Friday, 14 August 2009

Literacy help needed: reading comprehension progression from Entry 1 to Entry 2

I have received the following request from a site user. If you can help please post a comment or, if you prefer, email and I will forward any messages to Sarah.

Dear Maggie

I wondered if you could post this query on your blog. I would really value any advice or help that any of your blog readers could give me.

I am a literacy tutor for a fifteen year old boy. He had a serious head injury as a baby and has experienced learning difficulties. He is also partially sighted.

When I started working with him at age thirteen, he still really could not read (he could synthesise cvc words very slowly) but, following a strong synthetic phonics approach, he has made significant progress since.

He now has word decoding skills equivalent to approximately age 10 but his reading comprehension is less that this (maybe age 7-8 equivalence). I have been trying to do a lot of reading comprehension work with him using adult literacy resources (as obviously this is more akin to his interest levels and I am hoping that he will be able to slot into the adult literacy programme at his sixth form college next year).

He copes really well with comprehension at Entry Level 1 but struggles with Entry Level 2. There seems to be a big increase in the amount of text to be read at EL2 compared with EL1. He does have some memory problems and so finds it difficult to remember information from several
paragraphs at a time. (He can usually find the answer if I tell him which paragraph/sentence it is in.) He also finds scanning text really hard (not sure if this is because of his partial sight) and is reluctant to re-read entire texts to find answers, preferring to guess instead!

I'm wondering if anyone had any thoughts or ideas as to how I could help him to progress towards Entry 2 comprehension levels?

Thank you so much


Monday, 10 August 2009

Help wanted re. ESOL job interview

I have received a request from a site user who has an upcoming job interview. I am not sure how many basic skills / ESOL teachers will be reading this in the middle of August but have offered to share the question on this blog in the hope of receiving a range of teaching ideas / responses.

My gut feeling would be to use a Language Experience approach and, I guess, explain how this strategy could be used in the presentation – giving examples of teaching resources, activities, etc. However, I am not a qualified ESOL teacher and have only used this approach with Entry Level 1-2 literacy students.

The writer thinks they are expecting a PowerPoint presentation which will be followed by a panel interview.

If you have any ideas please share them by leaving a comment - or, if you prefer, email and I will forward any messages to the site user.

Thank you.

Dear Maggie

I hope you don’t mind me e-mailing you but I hope you can give me some help or point me in the right direction. I’ve tried emailing some teaching forums and have had no replies or anything.

Basically, I’ve got an interview for an ESOL Lecturer position at a local FE college but they want me to do a presentation and this is something I’ve no experience of. Also, I don’t know how long or what format the presentation is supposed to take. Surely they aren’t expecting an all singing all dancing one?

The presentation question is "If you had one or more Level 2 students whose speaking skills were very good but whose reading and writing skills were a lot weaker, what strategies would you use to assist the students in bringing up those skills to Level 2?"

To me, this sounds like a question that could be asked during an interview so I’m not sure how I would go about doing a presentation on it. I’ve been teaching ESOL for 3 years in Liverpool and I have the experience for the job but the idea of a presentation has knocked me for six!

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.