- Program Considerations
- Classroom Strategies
- Levels of ESL Literacy
Recommendations for Placing LIFE
Here is a list of promising practices for grouping LIFE in a program. These practices give learners an opportunity to develop the skills and strategies they need to achieve their goals.
Create a separate stream for ESL literacy
Create classes that are specifically designed for ESL literacy. This is the best way to meet the needs of this group of learners.
Base levels on the CLB literacy document
This is a national standard, understood by programs and institutions across Canada. Canadian Language Benchmarks 2000: ESL for Literacy Learners provides outcomes in reading, writing and numeracy for each ESL literacy Phase. This document recognizes that literacy consists of more than just one level, and that learners with a range of literacy skills will still require support in the classroom. When possible, create literacy levels based on the Phases. This usually means that more than one literacy class is necessary, as learners progress through the Phases.
Place learners with similar abilities in the same level
No group of learners, no matter how carefully assessed and placed, will have identical skill levels or identical needs, but it is a good idea to keep the level of a class relatively uniform. This usually means that more than one literacy class is needed as learners move through the Phases.
Place learners in levels based on their reading and writing skills
Place learners in levels based on their weakest skill. For literacy learners, this is usually their reading and writing skills. There will be a range of oral abilities in the classroom, but learners will have similar (although never exactly the same) abilities in literacy.
Use small level increments
Learners will take time to move through the different literacy Phases and stages. It is a good idea to create classes with small increments. If classes are too broad, learners can feel that they are not improving even though they are acquiring valuable skills. Celebrate any progress that learners make.
Limit class size
LIFE need individualized attention and plenty of support from the instructor. Class size will depend on the program and the level. In an ideal situation, there would be no more than 10-15 learners in a class.
Pull out learners for numeracy instruction
Learners that are placed in levels based on their reading and writing Phases will have a huge range of abilities with numeracy. Assess and regroup learners for numeracy instruction. A full-time program with three literacy levels might regroup learners for numeracy instruction several times a week.