Why I’m blogging

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Long story short (it’s Christmas Eve, after all). I’m blogging for a few reasons:

  • A reflective journal was part of the teaching course I was doing, so some of it is a bit icky in places. I aim to rectify this when I’m speaking more freely in future. I work in a very diverse environment, and truly want to develop.
    • Said course has lasted way longer than expected.
  • I wanted somewhere to share my thoughts. A lot of this is for myself. Whether I’m right or wrong, I’m not looking to be laid into. I’m looking for a discussion. I’m the kind of person who needs to ask a stupid question before I realise it’s a stupid question. Then I go, ‘Oh, yeah’. Then we’ll be on the same page.
    • Plus, it’s part of my course to reflect/ask daft questions if I need to.
  • I want other people’s thoughts. I’m no expert. But I want to be on my way to being one, one day. Don’t you hate it when two identical words are side by side? Just me? Yeah, thought so.
    • And, I can use other peoples’ comments, and my comments as my CPD.
  • I had a blog, but:
    • No-one read it (on another free blogging site that shall remain nameless, and doesn’t have many (any) similar people on it.
    • I’m trying to move it all over to here (and have been for a while now), posting with the dates I’d originally posted on* (for the purposes of my course so it doesn’t look like I’ve made all this up in the last 2 days before I submit my work to them).*This is doing NOTHING for my current stats/visibility etc
  • As I’m sure you’ll gather if you read any more of my posts, I got broken into about 18 months ago. Possibly the worst thing that could happen to a teacher happened. They. Took. My. Laptop. Mid-term. The annoying thing is that I’ve done all of this once. I typed my notes, thoughts and plans up in Word and saved nearly all of them locally. So to be perfectly honest, the past year and a half has been trying to get everything I had back again.

So, it’s a bit of an apology really for it not being the World’s most egotistically exciting blog about teaching adults literacy/ESOL. It literally is an insight into my brain trying to do the best it can do. I feel quite alone most the time in teaching and I’m fully aware that people might read this and wonder what planet I’m on. Spare a thought for the teacher who is on their own. There’s no CPD activities as a whole department. No real guidance. No real support. Apart from a few part-time tutors I have, I am the department.

It’s now 1 minute past 12. Merry Christmas!

P x

Further reading

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Here is a list of things I would like to read in future. Once I’ve read something, it will move to its own post. Hope you find some of these links/suggestions useful also! This list is for me primarily and to show my tutor what I’m intending on doing. I will fully reference once I’ve read/reviewed etc…

Recommended for the course:
Brooks G et al (2001) Progress in Adult Literacy – Do Learners Learn? London, Basic Skills Agency
Crystal D (2003) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press
Crowther, Hamilton and Tett (2001) Powerful Literacies Leicester, NIACE
Cruse A (2004) Meaning in Language: an Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics Oxford, Oxford
University Press
Doff A and Jones C (2001) Language in Use – Pre-intermediate Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
Harmer J (2003) The Practice of English Language Teaching London, Longman
Lillis T and McKinney C (2003) (Eds) Analysing Language in Context: a Student Work Book Stoke on Trent,
Trenton Books
* NIACE (2004) A Framework for Understanding Dyslexia Leicester, Neworth Print Ltd
Papen U (2005) Adult Literacy as Social Practice London, Routledge
Reid G, Wearmouth J (2002) Dyslexia and Literacy – Theory and Practice London, Wiley
Schellekens P (2001) English Language as a Barrier to Employment, Training and Education London,
DfEE
Tummons J (2005) Assessing Learning in Further Education Exeter, Learning Matters
Wallace S (2005) Teaching and Supporting Learners in Further Education 2nd ed Exeter, Learning Matters
Wren W (2001) Grammar and Punctuation Gosport, Ashford Colour Press
Access for All (2002) DfES
Adult Literacy Core Curriculum (2001) DfES
Adults Learning, NIACE (Monthly journal)
A Fresh Start – Improving Literacy and Numeracy DfEE Moser report – http://www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/mosergroup/index.htm
Education Guardian (Tuesday) or http://www.education.guardian.co.uk
Equality and Diversity in Adult and Community Learning: A Guide for Managers. Reisenberger, A. & Dadzie,
S. (2002). Available: http://www.lsda.org.uk/files/pdf/A1181.pdf (Learning and Skills Development Agency
web site).
Inclusive Learning (Tomlinson 1996)
The Department for Education and Skills http://www.dfes.gov.uk
Journal of Literacy Research
Learning Works – Widening Participation in FE (Kennedy 1997)
The Department for Education and Skills http://www.dfes.gov.uk
Leitch Review of Skills – Final report (2006) HMSO
The Lifelong Learning UK http://www.lifelonglearninguk.org
Literacy Trust http://www.literacytrust.org.uk
National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy http://www.nrdc.org.uk
RaPAL journal
Skills for Life Learner materials for Literacy DfES
Times Education Supplement (Friday) or http://www.tes.co.uk

Participation, engagement etc

Barton, D. (2006). The significance of a social practice view of language, literacy and
numeracy in L Tett, M Hamilton & Y Hillier (eds) Adult literacy, numeracy and language:
policy, practice and research. Open University Press.
Barton, D., Hamilton, M and Ivanicv, R. (eds) (2000). Situated literacies: reading and writing in
context. Routledge (2000).
Bird, V. and Akerman, R. (2005). Every which way we can: a literacy and social inclusion
position paper. London: National Literacy Trust.
Bynner, J. and Parsons, S. (1997). It doesn’t get any better: the impact of poor basic skills on
the lives of 37 year olds. London: The Basic Skills Agency.
Bynner, J. and Parsons, S. (2001). “Qualifications, basic skills and accelerating social
exclusion.” Journal of Education and Work, 14:2001.
Calder, A. and Cope, R. (2003). Breaking barriers? Reaching the hardest to reach. The
Prince’s Trust.
Cieslik, M. and Simpson, D. (2004). Basic skills and transitions to adulthood. Unpublished
manuscript.
Eldred, J., Ward, J., Dutton, Y. and Snowdon, K. (2004). Catching confidence. Leicester: NIACE.
Hannon, P., Pahl, K., Bird, V., Taylor, C. and Birgh, C. (2003). Community-focused provision in
adult literacy, numeracy and language: an exploratory study. London: NRDC
Horsman, J. (2000). Too scared to learn: women, violence and education. Mahwah, New
Jersey and London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ivanicv, R., Appleby, A., Hodge, R., Tusting, K. and Barton, D. (2005). Relating language,
literacy and numeracy teaching to adult learners’ lives: a social perspective. London:
NRDC.
McGivney, V. (1999). Informal learning in the community: a trigger for change and
development. Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.
McMeeking, S., Taylor, M., Powell, R. and Sims, D. (2002). ‘I Think I Can Do That Now’ – An
evaluation of round 5 of the Adult and Community Learning Fund. National Foundation for
Educational Research.
McNeil, B. and Smith, L. (2004). Success factors in informal learning: young adults’
experiences of literacy, language and numeracy. London: NRDC
Rickinson, M. ‘Practitioners’ use of research: a research review for the National Evidence for
Education Portal (NEEP) development group.’ National Educational Research Forum Working
Paper 7.5.
40 Research Report
Reder, S. (2004). Keynote address, NRDC International Conference.
Sampson, M.,Somani, B. Zwart, R. and Siddiq, S. (2004). Adult and community learning fund,
1998 – 2004: final report – Basic Skills Agency strand. Basic Skills Agency.
Tusting, K. (2003). ‘A review of theories of informal learning.’ Lancaster Literacy Research
Centre Working Paper no. 2.
Tusting, K. and Barton, D. (2003). Models of adult learning. London: NRD

Inclusion

RaW – BBCs website

World Book Night, National Reading Campaign

ESOL and Functional Skills

http://esol.britishcouncil.org/methodology/teaching-functional-skills-higher-level-esol-learners

ESOL

http://blog.britishcouncil.org/2014/08/26/how-to-help-learners-of-english-understand-prepositions/

Things to read –

Burton et al – 2007-8 Uni Sheffield NRDC project

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100202100434/http:/89.31.209.91/llukimages/LLUK/Literacy-and-ESOL-companion-guide-January-2009.pdf

http://jlarc.virginia.gov/meetings/September11/readingbrf.pdf

http://readingagency.org.uk/

https://sites.google.com/site/mslenoxsreadingresourcesite/teacher-reading-resources

Torgerson et al (2006) – phonics research / Ehri et al (2001)

http://www.quickreads.org.uk/

Phonics

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-and-sounds

Burton, M. , Davey, J., Lewis, M., Ritchie, L. and Brooks, G. (2008) Improving Reading; Phonics and Fluency. Practitioner Guide. London: NRDC – p.8-31 downloadable from http://www.nrdc.org.uk/publications_details.asp?ID=156#

Burton, M. , Davey, J., Lewis, M., Ritchie, L. and Brooks, G. (2010) Progress for adult literacy learners. Lndon: NRDC downloadable from: http://www.nrdc.org.uk/download2.asp?f=4685&e=pdf

Kingston, P. (2009) Education Guardian Can you teach an old dog with young tricks? Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2009/apr/14/literacy-adult-education-phonics

Bloomer, A., Griffiths, P. and Merrison, A. J. (2005) Introducing Language in Use: A Coursebook. London: Routledge.

Crystal, D. (2005) How Language Works. London: Penguin. (ch.9)

Roach, P. (2006) English Phonetics and Phonology. A Practical course (3rd ed). Cambridge: CUP

Hughes, A., Trudgill, P. and Watt, D. (2005) English Accents and Dialects. An Introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of British English. London: Hodder.

Cruttenden, A. (2001) Gimson’s Pronunciation of English. London: Arnold – changes within RP

Crystal, D. (1995) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language. Cambridge: CUP

Crystal, D. (2008) Txtng: The gr8 db8. Oxford: OUP

Accents

http://accent.gmu.edu 

http://ebooks.niace.org.uk/BookStore/pagedisplay.do?genre=book&pub=niace&id=9781862015753

Big Idea, Small Steps: The Making of Credit-Based Qualifications

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2009/apr/14/literacy-adult-education-phonics

http://www.grundtvig.org.uk/news.asp?section=000100010003&itemid=995

email this person: raphael       @everythingispossible.eu from here: http://comicsansworkshop.blogspot.co.uk/p/apply-now.html

Formative Assessment in Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy 

http://resources4adultlearning.excellencegateway.org.uk/cpd/generic/differentiation.htm

http://resources4adultlearning.excellencegateway.org.uk/themes/assessment/default.htm

http://tlp.excellencegateway.org.uk/teachingandlearning/downloads/#

http://tlp.excellencegateway.org.uk/tlp/cpd/puttingcpdintoa/index.html

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/stage-3-plan-your-development

https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/Z352%20TE_CPD_Framework_Inserts_3.pdf

http://busyteacher.org/20395-task-based-grammar-lesson-6-simple-steps.html

‘Improving Speaking and Listening Skills: A practical guide of Skills for Life teachers (2007, p.84) accessed via http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/SandLPACK02.pdf

http://katenonesuch.com/the-three-rs-2/spelling/

Crowther, Hamilton and Tett (2001) Powerful Literacies
Changing Faces of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: A Critical History suggestions:
Subscribe to adult literacy blogs/journals – keep coming back to this and reviewing

  • Moser report
  • Yvonne Hillier
  • NIACE – buy books, keep more up to date
  • NRDC – especially evidence-based practice
  • http://www.literacy.lancaster.ac.uk/links/changingfaces.htm
  • Right to Read manifesto
  • Second Chance to Learn (Liverpool) Yanit in Thompson 1980
  • Scottish Adult Literacy Agency (SCALA)
  • Pamphlet 43 – English for Immigration
  • Look at Shelter Literacy research
  • The Home Tutor kit commission for racial equality
  • ALBSU – resources
  • New Literacy Studies
  • Lewin (2005)
  • Rittell & webber (1973)
  • Barton et al (2000)
  • Hodge 2003
  • Hull & Schultz (2002)
  • Street (1993, 2004)
  • Martin & Jones (2000) ESOL
  • Coben 2003 (Numeracy)
  • Lancaster University – collection of resources, books etc – https://litcent.lancs.ac.uk/RIS/RISWEB.ISA

 

Hamilton, M & Hillier, Y. (2006). Changing Faces of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: A Critical History. Trentham Books Ltd

New Action Plan!

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 This action plan is an on-going plan and is updated regularly.
Current situation: As an ESOL tutor working with literacy classes, I feel more confident in planning for individuals in sessions. I have applied theories I’ve learnt from my course/research, but would like to explore my skills and develop my knowledge further.I have a good general understanding of the Adult Literacy Core Curriculum, and whilst many providers have move over to Functional Skills, I feel that Literacy is an area I would like to develop in more detail as I believe it underpins alternative courses.I struggle with confidence, and try to change too much at once. I aim for my action plan to be long-term if needed. Ideal situation:
I’d like to feel confident in:

  • Planning
  • Consolidating knowledge and skills around: each skill area, theories in particular
  • Learning new knowledge and skills
  • Building further confidence as a teacher of English
  • Understanding my learners better
  • Participating in networks of other teachers
  • Using a wider range of classroom resources

 

Steps to successTheories

  • Research Functional/Liberal/Critical Models of Literacy
  • Try in sessions/add to teaching practice checklist
  • Conduct more research on models of literacy as course goes on
  • What models are in ESOL and Literacy curriculums?

Schema

Genre Approach

Genres have different structures depending on audience/purpose/social context and learners need to be taught conventions of different genres explicitly.

  • Focus on how to construct different types of texts through modelling/sharing/scaffolding. An example of this could be an email/letter writing template.

Compose a list of strategies to support writing composition/research this more

  • KWL grid
  • Using discussion beforehand
  • Mind map
  • Complete chart
  • Sequencing words/activities
  • Language experience
  • Scaffolding/starter sentences
  • Photos
  • Wh- questions
  • Character creation chart
  • Story boards
  • Lists/sticky notes

Research:

  • Kernel sentences
  • Consequences game.

Reading

  • Use readability and SMOG on some texts and then use with learners using guidance from NIACE
  • https://sites.google.com/site/mslenoxsreadingresourcesite/teacher-reading-resources
  • http://www.dundee.ac.uk/eswce/research/resources/thinkingreadingwriting/
  • try out some strategies
  • use Miscue Analysis  and review
  • text, audience, purpose, context table (see writing post)
  • More about top-down/bottom-up approaches
  • Research subskills more!
  • Frith – she did Life Scientific on Radio 4 – research!
  • Do more research on Searchlights model, and other models
  • Do more research on Rose Report/Simple View
  • I need to do more research to ensure careful phonics planning – buy Phonetics for Phonics
  • Where to start with learners – at the beginning? Surely this links to IA? Is there an IA for beginner readers out there?
  • That there are other strategies (language experience)
  • Word decoding – our brains scan through to find correct word and meaning

Writing

  • Schema
  • Product/process
  • Composition – 2 diff sides (see lesson handouts)
  • Gather some text types for genre work – find handout from lesson

Speaking and listening

  • Read – Teaching speaking and listening a toolkit for practitioners
  • Kelly, G. (2000) How To Teach Pronunciation, Longman.
  • http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/SandLPACK02.pdf
  • Read Skills for Life Quality Initiative
  • It develops learner’s thinking (Pring 2007/Vygotsky 1978; Bruner and Haste 1987)
  • It’s difficult to remember/organise classroom discussions (Davis 1996; 1997, Chamberlin 2003; Even and Wallach 2003)
  • Give learners a chance to talk/discuss in class and make sure they know why they are performing these tasks.
  • Ask learners what they can do if they want clarification on something
  • look at (in more detail in future) articulatory phonetics, acoustic phonetics, auditory phonetics, glottal stops
  • read Kelly How to teach teach pronunciation, read learner English – Liverpool sounds
  • Plan for discussion – respect each other’s opinion/turn-taking, interruptions
    • Research glottal stops etc
    • Thinking about a book called Learner English which focuses on errors that speakers of a particular language make, I want to try to research some characteristics of learners’ talk which I might come across.
    • Recap IPA chart

Giving Homework

Giving Feedback

  • Research Geoff Petty for feedback process
  • In Access for All – supported way for marking
    • Scaffold feedback
      • ask them to find their errors
      • ask them to find  spelling errors (out of 10 possibly)
      • underline the errors for them – get them to work out why
      • encourage autonomy – underline errors, but ask them to write/study in their personal dictionaries/use dictionary/ask peers/ask tutor/use electronic aids
      • think about what’s going to be useful for them!

Training 

  • book on learning difficulties training (see what’s available!)
  • Any NIACE/NRDC training?
  • Any ESOL training that would be applicable?

Other

  • Handwriting scheme (VLE??)
  • Gough and Tunmer (1986) but also promoted by The Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading: Final Report DES (2006)
  • Jim Rose Report
  • Hamilton, M (1996) Adult Literacy and Basic Education, in Fieldhouse, R. (ed) A History of Modern British Adult Education, NIACE; Leicester.
  • Baynham, M. (1995) Literacy Practices. London & New York: Longman.
  • DFES ILP
  • DFES IA/DA
  • Functional Skills Starter Kit
  • http://esol.britishcouncil.org/methodology/teaching-functional-skills-higher-level-esol-learners
  • accent/dialect – find course sheets
  • TP checklist – Margaret Keane ppt??
  • Changing faces – keep reading
  • personal dictionary – update
  • From literacy to functional skills – what I need to know
  • OCR Cambridge progression
  • Open Awards quals
  • gobbledegook – upload doc
  • developing thinking skills – research
  • http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090209055604/http://rwp.excellencegateway.org.uk/readwriteplus/bank/sfl%20publications%20list%202005.pdf
  • YWCR training I did
  • Add teachers TV link to list of all things I read??
  • go through british council website – train section/try/think for more CPD stuff
  • literacy journal out there?
  • Twitter groups??
  • develop better questioning techniques

What to do if learners aren’t sure of something – helping them become autonomous

  • need to build their strategies – i.e. ask each other, use dictionaries etc, use internet – we all need a way to reassure us that our skills learnt are correct

Setting objectives

  • Make sure learners know why they’re doing something – any better ways to do this?

 

Assignments

  • Make a reading list for each assignment
  • Plan for them!

Evidence File

Glossary

  • Make a glossary of terms so I don’t have to keep researching them!

Personal Dictionary

  • Learn to spell the words I find difficult using the same methods as I’m expecting learners to
Overall completion date:One academic year
SWOT analysis of the action plan, identifying what will support and/or hinder my progress towards implementing my plan
Strengths:Uses sources of expertise like NIACE/NRDC etcStructured approach – knowledge first then application.Addresses both subject knowledge and pedagogy. Weaknesses: Structured approach – depends on increasing confidence in subject knowledge.
Opportunities: I have opportunities to get other people’s feedback by publishing a blog. See www.excellencegateway.org.uk/cpd/cpdlibrary/  for  approaches. Threats: It will be difficult to achieve without help – not a lot of support available.
Supporting resources
Books/journals: See Further Reading blog post Web links
People: 

  • Line manager
  • Blog followers (who will hopefully comment!)
  • Colleagues
  • Other Co-ordinators across the country
Training courses/workshops
Electronic resources:
E-books I’ve bought, NIACE/British Council/Excellence Gateway/NRDC/children’s literacy sources/TES
Other
Reflection: It’s going to be difficult for me to achieve all of this, and as I lack confidence, I need to develop some personal strength, as I won’t always have someone reassuring me of my opinions etc! Ihave a lot to cover, and need to make sure I keep this action plan up to date. I will add to the same one, rather than have multiple ones like I did in my PGDE! I’ll colour co-ordinate the things I feel I’ve explored enough (for now), so if something is still in black text, I might have done a lot of reading/thinking/action but not feel like I’m confident in that area yet.
Review: Review every few weeks.

Reading KWL and action plan

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We completed a KWL grid for our own ‘reading’ learning, and read an extract from Wyse, D. & Jones, R. (2013) Teaching English, Language and Literacy

2014-12-22 23.03.44

KWL Grid and Reading Action plan

I need to add these points to my action plan:

  • More about top-down/bottom-up approaches
  • Research subskills more!
  • Frith – she did Life Scientific on Radio 4 – research!
  • Do more research on Searchlights model
  • Do more research on Rose Report/Simple View
  • I need to do more research to ensure careful phonics planning – buy Phonetics for Phonics book
  • Where to start with learners
  • That there are other strategies (language experience)
  • Word decoding – our brains scan through to find correct word and meaning
  • Miscue analysis
  • I also need to research some of the above more for my assignment, and I think buying Teaching English, Language and Literacy would help me in this

Schema

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Today, we were given a text each to read in pairs. On one side the title was ‘text 1’, on the other side the title was ‘Washing Clothes’.

I was given ‘text 1’ and read it to my partner. I tried to guess what the text was about, but couldn’t. When I was given the title, I kicked myself. It really highlighted the importance of telling learners what they’re going to be doing, before actually doing it. This way, a discussion can be made, a brainstorming session, a KWL grid, or a short introduction activity. This enables learners to collect information, making the process less challenging if you are unaware of the topic, and allows learners to share their knowledge.

This can also support soft skills such as confidence in class, peer cohesion and study skills.

How do we learn the conventions of writing?

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We completed this activity in college which I found useful, so decided to use it as a basic for further research in future. As always, I’ll get around to reviewing it at some point!

Writing

These are some questions we looked at today. I also think this could be a good activity when covering audience and purpose with learners.

What kinds of texts have you written in the last month?

In the last month, I’ve written text messages, essays, a Police statement, signed a tenancy agreement, written a complaint email, and written a multitude of lists!

What was the purpose of the writing?

There were many purposes, with some having dual purposes. For example, the purpose of the Police statement was to log a crime, and the purpose of my complaint letter was to firstly complain, secondly to provide my own entertainment, and thirdly to ask for compensation!

Who was your audience?

There were many audiences including friends, family, landlords, managers and the Police.

What was the context?

The context of the text messages were personal (e.g. to ask how people were, to ask for help and say happy birthday).

The context of the Police statement was to document items that were stolen.

The context of the complaint letter was appalling customer service from a well-known electrical’s supplier.

Two views of writing

  • Writing as a product
  • Writing as a process
    • The process can be split into stages – they may differ person to person. Learners should be supported throughout but they should retain ownership.

Genre Approach

Genres have different structures depending on audience/purpose/social context and learners need to be taught conventions of different genres explicitly.

  • Focus on how to construct different types of texts through modelling/sharing/scaffolding. An example of this could be an email/letter writing template.

A list of strategies to support writing composition

  • KWL grid
  • Using discussion beforehand
  • Mind map
  • Complete chart
  • Sequencing words/activities
  • Language experience
  • Scaffolding/starter sentences
  • Photos
  • Wh- questions
  • Character creation chart
  • Story boards
  • Lists/sticky notes

Further reading

  • Kernel sentences
  • Consequences game.

 

We were asked to complete the following chart. The chart can also be used in lessons. It’ll be going on my list of things to try!

Text type Purpose Audience Context
Text messageBoard writingPost-it notes To persuade someone to ring me so I could get them to give me their washing machine!To inform learners of the difference between present simple and present continuous.To inform me of what clothes I had in each washing basket. LandlordLearnersMyself Landlord
Classroom
Home

How do we learn to write?

It’s important to acknowledge how learners would naturally pick up the conventions of writing. For example:

  • Greetings cards – how do we learn to write greetings cards?
    • We get a lot throughout our lives, even before we can read ourselves, so we may use modelling
    • We might write our name at first
    • Pick up the conventions of greetings cards from home context and receiving themAssignment writing – how do we learn to write assignments?
      • From reading examples
      • From using scaffolded activities
      • From modelling
      • Learning methods such as point, proof, analysis
      • Learn how to structure at school – every story needs a beginning, middle and end
      • Through feedback from our tutors

I will tag this under ‘things to try in the classroom’ to ensure I’m applying some of the theory to practice.

Performance reading

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I was first introduced to performance reading through Burton (2007), where it was suggested that learners could prepare for a performance of a play script. However, as I researched, I found a strategy with the same name, which enables the teacher, and learner, to make reading thinking visible for further work.

Readwritethink explain that ‘The NCTE/IRA Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing contend that “reading very short passages and answering a limited number of multiple-choice questions is not a good measure of what literate people normally do when they read. Authentic assessments of reading employ tasks that reflect real-world reading practices and challenges” (p. 46).’You can find the resources here.

Performance reading template – blank

Performance reading template with questions

I also had a look at think-aloud strategies used in classrooms which seems to be based on the same theory. I mainly found examples from the USA. I’m not sure if this is a strategy used or not in the UK, but I can definitely see the benefits of trying the method with a text in class, and recall similar techniques used in school. I found the following videos interesting in various ways, as well as some info on the readingrocket website using think alouds and using them to aid comprehension.

The benefits:

  • You can ‘see’ what the learner is thinking which can provide useful diagnostic, formative and summative assessment
  • It helps my understanding of how we think through reading a text and gain meaning from it
  • You can guide learners into a way to think, through modelling and demonstration – this could suit a variety of learning styles
  • It helps learners think more autonomously

Cons:

  • Getting learners on board with a deep thinking/reading exercise – it could take a lot of time!

I’ll definitely be giving it a try in class with these documents as guidance, as I’m aware I need to further my knowledge of learner’s thinking skills, and how to develop them. I’ll try it out. At the end of the day, if my learners don’t like it, I’m sure they’ll let me know!

Have you ever used these techniques with adults of various skill levels? I’d be interested in finding out your thoughts!

References

Burton, M. (2007) Reading. NIACE: London

Read Write Think, (2013), Making the Reading Process Visible through Performance Assessment, [online] Available at: http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/making-reading-process-visible-30961.html [Accessed 18/02/13]

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