Teach Better Now – Assessment 3 of the NZCALNE (Voc)

DEMANDS: NZCALNE (Voc) Collection 3 is live on Pathways Awarua

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We’d love it if you stopped by and had a read through the new content for Collection 3 of the new NZCALNE on PathwaysAwarua.

You’ll find a plain-English introduction to the Learning Progressions. This includes a demonstration of how to map the big picture literacy and numeracy demands of your programme, as well as specific samples of your teaching materials.

You’ll need to register as a new tertiary educator, or just log in if you already have an account. Look for the NZCALNE (Voc) pathway.

Mapping literacy and numeracy demands: Some things to think about before we move on

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From here we can move on to the fourth section in the NZCALNE and how to teach better. Up next you’re going to use your knowledge of the literacy and numeracy demands to lay out some broad strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy into your training.

And once you’ve got your strategies in place we can move on to the super practical parts of this course:

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

First, though, have a think about your answers to the questions below.

The questions aren’t assessed, so you don’t have to hand in your answers. But talking about what you think with someone, particularly a colleague who already knows how to use the Learning Progressions, will help you engage with this more deeply.

Mapping demands

  • Do you feel confident that you can map and analyse the big picture literacy and numeracy demands of your programme?
  • What about when it comes to mapping and analysing specific samples and tasks from your programme? How confident do you feel about that?
  • Were there any surprises for you when you did your analysis?
  • You’ve just mapped the demands of your training, but have you started thinking about where your learners might sit on the steps and progressions in relation to these demands?

Demands: What are some specific reading demands?

We are going to be working with the Read with Understanding strand. Now… let’s go through it slowly. If you are already an experienced mapper, please skip ahead to the assessment task.

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

Screenshot 2017-03-16 10.44.252. Choose a specific sample reading 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.

Here are some examples of samples that you could choose:

  • 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

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

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.

We’re going to practice with the vocabulary progression. This is the easiest place to start.

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. 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. 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:

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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 progressions for your sample, you might end up with something like this:

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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.

Narrowing the focus: mapping to progressions and steps

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In the last two modules, you learned how to map your teaching programme to the strands and progressions of the Learning Progressions.

Next, we’ll be looking at how you map some specific samples of your teaching materials or other content to the progressions and steps of the Learning Progressions.

In the modules that follow, you’ll learn how to map specific demands for a sample of:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Number
  • Measurement

This will carry you through the rest of Assessment 3. By now you might have already downloaded the assessment template and made a start.

If you haven’t we’d encourage you to skip ahead and download the template. This means you can dip in and out of these modules as you need to.

We also suggest that you work your way through each module that follows but also refer back the material for reference or clarification.

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

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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

Demands: Thinking deeper about your big picture numeracy demands

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Time to do some work

Let’s pause here again. Here’s what you need to do next:

  • Download the worksheet for numeracy, or use the chart below to get started on mapping the big picture numeracy demands for your situation.
  • As you did for literacy, say what each numeracy progression is in plain English and then rate it for importance for you. Justify your rating.
  • Then if you’ve rated a progression as important, say which tasks, calculations or what kind of work is affected. This might include work in the classroom or more practical work in other kinds of environments.

This task is not assessed, but it will help with the first part of your assessment.

Again, make sure that you keep your notes. You’ll need them for when you write up your answers in the assessment.

What are key N progressions?What are key N progressions continued?

Writing up the big picture numeracy demands

Make sure you keep your notes as you’ll want to refer to them when you write up your answers to the first part of Assessment 3.

In your assessment template, in section 3.2 you’ll need to identify the top two overall numeracy skill demands for your teaching.

Don’t forget that at this stage we are just interested in the strands and progressions that are relevant – in broad terms – to your teaching programme.

You’ll need to answer the following questions:

  • Why are these numeracy skill areas so demanding?
  • What does this affect?
  • What does this mean for learners?
  • What does this mean for teaching?
  • What does this mean for programme design?

If you’ve done enough thinking about this and you want to skip ahead to the assessment module and get started on section 3.2 you can. Just make sure you download and save the assessment template. Then come back to here when you’re ready for the next stage.

Like last time, if you want a bit more time to think about this, you can download the questions and some prompts as a worksheet here. The questions are the same as in your assessment template in section 3.2. The worksheet looks like the image below.

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