STRATEGIES – New content for the new NZCALNE Assessment 4 with ALEC

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NZCALNE (voc) Assessment 4 – New Content

Kia ora ano and welcome back once again to TEACH BETTER NOW

You’re up to the fourth assessment task in the new and improved NZCALNE (Voc). Excellent work…!

We’re working hard to get all new content for this and other modules live on Pathways Awarua, but until then you can find the first draft on here on the blog as always.

Feel free to leave a comment and tell us what’s useful or if something is confusing. Your comments help us to make the content better.

The new Assessment 4 is an entirely new section that wasn’t in the expired NCALNE (Voc). This is a look at strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy into your programme.

There are four sections to complete:

  • 4.1 What’s your context?
  • 4.2 What are your opportunities and constraints?
  • 4.3 What are your broad strategies for literacy and numeracy?
  • 4.4 What are some specific learning outcomes?

What’s it all about?

The idea with this task is to start looking at your own teaching context and then come up with some broad strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy. And then take a couple of smaller slices of these, and narrow them down to specific learning outcomes.

You’ll use these learning outcomes in the last three assessments to guide you through the process of creating and using diagnostic assessments, planning and delivering your teaching, and measuring learners’ progress.

Follow the links below

If you already know what you’re doing, please skip ahead to the assessment template. You can always come back and dip into these resources as you need to. Email us directly if you don’t already have the template and checklist.

Otherwise, as this is new content for you (like some of it was for us) it might be quite good to skim through the material that we’ve put together.


This is the fourth of seven collections covering the knowledge and skills you need to teach better by embedding literacy and numeracy into your training.

By the end of this fourth section, you will have covered:

  • What you need to know to develop broad strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy into your programme.
  • How to structure specific learning outcomes for embedding literacy and numeracy into your teaching sessions.

This next content area breaks down into four modules. Here’s what’s ahead:

1. What’s your context?

Here you’ll need to reflect on what kind of teaching or training you do, what kind of learners you have, and what your main objectives are. These objectives might be formal, like achieving unit standards. Or they might be more informal, like understanding health and safety requirements or being able to fill out a form.

Read more:

2. What are your opportunities and constraints?

You’ll need to identify some of the opportunities where you could contextualise literacy and numeracy in your teaching. But also, you’ll need to look at what some of the constraints or barriers to implementing this approach in your work.

Read more

3. What are your broad strategies for literacy and numeracy?

In this module, you’ll design a couple of broad strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy into your programme.

Read more about literacy strategies:

Read more about numeracy strategies

Read more about learner centred teaching

4. What are your specific learning outcomes?

Once you’ve got an idea about the broad strategies you want, you’ll learn how to focus on some specific parts of these. You’ll do this by learning how to write learning outcomes for embedded literacy and numeracy teaching.

We’ll focus on learning outcomes here so that in the next stage, you’ll be able to develop your own specific assessments and teaching activities that relate to these.

Just to sum up, this stage takes us from the more general, big picture strategies which apply across your programme, down to specific learning outcomes for particular aspects of literacy and numeracy that you want to embed into your teaching sessions with learners.

Introducing learning outcomes:

Read more about how to write specific kinds of learning outcomes

Strategies and learning outcomes:

If you’re stuck, please get in touch with us by email here: or by texting or calling Graeme on 0800-ALEC-1-2


Strategies and learning outcomes: Some things to think about before we move on

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Hey, well done! You’ve got your strategies and learning outcomes in place now. Make sure you remember to submit your completed assessment to us.

Just to recap:

  • Your strategies focus on the big picture – usually, your programme as a whole.
  • Your learning outcomes focus on a narrow slice of this bigger picture. The focus is on some very specific teaching and assessing that you want to do.

All that’s left from here is the project work. The project work is the teaching practice part of the course. There are three assessments, and they are linked together. Think of them as one project.

  • Assessment 5 – BEFORE: Looking at diagnostic assessment and learning plans.
  • Assessment 6 – TEACHING: Planning and facilitating embedded activities.
  • Assessment 7 – AFTER: Measuring learner progress in literacy and numeracy.

The connection between the tasks is that you’ll need to track the same learners through the three stages. And you’ll report back on how you and they get on at each stage.

Before we move on, though, have a think about your answers to the questions below. The questions aren’t assessed, but talking about what you think with someone, particularly a colleague, will help you engage with the learning more deeply.

Strategies and learning outcomes

  • Do you feel that you have described your context accurately and concisely?
  • Are you clear on what some of the main opportunities and constraints are that you have in front of you?
  • Are you confident that you can describe a broad, “big picture” strategy for embedding both literacy and numeracy into your programme?
  • Are you confident that you can describe some specific learning outcomes for embedding aspects of this strategy into your teaching?

How to write your own learning outcomes for embedding Reading

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Writing your own learning outcomes

If you have already started writing your learning outcomes and you’re happy with the way it’s going, please carry on. Finish off the assessment and submit your work to us for comment.

If you need some more support, please read on…! We can walk you through the process of writing learning outcomes for the following four areas:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Number
  • Measurement

Just click through to the content that you need. There is a worksheet for each as well as notes.

We haven’t focused on listening, speaking, or statistics. If these are relevant to your learners, you’re welcome to follow the guidelines and write your own learning outcomes for these instead.

How to write your own learning outcomes for Reading

You can do this on your own or download the worksheet here here.


  1. Choose one item from each box and then add your own context.
  2. Write out your own final draft of the learning outcome.
  3. If you need to, make any changes to ensure your learning outcome is specific to the reading skills you want to teach and assess.










decoding strategies

everyday vocabulary

academic vocabulary

technical vocabulary

knowledge of language and text features

comprehension strategies

critical reading strategies

in the context of…

What are learning outcomes?

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Now we need to shift our gaze from the broad, high-level strategies you’ve been working on for your whole programme. Your broad strategies for embedding are the “big picture”.

Now, imagine you’re switching from wide angle lens to zoom on a camera. Your next three assessments require you to do some assessing and some teaching. To do this well, we need to zoom in much closer.

You’re going to zoom in by developing some very specific learning outcomes to guide your planning, assessing and teaching.

But before we launch into writing learning outcomes, here’s a quick heads up of what’s left to finish your training.

After this assessment, you’ll learn to do the following:

  1. BEFORE you teach: Use diagnostic assessment including the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool
  2. TEACHING: Plan and facilitate the kind of embedded activities that your learners need for your training.
  3. AFTER you teach: Measure learner progress

Each of these stages in the embedding process needs to be highly focused. The way we focus here is through writing very specific learning outcomes.

Each stage, whether it’s a diagnostic assessment, your teaching activities, or some kind of progress assessment is guided by your learning outcomes. These are your road map. They keep you on track and ensure that you focus on the things that you’ve identified as important.

But first:

  • What is a learning outcome?

The term learning outcome is shortened from intended learning outcome. A learning outcome is a short statement that says:

  • What you expect learners to be able to do at the end of the learning.

You already wrote a short statement that summed up your broad strategy for embedding literacy and numeracy. With your strategies, you’re looking at the whole of your programme.

With learning outcomes, you’re looking at teaching and assessing some specific aspect of literacy and numeracy.

Strategies: How do I make my strategies more learner centred?

Strategies (14)

To finish off writing your strategies and this assessment, there are some questions that you need to answer. These questions apply to your literacy and numeracy strategies.

As always, you can skip ahead to the assessment template, or download a worksheet if you want to take notes now.

How are you going to address the opportunities or constraints you identified earlier?

Earlier, you identified different opportunities and constraints. Some of these may be outside of what you can influence. While others may be partially or fully within your influence. You need to say how you will deal with these.

For example, you might say something like this:

  • One constraint I mentioned earlier relates to the fact that my learners seem disengaged. I think I can deal with this by including them in some parts of my planning. For example, I think I can negotiate some of the learning goals with them and put this in a learning plan that they agree to.
  • One opportunity relates to how I can contextualise the learning. For example, I have to teach a new module next month on small motors. There will be lots of “hands on” workshop teaching, but my students will have lots of new vocabulary to learn.
  • Another opportunity could be developing a new practical project that we decide together. I can still make sure that we cover the content I need, but we might be able to focus the whole group on a new project so that they feel more ownership over the direction.

How are you going to make your programme more learner centred?

In the first and second assessments, we talked about different approaches, concepts and frameworks that all contribute to a more learner-centred approach to teaching. What are you going to do to make your teaching more learner-centred? We’d like to encourage you to try things that might be new to you.

You need to say how this relates to what you’re planning in your literacy strategy. For example:

  • I think I can make my programme more learner centred by adopting a more holistic approach. I already do this, but I think I can be more explicit when it comes to using a buddy system, or some kind of peer learning with my group. This should also free me up to work with others who really need my help as well. Hopefully, that means me talking less, and, as long as they’re on task, my learners talking more.

How will you encourage learner independence?

Developing independent learners is one of the goals of adult education. It’s part of our learner-centred approach. What are you going to do to encourage your learners to be more independent?

Here’s an example of what you might write:

  • One idea I’ve got for increasing learner independence with regards to these skills is to try and shift my role from being at the front of the room to setting up more group work with fewer interruptions. I need to think about how to structure this properly though as some will still want to work alone as well.
  • Another idea I’d like to implement through the programme is to build in more learner evaluation of what we’re working on. I need to do this at the end of the course anyway, but I might build in some smaller opportunities for them to evaluate some of the new material that I’m working on.

How are your strategies informed by other key frameworks?

In the first part of this course, we looked several key frameworks that should underpin your teaching. You’ve already said in detail now how you will use the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

Next, you need to say how each of these other frameworks below will influence or inform your overall teaching approach as you implement your strategies. Skip back to Collection 1 and 2 if you need to refresh your memory.

Māori frameworks and approaches

Is there some aspect of Te Whare Tapawhā that you could implement? For example:

  • I’d like to have a look at my teaching using Te Whare Tapawhā and see where I’ve attended to all four domains and where I haven’t. I feel that we have provided the resources (Taha tinana), but perhaps some students are really lacking a strong belief that they can succeed in our programme (Taha wairua). I can work on building relationships with the group and allowing time at the beginning of this semester for people to feel comfortable to say who they are, where they are from, and where they stand.

Are there one or two particular approaches or concepts from Te Ao Māori that you could implement more explicitly? For example:

  • I’d like to be more explicit about how I use ako and tuakana-teina with my group. I know this happens naturally at times, but I think I can set up the conditions for it in a better way. I’d like to experiment with pairing up learners in different ways to see what works best for this group.

Fonofale Pasifika

Is there some aspect of the Fonofale Pasifika approach that you could implement? For example:

  • I don’t always have Pasifika learners, but I think I can incorporate aspects of the Fonofale approach. I can be more mindful of what my learners’ longer-term goals are. I might need to connect more with family members to learn this. I can make time for my Pasifika (and other learners) to work out how my training can connect with their cultural values and beliefs. On my side, I’ll need to do some learning here to find out more about what their cultural beliefs and values are.

ESOL Starting Points

This one is optional. Not everyone has ESOL learners who need support to learn the basics of how to read and write words. If you are a trades or vocational tutor, feel free to skip ahead if this does not apply to you.

If you teach a workplace literacy course, though, it might be very relevant. For example:

  • I teach refugees and migrants in a workplace literacy course. This means all of my learners are ESOL learners. I haven’t used the Starting Points framework before, but I’ve been working with this content for a long time. My challenge is to have a look at the framework and see how it can add structure to what I already do. Out of the seven knowledge areas, we already have a good focus on listening vocabulary, phonological awareness, and high-interest areas. I have to use the TEC Starting Points assessment now so it would make sense to see how I can apply the framework

What’s your timeline for your strategies?

Your timeline will depend on the length of your programme. Here are some examples. An appropriate timeline might be:

  • One academic year for a 120 Credit, New Zealand Certificate course.
  • One semester for a programme that you teach at a local private training establishment.
  • 10 weeks for a trades-related taster course.
  • 40 hours of small group training in a workplace literacy course.

What’s your approach to evaluation for your strategies?

Success means different things for different people. Also, the timeframe for your strategy is going to have an impact as well. Here are some examples of how you could measure the success of your strategies over the longer term:

  • I intend to look at the gains my learners make using the TEC Assessment Tool – the LNAAT.
  • Another way that I’ll be evaluating this strategy is by observing any changes in learner behaviour in the short term. I’ll be looking for different kinds of literate and numerate behaviour. Specifically, for literacy, I want to see my students using different kinds of reading comprehension strategies successfully and demonstrating that they know and understand how to use much of the new vocabulary that we’ll be covering.
  • I’m also going to add some questions to our end of year evaluation to ask learners if they think they have improved in areas that connect with my strategy. For example, for numeracy, I’ll get them to rate their confidence in using some of the literacy and numeracy skills in practical ways.

Up next: We’ll change gears and shift our focus from big picture strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy at the level of your programme, to learning outcomes.

And it’s the more narrowly focused learning outcomes that will help you embed literacy and numeracy into your teaching sessions.

Strategies: Thinking more deeply about your numeracy strategy

Strategies (13)

In order for your numeracy strategy to be effective, you need to consider your answers to the following questions. These questions are in the worksheets and are the same as what you’ll find in your assessment template.

Here’s a list of the questions below. Then we’ll work through each one. If you know what to do here, just skip ahead to the assessment template.

  • Can you provide a breakdown of the specific numeracy skill areas?
  • What kinds of specific literacy competencies or practices do you expect to see?

Can you provide a breakdown of the specific numeracy skill areas?

In your strategy, you should have picked one or two numeracy progressions to focus on. These are the numeracy skill areas that you want to develop. These should be based on what you identified when you did the mapping exercise as part of Assessment 3.

For example, you might say something like this:

  • One area I want to focus on is using a range of different partitioning strategies to solve the kinds of addition and subtraction problems that students need to do mentally when they are working outside.
  • Another area I intend to include is some work on place value and measurement. Because we use metric rulers and tapes in the workshop it’s important that learners know that 1mm is the same as 1/1000th of a metre. They need to know what this looks like and how we convert from one to the other.

What kinds of specific numeracy competencies or practices do you expect to see?

We talked about this earlier in relation to literacy. Here’s a recap:

  • As your learners gain stronger literacy skills you should see some of their behaviours change in positive ways. We refer to these behaviours as “competencies” or “practices”.
  • A competency is the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.
  • Practices are the actual application of a literacy or numeracy skill.

Here’s an example of what you might write:

  • What I hope to see is some gains in learners general number knowledge, but in particular, I’d like to see them understand place value better. We might see some of these gains on the TEC assessment tool, but I think I’ll need my own assessments in place if I want to measure it more directly.
  • Also, I’d like to see more discussion of maths and problem solving during our teaching time. I’d like the focus here to be more on the process of figuring out the answers to things and less about the correct answer. Learning happens in the process of solving the problem, so I need to make sure that there are lots of opportunities for them to practice this and talk about it.

What else should a good strategy have in it?

We need to look at what else you’ll need to think about when you’re writing your strategies.

To be a fully formed strategy, you’ll need to show that you’ve addressed, or at least are thinking about about, the following questions as part of your programme-level strategy:

  • How are you going to deal with the opportunities or constraints that you identified?
  • How are you going to make your programme more learner centred?
  • How will you encourage learner independence?
  • How will you use key frameworks to guide and inform your approach?
  • What’s your timeframe for this?
  • How are you going to evaluate your work?

We expect that your answers to these questions will change over time as you try new things and get feedback from your learners. But you will need to answer these questions for both of your strategies when you hand in this assessment.

If you want to, you can skip ahead and download the assessment template. Feel free to get started and come back here as you work through each section.

Or, if this all feels a bit new, please read on and do the workshop tasks that relate to each section. These tasks will help you with the assessment so make sure that you keep your notes handy.

Strategies: What are some examples of numeracy strategies?

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Here are some more examples of numeracy strategies developed by tutors for embedding numeracy into their programmes.

These are the kind of concise summaries that you’ll also need to write for your assessment.

Don’t forget, for assessment purposes for this course, you only need to write two – one for each of literacy and numeracy.

Below are some examples of numeracy strategies:

  • Teach my learners how to use number to solve problems with a focus on additive strategies and place value in the context of my Introduction to Farming course for highschool students.
  • Teach my learners how to measure with a focus on estimation and using a tape for metric measurement in my New Zealand Certificate in Building and Construction programme.
  • Teach my learners how to measure with a focus on calculating the area of rectangles from measurements of length in the module I’m planning this semester for the course I teach on Level 3 Horticulture and sustainable development.