- Program Considerations
- Classroom Strategies
- Levels of ESL Literacy
Phase III Materials
Phase III learners are better able to handle commercially produced mainstream ESL materials than any of the lower CLB Phases. Selecting, adapting and using materials in this level still require extra thought and preparation.
Tips for Phase III materials:
- Choose materials that target only one skill at a time.
- Learners can handle fonts with serifs and can read smaller type.
- Make instructions for a task very clear, especially if learners are expected to read the instructions independently.
- Avoid too much clutter on the page.
- Expose learners to various formats, such as newspaper columns.
- If the format is new, keep the language relatively easy and accessible.
- Use a spelling dictionary for each learner.
Some examples of effective Phase III materials:
- ESL Literacy Readers, developed by Bow Valley College
- Basic Reading Power, Reading Power, More Reading Power, Advanced Reading Power (Longman)
- Canadian Concepts 3 - 5 (Prentice Hall)
- Milestones in Reading B-D (Curriculum Associates)
- What a Life! Series (Longman)
- What a World!Series (Longman)
- Penguin Easy Readers, Levels 3-5 (Penguin)
- Instructor-created materials, including writing modals, worksheets, notes on structure, stories, flashcards, manipulatives, crossword puzzles and word searches
Phase III learners are moving toward being able to read authentic materials. They require less white space and are not troubled by varying fonts or small print. Phase III learners can find lengthy texts intimidating, so it is best to use texts that are broken up into sections, such as simplified chapter books, or non-fiction texts that have headers. Learners generally use picture and graphic clues without prompting, but irrelevant information such as advertisements may distract them. This is particularly problematic when reading web pages for information.
At Phase III, it is not necessary for the context of reading materials to be familiar, but it does need to be relevant for the learners. A lack of available simplified materials means that instructors of Phase III learners often use materials that are more difficult than outlined in the Candadian Language Benchmarks 2000: ESL for Literacy Learners document. If material that is more difficult is used, instructors must provide greater support with pre-reading activities, such as understanding the context, previewing the text, making predictions and prompting strategy use.
Phase III learners no longer require template style materials for writing activities, but picture stories are still valuable as a framework for narrative writing. Learners at Phase III generally follow written conventions when using lined paper. However, they often need to be reminded to position the paper correctly with the holes on the left, and the wide margin at the top. If double spacing is expected, learners will need to be reminded of that as well. All writing assignments at Phase III require substantial scaffolding to enable learners to meet the assignment expectations.
Some suggested pre-writing activities include:
- Brainstorming - vocabulary, ideas, and/or grammar required for the writing task.
- Sequencing - picture frames or events (for narrative writing).
- Guiding questions - to focus the learner on relevant information.
- Outlining - to organize their ideas or information.
- Marking rubric - discuss the rubric/expectations at length and provide example of good/not so good writing.
It is also important to provide learners with multiple opportunities to improve their writing. This can include:
- Checklists - use of a checklist to self review and edit.
- Peer Editing - to provide and receive feedback to/from others. It is good to provide a format for this, such as:
If the learner hands this in along with their revised draft it is possible to assess whether or not the writer is incorporating the peer feedback into their writing.
- Teacher Feedback - as a final step before writing their final draft. A standard set of marking symbols should be used and learners should be provided with their own copy of the key for easy reference: