This course combines volunteer work in New York City adult literacy and English as a second language programs with an academic introduction to the philosophy, history, and current issues of adult literacy. An important emphasis of the class is to critically examine adult literacy through a social justice lens. Students work as volunteer teachers of reading and writing oral English or mentors at such institutions as the University Settlement, International Rescue Committee, Turning Point, and Fortune Society. In class they read about and discuss such key issues as adult literacy education policy and the impact on the field - including instruction, implications of being marginalized by educational systems, instructional approaches developed for adults; and the steps that might be taken to build support for high-quality, adult basic-skills programs. Throughout the course, students relate such issues to their own on-site experiences in class discussion and role-playing, and create a portfolio of writing that includes on-site observations, lesson plans, reflections, and a final analytical paper. Readings may include Making Meaning, Making Change (Auerbach); We Make the Road by Walking (Horton and Freire); Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire), as well as other articles and journals ( Focus on Basics and The Change Agent ).