Kia ora koutou and welcome to the first newsletter of 2012 for English, ESOL and Literacy Online.
We take this opportunity to welcome our new facilitator, Kate Birch, to the literacy community. We do hope that you will take the time to contribute to the community discussion on this list. To members of the primary ESOL community, we are very close to appointing a new facilitator as well. Meanwhile, please do continue to contribute to the discussions while we finalise this appointment.
All the best for the start of the first term.
Nga mihi nui,
Dr Phil Coogan - Project director
Maria Lute - Project manager
Cognition Education for the NZ Ministry of Education.
Kia ora and welcome from Denise Hitchcock
A warm welcome to members of the Secondary Literacy community in 2012.
As the year gets underway you will no doubt be reviewing NCEA results, thinking about approaches to teaching and learning for the year, and getting to know new students. This is a time also to focus attention on the literacy demands that students encounter in each learning area, and to involve teachers in planning to address needs. There is a wealth of information to support you and your colleagues in this Secondary Literacy online module: Professional Learning about Adolescent Literacy, particularly the first section about engaging teachers.
NZCER has been contracted by the Ministry of Education to revise the e-asTTle writing tool which will be available from term 2 of 2012. All existing results will still be available, however the new tool will not allow results from the existing e-asTTle tool to be directly compared with results from the updated version. It is recommended that in term 1 2012, schools not currently using e-asTTle writing but that intend to in 2012 delay using e-asTTle until term 2. Refer to this assessment update for further details.
2012 NCEA Level One Literacy Requirements
A reminder that for 2012 the new literacy requirements come into full implementation.
The literacy requirement for 2012 onwards is a minimum of 10 credits through either:
- Achievement standards - Specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects (minimum total of 10 credits), or
- Unit standards - package of three literacy unit standards (total of 10 credits - all three required).
For resources to support the planning, implementation and assessment of the literacy unit standards, see NZQA link: Literacy resources
Other useful links:
- Leading Literacy in your School Online modules to support you in developing a school wide literacy project, engaging teachers in literacy professional learning, literacy inquiry and sustaining literacy interventions. You will also find an example of the role of a literacy leader in one school.
- Literacy Learning Progressions Outlining the literacy skills and knowledge that students need across the curriculum in order to meet reading and writing demands.
Wishing you all the best for the year ahead
Facilitator: Secondary Literacy Community
Kia ora and welcome from Kate Birch
I do hope you have all had a great start to the new school year. It is wonderful to welcome some new members to our forum this year and to have their contributions and questions adding to the quality of the discussions. I am really looking forward to moderating the forum this year and know that I will be learning alongside of you all as we share ideas and successes for the teaching and learning of literacy.
Teaching as Inquiry
Teachers will have been analysing student data from the end of 2011 to get to know their students’ strengths and needs, ensuring that planning is aligned and connected to identified needs. Teachers will have been using all available information to determine what their students have already learned and what they need to learn next. This focusing inquiry establishes the baseline, sets the direction and then leads onto the exciting phase of teaching as an inquiry. The Literacy Online homepage is designed around supporting teachers to work in the inquiry model and we will be making some changes to this site throughout the year to make this even more evident and useful.
‘Reading Between the Vines 2012’
The New Zealand Reading Conference is being held in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay from 30 September – 3 October, this year so hurry to register for the earlybird rates by 31 May.
Last year, NZRA members voted at the annual meeting to update the name ‘New Zealand Reading Association’ to better reflect the diverse nature of literacy in today’s society and the membership of the organization. Consideration of alternatives and voting took place within councils over several months, with the new title ‘New Zealand Literacy Association’ finally emerging. This change will officially take place at the end of the ‘Reading between the Vines’ conference. One of the strengths of this national conference is the opportunity for teachers to share ‘best practice’ through voluntary workshops. If you and your colleagues have been having an impact on students’ achievement in literacy, you might like to consider sharing your expertise by offering a workshop. Submissions for these are due by 30 April.
Revision of e-asTTle writing assessment tool
Many of you will be aware that the e-asTTle writing tool is currently being revised. The updated version will be available from term 2, 2012. Details of the proposed changes are described in the 27 February Education Gazette. They give advice for assessment of writing in the meantime: ‘Schools that are not currently using e-asTTle writing but intend to in 2012 are recommended to delay using e-asTTle until term 2. In term 1, these schools may wish to prepare for e-asTTle by loading student details ready for assessment in term 2. Schools that have been using e-asTTle writing or asTTle writing V4 may wish to delay using e-asTTle until term 2. End-of-year data from 2011 may be used to inform teaching and learning during term 1.’ We are looking forward to using this tool to inspire both teachers and students to lift our writing achievement levels.
Facilitator: Literacy Community Facilitator
Kia ora and welcome from Mike Fowler.
The secondary English forum has been very busy since mid January with a flurry of beginning of year requests and exchanges of titles, resources and ideas. There has been plenty of interest at all levels in texts connected thematically and our text suggestions wiki is being updated to include newly suggested texts and themes.
NZQA and the Ministry of Education and working towards identifying the standards that will count for the university entrance literacy from 2014. While this may seem a long way off [affecting students currently studying at Level 1 in 2012], this is significant step as it sets the landscape for UE literacy using the curriculum aligned standards. It will be interesting to note to what extent a cross curricular approach can be achieved. Indications to date are that standards will be identified in English and a limited number of other subjects at levels 2 and 3.
The NZATE annual conference – Words to Burn, Ideas to Ignite – is scheduled from 4 to 6 July 2012 and will be held in Dunedin. A conference in the mainland is always worth attending, particularly with confirmed keynotes Owen Marshall, Rosemary McLeod, Cilla McQueen and Professor Lyn Tribble.
Bookings and information on NZQA moderation best practice workshops for 2012 are now available online. NZQA have indicated that the registration fee will be waived and the number of workshops will be increased.
I’m finding I’m making regular use of the NZ OnScreen site. It’s very easy to find your way around with a vast range of clips and programmes from New Zealand TV and film that can work in so well with many aspects of English programmes.
Facilitator: Secondary English Community
ICTs in English
Kia ora and welcome from Hamish Chalmers.
Potential of Facebook
This month, discussion on the ICTs in English community has seen continued interest in the ways popular electronic tools can be used in teaching and learning. There has been ongoing discussion around the use of Facebook in schools, with many teachers initially unaware that Facebook provides functionality to keep learning groups and personal information totally separate. People are also interested in the potential of Google + and the ways in which mobile devices affect the lives of our students.
The upcoming DEANZ conference in Wellington is focused on the theme of “shift happens.” The progressive use of ICTs in distance learning could provide some interesting insights for all educators.
Facilitator: ICTs in English
Kia ora and welcome from Breda Matthews
Using the teaching as inquiry cycle, a teacher on the secondary ESOL community identified pronunciation as a learning need for some of her students. The English Language Learning Progressions professional support module, Oral Language, identifies a wide range of informal oral language assessment tools and formal oral language assessment tools being used by schools. A good place to consider how to address learners’ needs is the English Language Intensive Programme.
Another very useful Ministry of Education resource to address this specific learning need is Phonemic Awareness which is an introductory guide to English letters, sounds and sentences. There is a student workbook containing approaches using the alphabet, vowel sounds, consonant blends and dictation. The teacher notes include a programme which enables students to build their phonemic skills through the use of key strategies and approaches.
Also useful in supporing learners with pronunciation is VoiceThread. This tool provides opportunity for students’ use of the target language. In VoiceThread teachers upload pictures and record the words or sentences. Students can then listen and record themselves. They can delete and re-record until they are happy with their oral production. Once the student has finished, teachers are able to listen and provide feedback and/or additional support as needed. This VoiceThread has students talking about their school day and demonstrates how it provides opportunity for oral practice.
Know your learners
A Department of Labour research project tells The Bhutanese Refugee Resettlement Journey. It follows a group of Bhutanese refugees from camps in Nepal through to resettlement in New Zealand. It contains background information about the Bhutanese experience that will be of use to teachers of Bhutanese students.
Role models in our communities
Te Punanga refugees Focus article ‘ Young Refugee Community Leaders from Hamilton lend a helping hand in Christchurch’ provides an opportunity to present out students with role models from Somalia, Djibouti, Afghanistan and Colombia. Between 30 January to 2 February, a group of young refugee community leaders from the Waikato helped clean areas in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch and visited affected families with food and gifts to show their support.
Facilitator: Secondary ESOL Community
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