Demands: But wait, I’m an ESOL teacher…!


Knowing the demands (13)

Mapping the demands for teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

If you are not an ESOL teacher – someone who teaches refugees and migrants with little or no English – you can skip this section.

But if you are an ESOL teacher, and you teach a course that is funded by the TEC you might want to read on.

One thing to remember is that there are lots of ESOL teachers involved in teaching literacy and numeracy. And most find themselves having to complete the NZCALNE (Voc) literacy and numeracy professional development at some stage.

To complete the qualification, one of the things that you have to do is demonstrate that you know how to identify and map the context-specific literacy and numeracy demands of your course.

What does this mean for an ESOL teacher?

This means that there are a couple of things to think about.

First of all, “context-specific” means your ESOL context for your purposes. We’re not trying to get you to look at a different context than the one you’re already looking at.

So, relax…! We know that ESOL tutors don’t teach welding or hairdressing. 

What are literacy and numeracy demands for ESOL?

Literacy demands are straightforward for TESOL. They include aspects of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

However, the some specific numeracy demands might have you scratching your head.

But ESOL teachers do discuss and teach things that we can identify as numeracy. Here are some examples.

  • In an “Everyday life in NZ” course you might discuss how to tell the time or how to read a bus timetable or schedule of some kind. Reading maps; giving, receiving and following directions; navigation tasks are all numeracy.
  • In a workplace ESOL environment, it’s possibly even easier. Many workplaces require staff to undertake tasks involving measurement or do calculations. If you are a workplace ESOL tutor, you’ll already be aware of the numeracy demands.
  • Other tasks could include looking at payslips or relevant financial material, or dosages for medication including for children.
  • Any of these tasks will be more or less demanding depending on what’s required by your context. This is what we want to see when you submit your evidence.

Here’s another example.

  • In an academic preparation course, you might look at how you interpret data in a graph or table and then write this down in words. The demands here might relate to achieving an IELTS band 5 for writing with an attached set of descriptors.

All the best with mapping the demands of your ESOL programme and context. If you get stuck, get in touch with us assess@alec.ac.nz

Under the hood: ESOL Starting Points


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The Starting Points framework allows tutors to focus on learning that happens at or before koru/step 1 on the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy. This is often in an ESOL context.

Where does it come from?

The ESOL Starting Points were created by The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). This was in response for a guide for working with learners who are pre-literate or very low level literacy learners.

What’s it for?

If we work with ESOL learners, the Starting Points allows us to focus on seven important areas that:

provide support for working out how to read and write words (decoding written words, forming letters, and writing or encoding words) to enable learners to access and work within the first steps of the learning progressions.

They represent critical skills and knowledge that are essential for supporting adult literacy development.

Without these skills and knowledge, it is unlikely a learner could advance significantly through the progressions for reading and writing (Starting Points, p. 3).

What is it?

It’s not represented by grid with strands and steps like the Learning Progressions. This is because the skills and knowledge are closely related and cross over.

Here are the seven knowledge areas:

  • Listening vocabulary. This includes the words a person recognises when they hear them in spoken language.
  • Phonological awareness. This refers to a learner’s ability to hear, recognise, and use the sounds that make up spoken words.
  • Sound-letter relationships. This is ability to make connections between sounds and the letters that represent them.
  • Print and word concepts. This refers to the rules that govern the use of the written language.
  • Letter formation. This relates to how well someone can form letters so they can write down words.
  • Environmental print. This refers to the words and images found out and about. This can include billboards, advertising, signs and labels.
  • High-interest words. These are words that are personally important that learners might recognise on sight. An example would be someone’s own name or a brand like McDonalds.

How is it relevant?

The ESOL Starting Points will not be relevant for everyone. For example, if you are teaching a trades or vocational training programme it’s unlikely that you will need to use the Starting Points.

However, if you are teaching a workplace literacy programme that involves new migrants, refugees, or other pre-literate learners then the Starting Points could be very relevant and useful.

What does it mean for me?

If you do have low-level ESOL learners, you will probably need to use the Starting Points reading assessment. This is part of the LNAAT.

If you’re unsure about this it could be a good idea to talk to the person in your organisation that administers the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT).

This assessment generates a report similar to the one’s we looked at earlier for the Literacy Progressions. For some courses, such as workplace literacy, doing this assessment will be a condition of your funding.

Teach better – What is ESOL?


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What’s the definition?

ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. This is often used to refer to:

Adult refugees and migrants who are pre-literate learners or learners who have very low levels of English language and literacy. Pre-literate learners are those who need exposure to the purposes and uses of literacy.

Where does this definition come from?

This definition comes from:

Intensive Literacy and Numeracy – ESOL. (2017, January 31). Retrieved from http://www.tec.govt.nz/funding/funding-and-performance/funding/fund-finder/intensive-literacy-and-numeracy-esol/

What are some key features?

  • English is not their first language.
  • Pre-literate learners might have no concept of our alphabet and also have no literacy in their own language.
  • Learners who are refugees may suffer from trauma or stress.
  • Many will have difficulties with most forms of communication in English.

How is this definition relevant to my teaching context?

If your learners all speak English as their first language, then this definition is not so relevant. But you still need to know about it.

For a lot of tutors and trainers, many learners are also second language learners. And with some, English might be their third or fourth language. You might have people like this in your programme. If not now, then at some stage soon.

Some tutors have no control over the learners that get accepted into your programme. Or there is no way to check their language abilities beforehand. If that’s the case for you, you should expect all kinds of communication issues. And you should have some strategies in place to deal with these.

As a trades or vocational tutor, some ESOL needs might be beyond what you can deal with. However, knowing more about your ESOL learners and asking good questions can help you figure out what your options are. Sometimes this means more specialised help for these learners.

Mapping the Demands of a TESOL Course Using the Learning Progressions


Mapping the Demands

If you are a TESOL teacher, but you teach a course that is funded by the TEC you might find yourself having to complete the NCALNE (Voc) literacy and numeracy professional development.

And one of the things that you’ll have to do is demonstrate that you know how to identify and map the context-specific literacy and numeracy demands of your course.

What does this mean?

This means that you’re up to the third assessment in our course.

It also means that there are a couple of things to think about. First of all, context-specific means your ESOL context for our purposes. Next, to use an analogy from sports, it means you’ve answered this question with regards to your learners:

  • How high do they have to jump?

To meet the requirements you need to prove that you’ve looked at the demands for both literacy and numeracy. The literacy demands are straightforward for TESOL. They include reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The numeracy demands might have you scratching your head.

But ESOL teachers do discuss and teach things that we can identify as numeracy. Here are some examples.

  • In an “Everyday life in NZ” course you might discuss how to tell the time or how to read a bus timetable or schedule of some kind. Reading maps; giving, receiving and following directions; navigation tasks are all numeracy.
  • In a workplace ESOL environment, it’s possibly even easier. Many workplaces require staff to undertake tasks involving measurement or do calculations. If you are a workplace ESOL tutor, you’ll already be aware of the numeracy demands.
  • Other tasks could include looking at payslips or relevant financial material, or dosages for medication including for children.

Any of these tasks will be more or less demanding depending on what’s required by your context. This is what we want to see when you submit your evidence.

Here’s another example.

  • In an academic preparation course, you might look at how you interpret data in a graph or table and then write this down in words. The demands here might relate to achieving an IELTS band 5 for writing with an attached set of descriptors.

All the best with mapping the demands of your ESOL course and context. If you get stuck, get in touch with us assess@alec.ac.nz

 

 

We Have The First Graduates From Our New NCALNE (Voc) TESOL Option


TESOL Grads

Well done to the first graduates from English Language Partners who volunteered to take part in our trial…!

If you teach ESOL in a course funded by the Tertiary Education Commission, you may need this qualification. Email us for details: assess@alec.ac.nz.

 

 

 

NCALNE (Voc) for TESOL with Pathways Awarua


go places on PA

Do you teach ESOL? Are You Supposed To Have The NCALNE (Voc)?

If you teach ESOL in a course funded by the TEC, you may need to complete the NCALNE (Voc) qualification.

The reason for this is the TEC conditions attached to the funding. These aren’t negotiable, but we now have a solution for TESOL teachers.

  • Are you an experienced and qualified TESOL teacher?
  • Do you need to complete the NCALNE (Voc)?

In partnership with Pathways Awarua, ALEC is now trialling an NCALNE (Voc) TESOL option.

This option combines professional development work and assessment on Pathways Awarua with a portfolio of ESOL-specific evidence.

Want to know more?

NCALNE (Voc) – TESOL option: Questions & Answers


TESOL NCALNE 2

The other day I mentioned that we’re investigating an NCALNE (Voc) option for trained and experienced TESOL teachers. We’re now ready to trial this.

Here are a few Q & A that I’ve tried to anticipate:

I’m already TESOL trained. Why do I have to have the NCALNE (Voc) qualification?

  • It depends on the funding that your organisation receives. In NZ, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is the government agency that funds most tertiary training. Different funds have different conditions attached. Some TEC funding contracts require teachers to have the National Certificate in Adult Literacy & Numeracy Education (Vocational). Most courses at level 2 and below require tutors to have the NCALNE (Voc) as a minimum qualification. There is more information here.

I feel frustrated that the TEC does not recognise my TESOL qualifications and experience. I don’t want to get another qualification. Why should I bother?

  • Graeme Smith from ALEC was an ESOL teacher before he started ALEC to deliver the NCALNE (Voc). He taught here and overseas for 10 years before switching to literacy and numeracy. Graeme’s aware of the issues. And this process is optional. We’ve tried to design a solution that works for TESOL teachers, the TEC, and NZQA.

Can I just send you a copy of my CV and qualifications? Can’t you just have a look at these and sign off the NCALNE?

  • Sorry, no. We need to make sure we follow a robust process for this. To meet NZQA criteria, we need you to supply evidence for each qualification outcome. This is to prove that you know and do the things specified in the outcomes. But we can help you interpret these outcomes from an ESOL perspective. And you’ll need to send us your brief CV and qualifications as part of your portfolio of evidence anyway.

How much does it cost to get the NCALNE (Voc)?

  • The TEC subsidises the cost of the NCALNE (Voc). But they don’t cover 100%. In 2015, ALEC is charging a per-candidate fee of $750 + GST. We don’t discount this. And this pricing will most likely increase in 2016. But we are offering the following: Because this is new for us, you can try the process out for free up until the point that we tell you we’re ready to request your credential from the NZQA. This means we will assess your evidence portfolio and work with you at no initial cost. If you’re not happy, you walk away at any stage. We’ll bill your organisation at the end of the process provided everyone is happy.

What’s the process for this?

  • Our process has two parts. One is a portfolio of evidence and attestation from you that meets the outcome requirements. To complete this you’ll need to have a manager or supervisor verify the evidence that you compile and submit.  We want you to supply ESOL specific evidence from your normal teaching practice wherever possible.

    The other thing is that you’ll need to complete two of our regular assessments. These are available on www.PathwaysAwarua.com. The portfolio evidence relates to outcomes 3 to 7 from the NCALNE (Voc). And the regular NCALNE assessments relate to outcomes 1 and 2. You can do these in any order, but we recommend that you complete assessments 1 and 2 first.

What are the seven NCALNE (Voc) outcomes?

  1. NZ context (Pathways Awarua NCALNE Assessment 1)
  2. Maori context (Pathways Awarua NCALNE Assessment 2)
  3. Knowing the demands (Portfolio)
  4. Knowing the learner (Portfolio)
  5. Knowing what to do (Portfolio)
  6. Assessing progress (Portfolio)
  7. Evaluating (Portfolio)

I don’t want to compile a portfolio of evidence. Can I just do the course the regular way

How do I access the NCALNE (Voc) content for assessments 1 and 2?

  • It’s online here: www.PathwaysAwarua.com. First, you need to register as an educator on the website. Contact us for our ALEC join code. Second, you need to complete the ENROL module. We’ll send you more info once you’re enrolled.

How do I put together my portfolio for outcomes 3 to 7

  • We have instructions and a template that we’ll send you. We’re committed to keeping this paperwork minimal. We’ve designed the shortest template for this we can. It’s four pages long. This one document combines your portfolio checklist, your candidate attestation, and your verifier sign-off. Your evidence is on top of that, of course.

What kind of evidence can I submit?

  • You are free to choose the kind of evidence that you submit as well as the format that you submit it in. This applies to each of outcomes 3 to 7. We’ve listed some possible sources of evidence in the checklist. We want you to choose evidence that relates to your ESOL context. We’re happy to discuss this with you as you need to.

What if I can’t supply the right kind of evidence? I’m worried there might be gaps?

  • We think that ESOL teachers routinely do many, if not all of the things required by Outcomes 3 to 7. If we think there is a gap in your portfolio evidence we’ll get in touch with you and talk about it. We might ask you to send additional material. or we might ask you to complete a particular task to generate the evidence we need. We’re on your side here and we want this process to work.

Where should I add comments or notes?

  • You can use any format you like for this. For example, you can email us or create a separate word document for any notes or commentary that you want to add. The main thing is that you label everything clearly so we can connect these to the correct outcomes. Also, please send supporting notes or commentary electronically to assess@alec.ac.nz.  

My supervisor or manager wants to add comments. How do they do this?

  • As above, any format is fine as long as it is clearly marked with the name of the supervisor or manager, as well as the outcome that it relates to. We would like to encourage you to seek this feedback from your managers and include them in the process as much as possible.

    Try and anticipate our questions. If a piece of evidence might seem unclear to us, comments from your manager may help us make the connection to the outcome more easily. This will speed up the process for all of us.