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7th April

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Last updated by Breda Matthews

Hi everyone,

   It was a quiet week in the run down to the end of term. I imagine everyone is assessing how far students have come and what the next steps are. 

 Certainly in my programme we are reviewing what has been achieved, what needs further teaching and learning and what new learning should be included. I always have to remind myself remember to value and reinforce what has already been learnt and balance that against pressure, often NCEA driven to cover new material. At the same time I try and remember Dorothy's Brown's maxim of repetition without boring. We really are the masters of a very fine balancing act when considering students needs and how best to provide for them!

ESOL Online discussion centred around UE literacy

and also a question on using the formative EAP materials available on ESOL Online.

The Setting the Standard materials continue to grow in number. There are now six resources and more being added each week.

It is also great to see people joining and participating in the English language unit standards group on the VLN. If you haven't seen it yet, there are some great discussions and sharing of resources happening in this group. It is a closed group and you can join by either

  • filling in your VLN profile and clicking join group
  • contacting your regional facilitator

The group is closed so that teachers can share resources without running foul of NZQA restrictions regarding using online resources.

On other communities

Primary ESOL Online have discussed what they would change in all schools in New Zealand to improve outcomes for ELL's. Many similar issues to those faced in secondary contexts methinks!

On Secondary Literacy Online Alana linked to effective literacy pedagogy

Also on Literacy Online Effective literacy practices which I found to be avery helpful prompt and reminder for my own practice.

English Online has discussed who is responsible for ensuring students meet UE literacy requirements 

and a very interesting conversation that asks 'Are we assessing what we think we are assessing? This conversation has particular resonance for ELLs where the use of writing to assess reading comprehension may give very misleading results.

On Literacy Online Anne shared some reading initiatives. She linked us to a Seven Sharp feature on Making Reading Cool where Mt Roskill Grammar students shared their success using the Kiwi invented Booktrack.com, programme. Booktrack Classroom is an exciting new technology that synchronizes audio with text to create an immersive reading experience. Stories published with Booktrack include a customized, movie-style soundtrack that complements the story. Students can create Booktracks for their own writing and share them with their classmates.

As part of Anne's post she linked to background research and information about this programme provided by Tim Warren:

Booktrack Classroom One Page Summary

University of Auckland Booktrack Research Report  

and here is a link to a tutorial and a question from me

What aspect of learning for ELLs would this tool support? What are the pros and cons of using this tool with ELLs? Would it work / not work in your context? Would you use this tool?

Have a great week.