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Knowing the demands

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Last updated 28 May 2013 12:28 by NZTecAdmin

Applying the progressions to reading tasks

A text places different demands on the reader depending on the way the writer has structured the text and on the experiences, knowledge and skills the reader brings to the text. Writers want to communicate their ideas to readers. They have a particular audience and purpose for writing in mind, and they use particular knowledge and skills in their writing. Readers, on the other hand, come to a text with their own purposes as well as their own background, knowledge and skills. In many ways, reading can be judged successful to the extent that the purposes and knowledge of writer and reader match.

If learners are required to read texts for which they do not have the necessary skills or knowledge, the text may be too difficult for them to understand. They may become frustrated and will not gain value from the text. One way to determine the accessibility of a text is to check it against the learning progressions for reading to identify the skills a person would need to have in order to read the text with understanding. This section shows how you can do this by mapping texts against the progressions.

The learning progressions for the reading strand are:

These aspects of reading operate together, but texts are often more challenging than a casual look will reveal. For example, a text that seems to use fairly straightforward vocabulary and sentence structures may be deceptively complex because it is written with subtle bias or hidden meanings. When mapped against the Reading Critically progression, you would be able to identify the skills a reader would need to have in order to understand the text fully.

Mapping texts against the progressions

Mapping a text shows you what knowledge and skills a learner would need in order to read that text with understanding. When you map the texts that are essential to a course against the progressions, and compare this information with what you know about the learners (see ‘Knowing the learner’), you will be able to determine your priorities and select suitable teaching activities and materials (see ‘Knowing what to do’).

In this section, you will find one example of a text that has been mapped against the learning progressions using a detailed mapping template. Appendix B.1 has an example of the same text mapped using an alternative, basic mapping template. There are copies of these templates in Appendix A, and further examples of mapped texts in Appendix B Use these templates and charts for mapping the texts you wish to use in order to determine their challenges.

To map a text

  1. Decide how you want to use the text:
    • What teaching and learning purposes could it serve?
    • Through using it, what could you find out about your learner/group?
    • Through mapping it, what could you find out about the text?
  2. Decide how much of the text to map – one page of any document is usually enough.
  3. Decide which progressions to map the text against: you may not need to map them all.
  4. Try a ‘best guess’ by using the summary chart first to get a general feel for the text (see Appendix A.1).
  5. Use a mapping template (see Appendices A.2 and Appendix A.3) to map the text against each progression. The questions in the templates are designed to help you justify or revise your guesses about the text.
    If you are familiar with mapping texts, you may wish to use the basic mapping template (Appendix A.3).
  6. Review your ‘best guess’ summary chart and revise it if necessary: this is the ‘map’ of the text (Appendix A.1).

Keep in mind that this is not a rigid step-by-step process: rearrange it to suit your needs.

You will need to have the reading progressions and mapping template beside you as you work through the text.

When you have mapped a text, ask yourself (and discuss with colleagues and/or the learners) questions about the results:

  • What does the mapping suggest about how suitable this text is for the learners?
  • What would be the best strategies and activities to use for teaching this text?
  • you are familiar with your learners, you will then need to ask: What are the next teaching and learning steps for the learner/group you want to use the text with? (See ‘Knowing the learner’ and ‘Knowing what to do)



B.7 Fire safety (PDF, 564 KB)
B.6 Road code (PDF, 53 KB)
B.5 Restaurant review (PDF, 117 KB)
B.4 Internal combustion engine (PDF, 63 KB)
B.3 Company email policy (PDF, 96 KB)
B.2 Collective employment agreement (PDF, 93 KB)
B.1 Personal information form (PDF, 39 KB)
A.3 Basic mapping template (PDF, 31 KB)
A.2 Detailed mapping template (PDF, 53 KB)
A.1 Summary chart (PDF, 34 KB)




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