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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin

The main purpose of this resource is to give tutors information and ideas that will help them to understand the kinds of challenges that some learners may have with listening, speaking and interacting with others, and to provide suggestions for meeting these challenges.

The model used in the resources that support the learning progressions has three aspects:

  • Knowing the demands (of texts, tasks and situations learners may encounter or need to accomplish).
  • Knowing the learner (in particular, their strengths and needs).
  • Knowing what to do (practical activities and suggestions that can help learners move on to the next steps of the learning progressions).

This resource is arranged differently from the other books in the series. Instead of separating the three main sections, this resource combines Knowing the demands and Knowing the learner with some related suggestions for Knowing what to do in the first section. This is followed by a separate Knowing what to do section. In the first section there are examples of tasks and situations in which adults are expected to listen and/or speak, followed by analysis of the different ways in which the demands of these tasks affect the needs of different adults. Each example then has teaching suggestions that are drawn from the activities in Knowing what to do and, where appropriate, from material in Starting Points.

The suggestions in this resource should be used alongside the information in Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

Audio tracks

This resource is accompanied by a compact disc which has 12 tracks that can be used:

  • as resources for activities (see the section, Knowing what to do)
  • for assessing listening skills (see Appendix D)
  • as examples for mapping (analysing) oral texts in terms of the learning progressions (see the examples in Appendix D).

For further information, including details of each track and where to obtain copies of the compact disc and the transcripts, see Appendices F and G.

Strands and progressions

The learning progressions are organised within seven strands that cover the key components of listening, speaking, reading, writing and numeracy. Each progression shows a series of steps that reflects the typical sequence of skill development for oral language, written language and numeracy. The steps described are not tasks to be mastered in a set order. They do, however, offer information and a structure that can be used to develop curricula and learning and assessment tools. This resource provides examples of how the listening and speaking progressions can be used. You are encouraged to design your own materials for teaching and learning to meet the needs of the adults with whom you work.

It is important to keep in mind that although the progressions are described in separate strands, in practice, we use literacy, language and numeracy skills and knowledge in ways that are typically interconnected. For example, a person may listen to a report about interest rates, speak to their partner about their mortgage, read the information from several banks (using their knowledge of numbers to interpret and compare rates), then write questions to ask a bank about the options for managing a mortgage.

Even filling in a form requires both reading and writing skills, and may also involve a discussion to clarify terms or requirements. Learners will better understand how their existing knowledge can support new learning when these connections are made clear.

The learning progressions for the Listen with Understanding strand are:

  • Vocabulary
  • Language and Text Features
  • Comprehension
  • Listening Critically
  • Interactive Listening and Speaking.

The learning progressions for the Speak to Communicate strand are:

  • Vocabulary
  • Language and Text Features
  • Using Strategies to Communicate
  • Interactive Listening and Speaking.

The interdependence of listening and speaking is acknowledged by the fact that the strands share similar headings for most of progressions and the Interactive Listening and Speaking progression is common to both strands.

See Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy for details about the steps in each of these progressions.

Refer to Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy: Background Information for more detailed information on these strands.

Note: if you are working with learners whose skills may not yet reach the first step on the learning progressions, see Starting Points: Supporting the Learning Progressions for advice.

A model for examining listening and speaking

As explained in Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy: Background Information, the listening and speaking learning progressions reflect a model in which listening and speaking tasks are understood to include:

  • Functional competence. The ability to convey and interpret communicative intent. This includes the knowledge and ability to understand the real intention of a communication, for example, to get something done, to solve a problem, or to manage interpersonal relationships.
  • Socio-cultural competence. The ability to recognise and use the forms of listening and speaking that are appropriate to different contexts. This includes being sensitive to audience, topic and situation, for example, using appropriate language in a formal situation, being able to interpret colloquial language or attending to relevant tikanga.
  • Strategic competence. Enables listeners and speakers to integrate and apply the various components of listening and speaking by using strategies to ‘manage’ communication. It includes the ability to monitor and adjust one’s own speech (“I mean,…”), check that communication is working when listening (“What did you say?”) and to use fillers in conversation (“Well actually,…” “As you were saying…”).

Adults also need to have knowledge of language and text features in order to hear, produce and understand meaningful speech (see Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy and Numeracy: Background Information).

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