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low level English - I'm desperate!!

Discussion in 'English' started by jonowen, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi, I am a teacher in Scotland with an ASN pupil whose Mother is insisting she does a certificate course in English. The pupil cannot work at our lowest level (Access 3) which we have tried for 6 months. Can anyone suggest a course which will be appropriate for such a pupil please? We are considering the ASDAN courses but don't have the staff to implement that at the moment.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi, I am a teacher in Scotland with an ASN pupil whose Mother is insisting she does a certificate course in English. The pupil cannot work at our lowest level (Access 3) which we have tried for 6 months. Can anyone suggest a course which will be appropriate for such a pupil please? We are considering the ASDAN courses but don't have the staff to implement that at the moment.

    Thank you in advance.
  3. sweetie1

    sweetie1 New commenter

    I'm not sure what the courses you refer to are as we don't use them in our school. We use ALAN (Adult Literacy and Numeracy) for very low ability students, to ensure they leave with a recognised certificate. I think this pupil's mum is right to insist on this.
    ALAN is online and students work their way up from entry level onwards. It doesn't need full teacher input as such; we have HLTAs who supervise and support but they say that students generally work independently.

  4. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    I endorse the above comment - but use the Edexcel spec. it's very accessible and level 2 maths = English = GCSE C (1 GCSE)
  5. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Sorry - that should read maths + English. I blame the keyboard.
  6. I'm not convinced a pupil who can't manage Access 3 can manage ASDAN. Access 2 is much easier than 3 - it allows prompting and support during assessment which is all done internally. You can also assess by recording spoken responses as well as written ones, so the language unit assessment could involve reading some very basic instructions and then videoing the candidate following them, perhaps with a few questions thrown in to check understanding.
  7. I teach English in a school for pupils with Additional Support Need and the pupil you describe is very typical of most of my pupils. At the risk of insulting you since I'm, sure you already have your own strategies, I will outline my own approach. I agree that Access 2 is the way to go, for all the reasons outlined by others. However, have you considered Access 3 Core Skills. This is an English course which has 3 outcomes; all in language and oral. The assessments are less demanding than Access 3 Language Study. The Close reading (L.01)is easier, as is the writing outcome. The latter still demands a 100 word response but in a more practical sense. For example, my pupils created a leaflet and poster describing the amenities in their town. They were able to link up with the IT dept to produce something that they were very proud of. In addition, this is a progressive step up from Language and Oral Study at Access 2 level. By building up the skills step by step, using such things as short texts, highlighted topic sentences, numbered very short paragraphs, large print etc. even single paragraphs at a time, your pupil should cope. All this should then give you a two year course for this pupil and any other similar ones you come across. I find that for most of my pupils, comprehension at Access 3 level is the main obstacle, which seems to be the problem with your pupil. The course I describe does not include literature and the level of comprehension required is less and more of a functional nature. I hope all this helps.
  8. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Mutiny, thank you very much for a really useful response. We are a relatively new SfL department and still finding our way. Am I correct in thinking that you are using SQA (Scottish) Access 3? Can the Core Skills be done without the comprehension, which is our HUGE main obstacle?
    Please excuse my ignorance but I am a Music teacher with several years' experience of working with profoundly disabled pupils and learning new skills to teach pupils with moderate learning difficulties. I want to succeed with this pupil as she tries really hard, she has had a tricky time due to being in mainstream full time until recently. She now is a much happier young lady with a more suitable peer group. Our projected role is such that we will have more pupils coming into our SfL dept. and if I can find a suitable course in English, that will make things smoother (if that's the right word!) for the future!

  9. Take a look at the free online resources at www.schoolwork.bz The access code you need is ure132ty The Library and Dictation courses are very valuable and have the advantage that if the child has access to a computer at home, he or she can easily be assigned literacy homework no matter how limited his literacy skills are. Just tell them the address and access code. I would appreciate your (or anyone else) letting me know if this advice has been useful.
    Eddie Carron
    Educational Researcher
  10. Jonowen, give the SQA a call. the English organiser person (forgotten the proper job title) is really helpful and can talk you through everything. I still think Access 2 is your best bet but the Core Skills at Access 3 could be an option. There really is a huge jump between Access 2 and 3 - 3 is a challenging literature based course very much like the intermediates, whereas 2 is designed more as a functional skills course. We do Access 3 as mainstream low ability but the SFL pupils usually do 2. The close reading in standard grade foundation and general is easier than Access 3. Sorry, bit of a jumble of information there.
  11. Airy, I agree about the comprehension level of Access 3 lang being more difficult than standard grade foundation and general. However, I stand by my advice on Access 3 Core skills which is also functional and requires less in the way of comprehension. This course leads on naturally from Access 2 as opposed to the huge jump you describe.
    What I was suggesting was what I do, Access 2/ Lang/Literature/Oral StudiesAccess 3 core skills over a two year period. I then present my pupils in S4 and find my course allows my pupils to achieve as much as they can but without the pressure. My classes follow the Access 2 course then for those who are able, the course is extended into the Access 3 Core skills. In this way I ensure I meet the need for all my pupils while at the same time allowing the more able to achieve what they can. I was also under the impression that Jonowen's pupil was more MLD than SLD.
  12. Hi Jonowen. I am indeed using SQA Access 2 & 3. The Core Skills L.01 in Access 3 Core skills deals with understanding the main point of the text followed by only a few questions on comprehension. These questions are functional and straightforward. L.02 (writing) can build on such things as report writing.rreflective/personal writing. It contains a simple paragraph plan which directs the pupil quite well. I use such topics as Work Experience/Outward Bound/favourite Holiday/ etc. e.g Work Experience plan would be: Where did you go?/Who did you meet?/What did you do?/What was your favourite part?/Would you go back? You can also provide writing frames (not in the assessment but as a teaching tool) to e.g begin each paragraph to prompt the pupil. A good strategy would be to discuss the topic beforehand by using the questions/plan where you could encourage the pupil to give examples etc. Again hope this helps.
  13. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Thank you Airy and Mutiny - you have given me loads of ideas and advice (this pupil doesn't know how lucky she is!!) I'm glad that you say Access 3 is a big leap as my boss (not English teacher, but very nice lady all the same!) downloaded some Access 3 material and we thought I just would "get on with it". I really thought I was dim as I struggled as to how to help my pupil effectively without doing the work for her. I never presumed that it would be easy, but was disappointed in myself nonetheless.
    I will be considering all the options and maybe will give the SQA lady a call - thank you again for all your help!
  14. I wasn't disagreeing - just waffling on a bit now I re-read that post!
  15. No problem Airy, I enjoyed the discussion, and it gave me another perspective. I am the only English teacher in my school and it makes a nice change to be able to bounce ideas off someone who actually knows what I'm talking about. I didn't think you were waffling but making some very good points. I enjoyed talking to you.

    By the way don't all us English teachers Waffle? It goes with the territory I would have thought!

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