Demands: What are some specific writing demands?

If you’ve got the hang of the mapping, feel free to skip ahead and get on with mapping the writing demands in Assessment 3. You’re up to section 3.4.

If you do skip ahead and you get stuck, you can always come back here and have a look in more detail.

Otherwise, we’re going to walk you through mapping writing demands for a sample from your programme. Here’s the most important thing:

  • The content area is different, but the process for mapping writing is the same as for mapping reading.

1. Print out the Write to Communicate strand.

Make sure you have the Write to Communicate strand in front of you so you can refer to the details for each step. Sure you can have the PDF on your computer, but some things are just easier to refer to in print.

It looks like this, but it will have descriptions of skills and knowledge in all of the steps. You can Write to Communicate Strand Chart if you need to.

Screenshot 2017-03-21 08.40.20

2. Choose a specific sample writing text or task from your teaching programme.

Choose some kind of teaching material that your learners have to work with, not NZQA unit standard descriptions. Choose a task where your learners have to write. This might include reading, but the focus should be writing.

Here are some examples of samples that you could choose where your learners have to write:

  • Summarising something or writing a description of something.
  • Writing an explanation of something in their own words to show understanding.
  • An assessment where they have to write sentences or paragraphs.
  • Filling in a complicated form such as a timesheet or vehicle logbook.
  • Completing an accident report with sufficient details.
  • Completing health and safety compliance documents such as completing a risk assessment in a workplace
  • Keeping a diary of weather or daily activities
  • Writing instructions for others to follow.

3. Have clear reasons for choosing the sample

In the assessment template, you’ll need to say why you chose the sample. There are lots of reasons. Here are some:

  • You might have chosen some teaching material that you already know causes difficulties for your learners.
  • You might already know that you need to create some new material to teach a new part of your programme.
  • Your supervisor or manager may have asked you to focus on something in particular.

4. Start your mapping with the Vocabulary progression

Like we said earlier,  what you’re going to do at every stage is refer to the Strand charts and then shade in your own chart down to the relevant step.

And as with the work that you did mapping reading, we’re going to start with the vocabulary progression here as well.

For trades or employment focused training, it’s safe to start at around step 4/5 for writing. Look at the description for vocabulary at step 4/5.

You’ll see the following:

“… have a specialised writing vocabulary related to a range of topics”.

Vocabulary – Most adults will be able to

Koru / step 1 use a range of everyday, highly familiar words and phrases to write simple texts.
Koru / step 2 have a writing vocabulary that is adequate for communicating meaning in everyday writing tasks
Koru / step 3 have an extended writing vocabulary related to their personal, work and community tasks
Koru / step 4 – 5 have a specialised writing vocabulary related to a range of topics
Koru / step 6 Have an extensive writing vocabulary of everyday and specialised words that relate to a wide range of topics and contexts

5. Use what you know about your own subject

Use your own knowledge of your training material or work to decide whether this applies. In other words:

  • Does the sample require your learners to be able to write any specialised words. These could be trade-specific words, or other jargon that relates to your programme.

If your answer was no, that is, there are no specialised words, then you need to drop back to step 3 or 2 and see if either of those steps fits better. Step 3 for vocabulary means there are no academic words and no specialised or technical words.

If you answered yes, then you should push ahead to step 6 and see if the answer is still yes to the description there.

If you work in trades, your material is probably at least at step 3 and most likely at step 4/5.

It might be the case that there is not very much writing in your programme. If this is true, then have a look at what writing there is, and in particular look at assessment tasks that require writing.

If it’s work-related, but you don’t need to see specialised terminology then it’s going to be step 3. If you want your learners to write using the jargon of your trade, then it’s specialised and that makes it step 4 / 5.

As we said last time, if you’re not sure about what step, this process works well if you do it together with a colleague who knows what you know about what you teach or train.

6. Map the demands on paper first

If you’re working on paper, get a highlighter and shade down from the top until you’ve included the highest step that you identified for vocabulary. You’ll end up with something like this:

Screenshot 2017-03-21 08.40.36

Now, we’ve mapped the vocabulary demands for writing at steps 4 / 5.

DOWNLOAD Writing Demands Worksheet for mapping your own writing sample. It’s exactly the same as section 3.4 of your assessment task. Print this out and you can use it as a rough draft and for notes.

7. Map your writing sample against the rest of the progressions in the strand.

Once you’ve mapped vocabulary, you can move on to the other progressions. The system is the same as what you did before. For each relevant progression:

  • Start somewhere in the middle of the steps – say around step 3.
  • Read the description in the Strand Chart for this step.
  • Use your judgement and decide of your sample matches the description. If it doesn’t drop down to a lower step. If it does, go to a higher step and repeat.

If a progression is not relevant you can skip it. But make sure you have a reason for this as your tutor or assessor may ask you.

When you’ve mapped all of the relevant writing progressions for your sample, you might end up with something similar to this:

Screenshot 2017-03-21 08.40.54

Once again, this is mapping in visual terms. You need to be able to talk about your results and what they mean.

As with each of your samples, you’ll need to answer a series of questions to show that you understand what you’ve just done.

These questions are in the assessment template and in the worksheet if you download it:

  • What text or task did you use?
  • Why did you choose this as your sample?
  • Out of everything here, what are the most important progressions and steps?
  • What about planning for assessment and teaching?

As before, there are prompts in the template to help you answer the questions. Feel free to ignore them, but they are there to help you get started writing your answers and guide you in the right direction.

If you can map a sample writing text and answer the questions, you can move onto the next module.

Make sure you keep your sample handy, though. You’ll need to scan it and upload it when you submit your completed assessment task.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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