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Weekly update 17th November, 2015

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Last updated by Breda Matthews

Hi everyone,

     This week we had some lively discussions - these are on-going so please feel free to keep adding to them.
Bev started a discussion around selecting assessment standards that provide pathways to university entrance. This far reaching discussion has encompassed
  • using the EAP reading standards and alternatives e.g. the English achievement standard 2.9
  • using the topic of climate change to assess writing and listening
Athlyn also initiated a conversation on involving students in monitoring their own progress using the ELLP descriptors. Nan shared her process for doing this and Annette reminded us of the importance making sure that students and parents understand where students sit within the mainstream curriculum as well as within ELLP descriptors.
This has always been a tricky issue.  An ELLP stage means something very different in terms of where a student sits in relation to their cohort for an eight year old and a sixteen year old.  For example if both the eight and the sixteen year old operating at ELLP Stage 2, the eight year old is much closer to the expected level of their cohort than the sixteen year old.
Often the best way to draw the correlation is to indicate the curriculum level that an age group is expected to be working at and the ELLP level in relation to that. The diagram on page 13 of the ELLP introduction book is helpful in drawing these correlations. You can download it here.
Also this week, Jenni Bedford indicated the pages she found useful in ELI Hinkel's book that I highlighted previously. Jenni's suggestions are here.
You can find Hinkel's book here.
I have been asked a question about transitioning students into mainstream classes. What advice do you have on this topic? Does your department have a policy? Is this seen as the role of the ESOL Department or do other subjects have responsibilities around effective transitioning in your school. Is this formalised or ad hoc? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
On other communities
This week on Primary ESOL Online Janet has written about inclusive education
In the wider world
This week I had the opportunity to for to the NZQA's Best practice Workshop for the EAP standards. This was a wonderful event that enabled me to increase my understanding of the standards themselves, how to assess them and where the grade boundaries are. If you get the opportunity to attend done of the workshop - do take the opportunity to go along. Find out more here.
I am also fortunately to be attending the AUT Symposium on Second Language Writing. By next week I expect my batteries to be fully charged and to be brimming over with new ideas!
Have a great week.

Breda Matthews

Facilitator: Secondary ESOL community 


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