibly have great careers I would have to be a role model with just as much determination as them in making “our” dreams come true.

Enrolling in the TECC program is the best decision of my life. TECC has provided me with the support and knowledge to continue my career pathway in criminal justice and achieve my HSE.

The TECC staff has very hands-on learning techniques and in my opinion are the best. We have the same goals in common “achieving higher knowledge” and being successful at what we strive to be.

With society always trying to advance the ways we think and feel, TECC is a great program to start with. TECC is a nonprofit organization with highly dedicated teachers who hope to help as many individuals in adult education as possible.

I, as well as others, am so grateful for everything the TECC programs and staff have done for us. Thank you.

Public Schools vs. Homeschool

Hello I’m Sarah and I’ve been public schooled and homeschooled. For me homeschooling was the best decision my parents made for me because I got the one on one learning that I needed. In this essay I’m going to be talking about and describing the differences between public schools and homeschools, and many of the challenges each of them have.

Being homeschooled can be great for a kid that has trouble learning or fitting in. The teaching that a homeschooler receives is usually from a parent, and that’s the best part, your parents know you. They know what your strengths and weaknesses are so it’s easier for you to learn from them. Another great thing is that you don’t care what you like or how you act; you can act as goofy as you want because there is no nobody around to judge you.

Now don’t get me wrong there are many good qualities that public schools have too. Public schools have a more disciplined learning environment to teach you how to be responsible, such as being to school on time and turning in assignments when they are due. One other good quality would have to be that you get to learn in a big classroom with other kids, so it’s easier to make and have friends.

Some of the challenges that public schools have is that they just don’t care anymore. The teachers don’t care they’re like “if you pass, you pass”, and that’s wrong for the kids that really need help; the teachers of the public schools are failing our future. Homeschoolers have challenges as well. Some homeschoolers are very shy and because of this they are labeled as anti-social. Other homeschoolers are very outgoing and goofy; they labeled as weird and annoying. So if we’re shy we’re weird, if we’re outgoing we’re weird, so basically we can’t win in society because let’s just face it, homeschooling isn’t normal.

What I would like to see in the future is that public schools will hire better teachers that are involved with their students. As far as homeschoolers in the future, I would like to see that they are no longer outcasts and that they are accepted for who they are and where they go to school. They way to do this is to stop stereotyping people, being kind to one another, and not letting society tell you what to do when you know what’s right.


By Sarah Espinoza

Gang Activity and Street Violence

My topic is the history on gang activity and street violence. Violent crimes occur in all cities throughout the United States. 1.4 million people were involved in gangs that started in 2011, and more than 33,000 gangs formed all over the United States. Gangs started in urban areas, like Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, and New York. Throughout time, they migrated to other American cities. Violent crimes have continued for a long time. They are not going to stop. Once a gang member gets ranked into that family, that individual has to learn every aspect of living in the streets. He learns how to survive, how to protect his friends’ back, and of course how to make drug deals get organized correctly. Another important task is gangsters have to tag their gang name on buildings, walls, etc, and most importantly, they must advertise to the public worldwide. The solution people can do is assist, or respectfully convince that certain person to get involved in counseling. A parent can also spend quality time with their teenage child, and of course talk to him or her, explaining in a caring manner there is better hobbies to do to succeed in life.

 Augustine Qiunonez

Tropes Against Women: Leading Out of Oppression in Media

Education means to lead out of not knowing to knowing. Women in video games (and in general) have been treated Inferior and or Object of Sexual desire. It’s a reoccurring theme in history and media. Education of this problem can lead to Gender Equality and overall acceptance of others and their differences.
Female Oppression has been around in one form or another. In the earliest civilizations sex was seen as sinful some men felt animosity toward women who provoked their sexual desires. Female oppression stems from when women were considered a property or commodity. In parts of the Middle East women are still seen as property. (1)
In the earliest video games women were seen as “Damsels in Distress” or objects. Occasionally women are still portrayed as weaker, sexual objects, or carbon copies of established male characters. In more recent years,  games have been more open to the idea of” girl gamers ”by including more Playable Female Characters in videogames, but in  an ensemble cast there is often a small handful of playable female characters, that are often oversexualized (Armor/Clothing, Body Figure) (2,4)
There are no easy solutions to this ongoing problem, but there are possible solutions, like including more women into the creative process. Some have proposed “Equal Opportunity Sexual Objectification” as a possible solution (Mostly as a Joke). But others have suggested a more diverse range of Playable Female Characters (Body type, ethnicity and background).  Anita Sarkeesan has been at the forefront of gender equality in media, she has a web series, “Tropes vs Women” out lining the reoccurring tropes against women in media. (2,3,4)
Unfortunately this seems to be an ongoing problem that has no clear cut answer, but as long there are people shining a light to this problem, it will start a conversation about gender equality and how people should be viewed and/or portrayed. In the end People should be treated as equals regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. (3)