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

Demands: Writing up your big picture literacy demands


Knowing the demands (10)

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 3.1 you’ll need to identify the top two overall literacy skill demands for your teaching. Remember, at this stage, we are just interested in the strands and progressions that are relevant in broad terms to your teaching programme.

You’ll also need to answer the following questions:

  • Why are these literacy 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 3.1 you can. Just download the assessment template and go for it. Then come back to here and carry on with the next stage.

If you want a bit more time to think about it, you can download the questions and some prompts as a worksheet here. The questions are the same as in your assessment template in section 3.1.

In-depth Literacy and Numeracy Demands of Jobs: Workbase Resources


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This work was done before the Learning Progressions became the underpinning framework for assessing and teaching literacy and numeracy in New Zealand, but there are pages and pages of analysis on literacy and numeracy skills and tasks relating to different jobs. I’ve pasted in screenshots from the resource that looks at the job of a truck driver.

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These job profiles mostly just give you lists of things that people have to do to do the work, but without any indication of the levels of difficulty attached to these kinds of actions. However, there is still some really great information here if you look at it with your Learning Progressions-tinted glasses on and realise that most of it probably happens around steps 4, 5, and 6.

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If you needed to you could easily map the breakdown of skills and tasks to the learning progressions and work out what steps things are likely to happen at.

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One of the really nice things is that this system includes information about the critical thinking skills required in the job – something that is missing from the Learning Progressions, at least in explicit terms.

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You can get a detailed description of possible literacy and numeracy tasks and demands for the following long list of jobs and trades here:

  • Apprentice Chef
  • Automotive Electrician
  • Automotive Heavy Engineer
  • Automotive Light Vehicle Trades
  • Automotive Light Vehicle Specialist Technician
  • Automotive Refinisher
  • Beauty Therapist
  • Carpenter
  • Catering Assistant
  • Coal Miner
  • Collision Repair Technician
  • Electrical Appliance Service Trainee
  • Flooring Installer
  • General Worker/Operator
  • Glass Processor
  • Glazier
  • Hairdresser
  • Line Mechanic
  • Metal Fabricator/Welder
  • Pharmacy Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Plumber
  • Quarry Manager
  • Quarry Operator
  • Ramp Operator
  • Retail Salesperson
  • Roofing Trainee
  • Site Security Officer
  • Sports Turf Management Trainee
  • Storekeeper
  • Textile Operator
  • Truckdriver
  • Tyre Technician
  • Youth Worker

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How do I get started on Literacy and Numeracy Diagnostic Assessment – and Assessment 4 of the NCALNE (Voc)


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If you’re like a lot of people doing the NCALNE (Voc) literacy and numeracy professional development, you realise there’s a bit of what I call “heavy lifting” to do when you get to this stage.

This not because literacy and numeracy diagnostic assessment is any harder than any other part (well… it might be), but the main thing is that you’ve got to start working with a couple of learners that you need to track through the test-teach-test format of Assessments 4, 5, and 6.

For Assessment 4 on LN Diagnostic you need to actually go and do a bunch of things including using the TEC assessment tool as well as a couple of more contextualised assessments of your own.

This is also the point where you need to start thinking about learning plans as well, so there’s quite a lot going on.

With this in mind, I’ve tried to compile a collection of various links and resources that might help if you need them.

  1. As always, if you haven’t already, all of our course content is available for free in interactive modules on the Pathways Awarua literacy and numeracy learning platform. You can find the instructions on how to register here if you haven’t already. We have a unique ALEC join code so email us for it if you need it (assess@alec.ac.nz)
  2. Don’t forget to check what’s already in your ALEC Study Guide and Assessment Guide for this part of the course.
  3. We’ve also got a great one-page handout that summarises the connections between assessments 4, 5, 6 – email us for a copy if you haven’t got it already.
  4. If you need a refresh on what’s required, I’ve got a short audio-only podcast of me talking through the assessment requirements here.
  5. There are video clips on diagnostic assessment and Assessment 4 of the NCALNE (Voc) that you can watch on our Youtube channel.
  6. And then there are various resources relating to diagnostic assessment on this blog including:
  7. If you’re working on this through the Pathways Awarua MOOC, your employer will need to have paid your course fee in order to unlock the assessment module.
  8. And if you’re a paid up student and you’re not completing this through the Pathways Awarua MOOC, you can email us (assess@alec.ac.nz) for the latest version of the template for assessment Task 4.
  9. Otherwise, give us a call to discuss (0800-ALEC-1-2) or email us anyway (assess@alec.ac.nz) and we’ll be in touch to help explain or clarify.

How do I get started on Assessment 3 of the NCALNE (Voc) including Mapping with the Learning Progressions?


Lit Strand

If you need a hand getting cracking on your Assessment 3, which involves doing an analysis of the literacy and numeracy demands of your course, there are several resources online that might be useful:

  • If you haven’t seen it already, all of our course content is now online in interactive modules as part of the Pathways Awarua NCALNE. There are instructions here on how to register if you haven’t already. It’s free. We also have a unique ALEC join code, so email (assess@alec.ac.nz) us for that if you want it.
  • If you need a refresh on what’s required, I’ve got a short audio-only podcast of me talking through the assessment requirements here.
  • I’ve also got a short post here on my blog on how to get started mapping literacy and numeracy demands.
  • And then there are the video clips available here on our Youtube Channel related to mapping and assessment 3.
  • If you’re working on this through the Pathways Awarua MOOC your employer will need to have paid your course fee in order to unlock the assessment module.
  • And if you’re a paid up student and you’re not completing this through the Pathways Awarua MOOC, you can email us (assess@alec.ac.nz) for the latest version of the template for assessment Task 3.
Otherwise, give us a call to discuss (0800-ALEC-1-2) or email us (assess@alec.ac.nz) and we’ll be in touch to help explain or clarify.
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