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

How important is it that we also focus on ESOL learners in the new NZCALNE qualification?


Please Vote

The new version of the adult literacy and numeracy education qualification includes a focus on English language learners. This increases the relevancy of the qualification for tutors who teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESOL).

We’ll build this content in regardless, but what I’d like some feedback on is how important this is to people.

Here are some more things to think about if this affects you, your staff, or your 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

 

 

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.

TESOL Option for NCALNE (Voc): Anyone Interested?


TESOL NCALNE

Here’s another experiment… an NCALNE (Voc) qualification option for experienced and trained teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

This might apply to you (or someone you know) if you are in this kind of situation:

  • You teach an ESOL course that is funded by the TEC. Examples might include SAC1 and 2 funded training, Intensive Literacy and Numeracy (ILN), or Workplace Literacy (WPL).
  • A condition of funding is that tutors must have the NCALNE (Voc) qualification.

Our NCALNE (Voc) option for teachers in this context might work for you if you also meet these conditions

  • You have existing TESOL experience and qualifications
  • Your teaching practice includes your own TESOL-specific versions of the kinds of evidence that we’re looking for.
  • You’re prepared to compile a portfolio of this evidence and complete a couple of stand-alone assessments so that we can ensure that you meet all of the qualification requirements.

Interested…? Hit me up in the comments. I’m going to need some people to trial the process and see if it’s viable.

How do you describe literacy abilities in really low level adult learners?


ESL cartoon

I haven’t really looked at any of this before, but I came across it the other day. Below is the TEC outcomes framework for describing ability levels for low level ESOL learners.

This is based on the Starting Points framework and applies to learners whose literacy level falls below step 1 in the Learning Progressions.

You can download the document that it comes from here on the TEC website. I’ve just reproduced it below in a list rather than table. Also, while this applies as a reporting framework for targeted ESOL funding, it’s also just a great framework for anyone working with really low level learners.

I like it because it reminds of when I was an ESOL teacher in a previous life. The framework breaks learning and developmental stages down by Speaking and Listening, then Reading and Writing.

I’m not sure that the levels system is so useful, but there is probably a reason for how it’s structured: 0, 0+, -1, 1, 2. It might have been easier to just have five bands, e.g. ESOL 1, ESOL 2 through to ESOL 5. If anyone can enlighten meas to the , please do so in the comments.

The idea is to use this as a kind of observation checklist with your low level learners so that you can report on or diagnose what they can and can’t do, as well as determine what the next small chunk of learning might be.

Level 0: SPEAKING & LISTENING

The learner:

  • Can convey and understand only limited meaning in conversations
  • Can identify and produce most sounds (e.g. recite the alphabet)
  • Has a limited listening vocabulary

Level 0+: SPEAKING & LISTENING

The learner:

  • Listens and responds to some requests for personal information (e.g. what is your name, address?)
  • Can use and recognise expressions
  • Can use formulaic language. (e.g. hi, yes, please, thank you)
  • Has a limited listening vocabulary of basic words.
  • Demonstrates understanding of simple verbal instructions

Level -1: SPEAKING AND LISTENING

The learner:

  • Can take part in short conversations about personal topics if the other person speaks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help
  • Can identify phrases, syllables, and begins to use sentence stress
  • Ask for simple directions/information and follows instructions
  • Identifies specific information in a conversation (e.g. numbers 1-100, weather, names, places)

Level 1: SPEAKING AND LISTENING

The learner:

Demonstrates through conversation that they have basic general and/or foundation understanding of  everyday contexts (e.g. asks questions, makes appointments, buys something in a shop) or can follow simple workplace instructions

  • Uses a variety of greetings and farewells
  • Uses strategies to maintain and finish conversation. These could include the following:
    • to indicate that the learner does not understand;
    • asking for more information;
    • slowing speech down; or
    • asking for meaning of a particular word
  • Uses verbal and non-verbal communication strategies
  • Listens to and is able to retell a short explanation, recount an event, or describe an event or story

Level 2: SPEAKING AND LISTENING

The learner:

  • Communicates and shows understanding in everyday contexts, including unskilled and semi-skilled workplaces
  • Is able to follow instruction to complete simple and routine tasks requiring a direct exchange of information or practical transaction
  • Uses some complex spoken sentence structure including use of tense (past, present), common contractions etc
  • Express meaning in a culturally appropriate manner including use of common New Zealand expression (verbal and non-verbal)
  • Pronounces words clearly
  • Demonstrates some fluency, with occasional pauses

Level 0: READING AND WRITING

The learner:

  • Can  hold a pencil/pen and is comfortable using it
  • Is beginning to develop some concepts about print (e.g. reading left to right, spaces between words)

Level 0+: READING AND WRITING

The learner:

  • Is beginning to identify letters of the alphabet independently
  • Is beginning to identify individual words, including high frequency words
  • Is beginning to form letters

Level -1: READING AND WRITING

The learner:

  • Can identify all letters independently
  • Recognises a number of individual words, including high frequency words
  • Is beginning to identify signs and symbols (e.g. street signs, caution symbols) and personally significant words and high utility words
  • Can form letters fluently
  • Can write some words independently
  • Is beginning to develop and review their own handwriting
  • Can complete a form asking for name, date of birth, address with the support of the tutor

Level 1: READING AND WRITING

The learner:

  • Applies literacy and numeracy skills for participation in everyday life, and in appropriate workplace contexts
  • Identifies signs and symbols (e.g. street signs, caution symbols) and personally significant words and high utility words
  • Reads a simple and short passage using visual aids and retains meaning from it
  • Can identify the first 300 words on the 1000 most frequent word list and write the first 200 words
  • Writes the alphabet in upper and lower case, in the correct order without prompt
  • Writes a simple sentence using basic vocabulary
  • Is able to write phonetically (spelling not correct but makes sense)

Level 2: READING AND WRITING

The learner:

  • Applies literacy and numeracy skills that are relevant to everyday contexts, including unskilled and semi-skilled workplaces
  • Can identify the first 500 words on the 1000 most frequent word list and write the first 300 words
  • Has a bank of words they can spell correctly
  • Is able to write a 4-5 sentence text about something that has been discussed or experienced in their life, or can  complete short forms in the workplace