Mapping Reading Demands
We are going to be working with the Read with Understanding strand to map the reading demands of some samples for your programme. The Read with Understanding Strand is part of the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy.
Now… let’s go through it slowly. Getting the hang of mapping takes time, but the reading demands of your course or programme are a great place to start.
1. Print out the Read with Understanding Strand
Make sure you have the Read with Understanding strand in front of you so you can refer to the details for each step.
It looks like this, but it will have descriptions of skills and knowledge in all of the steps. You can Download the Read with Understanding Strand Chart if you need to.
Read with Understanding
2. Choose a specific sample reading text or task from your teaching programme
This should be some kind of teaching material that your learners have to work with, not NZQA unit standard descriptions or other technical material for assessment purposes.
Here are some examples of samples that you could choose for mapping reading demands:
- Several pages from a workbook containing difficult vocabulary or new terminology.
- Pages from a Code of Practice that people don’t always understand.
- Content from a workplace induction procedure.
- A health and safety compliance document.
- A complicated notice that people have to read and understand.
- Relevant pages from an Act of Parliament that is relevant to training and assessment.
3. Have clear reasons for choosing the sample
Justify why you chose the sample. There are lots of reasons for mapping the reading demands of a particular text. 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
In a nutshell, 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. When you get to the end of this process, you will have a mapped a snapshot of the reading demands for your course.
We’re going to practice with the vocabulary progression. This is the easiest place to start for mapping reading demands.
For most training that has a technical aspect, like trades or employment focused training, it’s safe to start at around step 4/5 for reading. Look at the description for vocabulary at step 4/5.
You’ll see the following:
“… a reading vocabulary that includes some general academic
words and some specialised words”.
|Vocabulary||Most adults will be able to|
|Koru / step 1||have a reading vocabulary of everyday words, signs and symbols.|
|Koru / step 2||have a reading vocabulary of everyday words that includes some compound words.|
|Koru / step 3||have a reading vocabulary of everyday words and some less common words, acronyms and abbreviations.|
|Koru / step 4 – 5||have a reading vocabulary that includes some general academic words and some specialised words.|
|Koru / step 6||have a large reading vocabulary that includes general academic words and specialised words and terms.|
5. Use what you know about your own subject
At this point, you need to use your own knowledge of your training material or work to decide whether this applies to the reading demands of your programme. In other words:
- Does the sample require your learners to be able to use some academic words (like “measure”, “demonstrate”, “evaluate”, for example)?
- Does the material require your learners to use some words that are specific to your trade or specialised training content (“listeria” for catering, “glyphosate” for farming or horticulture, or “Nogs and dwangs” for carpentry, for example)?
If your answer was no, then you need to drop back to step 3 and see if that 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.
Step 6 applies to vocabulary where you expect your learners to be working with a large bank of academic and specialised or technical words.
If you work in trades, your material is probably at least at steps 4/5 or 6 for vocabulary.
If you have a lot of technical jargon to deal with then go with step 6. If there’s just a bit, but it’s not too much then go with steps 4/5, which is a combined step.
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. Do a draft or map the reading 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:
This is mapping. Above, we’ve mapped the vocabulary demands for reading at steps 4 / 5.
You can download a chart and worksheet here for mapping your own reading sample. It’s exactly the same as section 3.3 of your assessment task. Print this out and you can use it as a rough draft and for notes.
7. Map your reading sample against the rest of the progressions in the strand.
Once you’ve mapped vocabulary, you can move on to Decoding and then other progressions. The system is the same. For each relevant progression:
- Start somewhere in the middle of the steps – say around step 3.
- Read the description from 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.
There is also some subjective judgement involved. But also, you are the expert here. You know your own content. In the case of vocabulary, it’s easy… If you see technical jargon, you can’t map it at step 3. It has to be above this.
Also, many of the skills and knowledge required at steps 1 and 2 is very developmental. For trades and most courses, you’re going to be mapping at step 3 and above.
In fact, if you are a trades tutor, you may find that much of your course is at step 5 and 6.
When you’ve mapped all of the relevant reading demands using the reading progressions for your sample, you might end up with something like this:
This is mapping in visual terms. From here you need to be able to talk about your results and what they mean.
When you complete the assessment task, you’ll need to answer a series of questions to show that you know what you’ve just done.
These questions are in the assessment template and in the worksheet if you download it. They’re also here below:
- 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?
In the template, there are prompts to help you answer the questions. Feel free to ignore them if you like. 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 reading text and answer the questions above, you can move onto the next module. Keep your sample handy, though. You’ll need to scan it and upload it when you submit your finished assessment task.
Good luck with mapping your reading demands.
If these tips on mapping reading demands were helpful…
If you found these tips on mapping reading demands helpful, you may also find my introduction to literacy and numeracy useful as well. Would you like to see a specific eBook or resource on mapping reading demands? Please let me know in the comments.
Literacy & Numeracy – It’s Not Rocket Science
Learn the fundamentals of literacy and numeracy with Graeme Smith
Discover how to be more successful in your teaching journey. I’ll introduce and explain some of the fundamentals of adult literacy and numeracy.
Once you’ve finished reading, you will have a better understanding of the basics including how to integrate or embed literacy and numeracy into your teaching. This includes with technical and vocational education. You can read more here.
Now bundled wth two free printable resources – a place value chart and hundreds grid.
CHECK OUT LITERACY AND NUMERACY: IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE BY GRAEME SMITH
Click the link below to find out more about Literacy and Numeracy: It’s Not Rocket Science.
The Educator Entrepreneur – Don’t Bring a Whiteboard Marker to a Knife Fight
Learn how to think like an Entrepreneur with Graeme Smith
Education is a tough business to work in. And that’s true regardless of whether you are a teacher, a trainer or any kind of specialist educator. But what if you’re a business owner AS WELL…!
If you’re like me, most days you’re probably pretty excited about what you do. But some days… Some days I can’t understand why anyone would want to work in education. But I learned to survive and thrive and you can too. Teach yourself a lesson and start thinking like an entrepreneur. Read more here
CHECK OUT THE EDUCATOR ENTREPRENEUR – DON’T BRING A WHITEBOARD MAKER TO A KNIFE FIGHT BY GRAEME SMITH
Click the link below to find out more about The Educator Entrepreneur – Don’t Bring a Whiteboard Marker to a Knife Fight
What is Learner-Centred Teaching – 12 Concepts from Te Ao Māori You Should Embrace to Create Learning Success
Discover time-honoured approaches to learner-centred teaching
What if I told you that there were time-honoured approaches to teaching and learning you can use to create the conditions for learning success. Imagine if your teaching really connected with your learners… What if your classroom or training environment was a place where your learners felt like they belonged and wanted to learn?
Here’s a secret. It’s totally possible if you discover and embrace time-honoured concepts from Te Ao Māori – the Māori world. This book is for you if you want to teach or train in a way that is more learner-centred or if you want to learn to think in a more holistic way. Read more here
CHECK OUT WHAT IS LEARNER-CENTRED TEACHING? 12 CONCEPTS FROM TE AO MĀORI YOU SHOULD EMBRACE TO CREATE LEARNING SUCCESS BY GRAEME SMITH
Click the link below to find out more about What is Learner-Centred? 12 Concepts from Te Ao Māori You Should Embrace to Create Learning Success
Three Simple Approaches You Need for Learner-Centred Teaching
Find out more about three of the fundamentals of adult teaching
Have you ever thought about how to improve your teaching? Have you ever wondered what it takes to create learner success in any teaching environment? Well, you need three things. Make that four things… You need to:
- Understand what people mean when they talk about “learner-centred” teaching.
- Know how to leverage your learners’ prior knowledge.
- Have simple ways of increasing the motivation of your students.
- Know what learner agency is and how to develop it.
Read more here.
CHECK OUT THREE SIMPLE APPROACHES YOU NEED FOR LEARNER-CENTRED TEACHING BY GRAEME SMITH
Click the link below to find out more about Three Simple Approaches You Need for Learner Centred Teaching – Proven Ways to Use Prior Knowledge, Increase Motivation and Develop Learner Agency to Pave the Road to Learning Success