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Knowing the learner


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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin

The following assessment suggestions can be used to ascertain the extent to which a learner is aware of the relationships between sounds and letters. They will also help to find out about learners’ knowledge of the alphabet.

  • Use a chart on which all the letters of the alphabet, both upper and lower cases, are arranged in a random order. Ask the learner to point to letters they know and give a sound and a word that starts with each of those letters.
  • Use a chart on which all the letters of the alphabet, both upper and lower cases, are arranged in a random order. Point to the letters in turn, moving across each row then on to the next row. Vary your questions; for example, ask the learner to name a letter, to say the sound the letter makes, or to name a word that starts with the letter. You may want to use a card or ruler to focus on one row at a time. You can use another copy of the chart to circle any letters the learner does not know.40
  • If you want to look more closely at the learner’s letter–sound knowledge, record the result of the tests above by using a code to note the letters the learner can name (N), the letters for which the learner can give the matching sound (S) and the letters for which the learner can name a word that starts with the letter (W).41

Tutors may need to seek expert ESOL advice on how best to meet learners’ needs in relation to letter recognition and letter–sound relationships.42

40 Adapted from Clay, 1993.

41 Adapted from Clay, 1993.

42 Swan and Smith, 2001.

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