Adult Literacy, Functional English, and GCSE Resources

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Functional Skills English slides on comparing texts - part of my Skills Building Series.

This resource explores the fundamental skills to support learners in achieving success with the comparison question in the Edexcel Functional Skills English Level 1 and 2 Exam papers. It provides learners with opportunities to practice their comparison skills using images, videos (audio with lyrics) and short texts. 

Editor's notes

Level
Level 1
Level 2
GCSE L1-5
English
FE L1.10 Compare information, ideas & opinions in different texts
FE L2.12 Compare information, ideas & opinions in different texts, inc. how they are conveyed
GCSE A3 Compare texts

Social Media - AI behind the scenes slides exploring: how many people use social media and the algorithms running behind the scenes; the fact that we are being 'watched' and the concept that 'if you're not paying for the product, then YOU are the product'. Slides also explore DeepMind, Google Autocomplete and the idea that smartphones are making us dumber. 

Level
Level 2
GCSE L1-5
English
FE L2.2 Follow narratives & lines of argument
FE L2.5 Communicate information/ideas/opinions clearly/effectively with further detail/development if required
FE L2.6 Express opinions and arguments and support them with relevant and persuasive evidence
FE L2.14 Understand how textual features/devices can shape meaning for different audiences/purposes
FE L2.15 Use a range of reference materials & resources (e.g. glossaries, legends/keys) for different purposes
FE L2.18 Follow an argument, identifying different points of view & distinguishing fact from opinion
FE L2.23 Communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly, coherently and effectively
FE L2.24 Write text of appropriate level of detail & length to meet needs of purpose & audience
FE L2.27 Use language & register (e.g. persuasive techniques, supporting evidence, specialist words) to suit audience & purpose
GCSE Spoken language A8 Listen and respond
GCSE Reading A1 (a) Identify and interpret
GCSE Reading A1 (b) Select and synthesise
GCSE Reading A2 Analyse language & structure
GCSE Writing A5 (a) Use tone, style and register for different forms, purposes & audiences
GCSE Writing A5 (b) Organise information using structural and grammatical features
Context
Electrical, Electronics & Technology
Art Film Media Music TV

I put this together when I found so many of my learners trying to hone their employability skills did not know what a lot of the words on job descriptions meant. 

Resource 1 (Definition matching cards: job skills and attributes): I laminated these and cut them up and they worked in pairs or threes to match them up.

There are two other linked resources, as below, to help students with getting to grips with the keywords used in Job Descriptions and Person Specifications. 

Level
Entry Level 3
Level 1
Level 2
GCSE L1-5
T Levels - embedded maths or English
English
FE E3.11 Use strategies to find meaning of words e.g. dictionary, context, word types
FE L1.17 Read & understand a range of specialist words in context
FE L1.24 Use format, structure & language appropriate for audience & purpose
FE L2.25 Organise writing for different purposes using appropriate format & structure e.g. standard templates, paragraphs, bullet points, tables
ESOL
ESOL Reading: word focus (vocabulary, word recognition, phonics)
General
Generic resources for literacy, numeracy and beyond
Context
Employment skills & Public services
Health, Social care, Early years

Short sets of words for alphabetic sorting.   These can be used with literacy or ESOL learners.  I found they worked well at the beginning of each session while learners were still arriving into the class.  They work well as individual or pairs exercises.

The first set works best when each list is cut up and laminated as individual words in each group, so learners can sort them kinaesthetically.  

Level
Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3
English
FE E2.15 Use 1st & 2nd letters to sequence words alphabetically
FE E3.16 Use 1st, 2nd & 3rd letters to sequence words alphabetically
Alphabetical order
ESOL
ESOL Rw/E3.4a Alphabetical order 1st & 2nd place letters

Get your learners thinking outside the box with this unusual warm up quiz that works well at all levels

Also provides discussion prompts and makes a great introduction to spelling compound words.

Level
Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3
Level 1
Level 2
English
FE WRITING Spelling

Resource focusing on the question 'Is the internet an addictive drug?'  The PowerPoint consists a video link and written stimulus to evoke thought and discussion.  Looking at the relationship we have with our phones versus people; our use of internet enabled devices, 'every minute of every day' and Social Media depression. 

Editor's note

In addition to being an excellent discussion prompt the PPT also includes several short texts for useful reading practice. The linked video is very powerful, relying on visual observation rather than listening skills.

Level
Level 1
Level 2
GCSE L1-5
English
FE SL&C Discussion
FE L1.1 Identify relevant information & lines of argument in explanations & presentations
FE L1.4 Communicate information / ideas / opinions clearly & accurately on range of topics
FE L1.5 Express opinions and arguments and support them with evidence
FE L1.6 Follow / understand discussions & make contributions relevant to situation & subject
FE L2.1 Identify relevant information from extended explanations or presentations
FE L2.2 Follow narratives & lines of argument
FE L2.5 Communicate information/ideas/opinions clearly/effectively with further detail/development if required
FE L2.6 Express opinions and arguments and support them with relevant and persuasive evidence
GCSE Spoken language A8 Listen and respond
Context
Mental health and psychology
Electrical, Electronics & Technology

A lesson to build learners' confidence to make meaning from texts, introducing the terminology: theme, motif, symbol and metaphor

The song uses quite simple language, which means the focus instead is on deeper analysis. It prompted really interesting discussions in our class, and tied to our theme of new beginnings and goal setting at the start of a new term.

Editor's note

Level
Level 2
GCSE L1-5
English
FE L2.13 Identify implicit & inferred meaning in texts
FE L2.14 Understand how textual features/devices can shape meaning for different audiences/purposes
GCSE Reading A2 Analyse language & structure
Context
Art Film Media Music TV

Updated 11 Mar 21

Related 'Garden Birds' word search now added. This extra activity is based on the "Guide to the top 10 garden birds" poster that appears on page 2  of the Entry Level 1 resource.

Two reading comprehension exercises differentiated for EL1 and EL2/3 Functional Skills English. The Entry Level 1 version also includes speaking and listening activities.

Level
Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3
English
FE E1.1 Say the names of the letters of the alphabet
FE E1.4 Make requests & ask straightforward questions using appropriate terms & registers
FE E1.5 Respond to questions about specific information
FE E1.6 Make clear statements, communicate feelings & opinions on straightforward topics
FE E1.9 Read simple sentences containing one clause
FE E1.10 Understand a short piece of text on a simple subject
FE E2.8 Understand the main points in texts
FE E2.11 Read & understand sentences with more than one clause
FE E3.9 Identify, understand & extract main points & ideas in/from texts
FE E3.11 Use strategies to find meaning of words e.g. dictionary, context, word types
FE E1.7 Understand & participate in simple discussions or exchanges with another person about a straightforward topic
FE E3.12 Understand organisational features & use them to locate relevant information
FE E3.10 Identify different purposes of straightforward texts
FE E1.8 Read correctly words designated for Entry Level 1
FE E2.7 Read correctly words designated for Entry Level 2
FE E3.8 Read correctly words designated for Entry Level 3
FE E2.10 Use effective strategies to find words meanings & check spelling e.g. simple dictionary, spell-checker
Context
Science, Nature & Weather
Mental health and psychology

This resource is based on the DfES ESOL Skills for Life E2 recording 'Asking where things are'. It gives exam practice questions (C&G style) in the first section and in the second section an activity to enable learners to tune in to the sounds of English. The first section can be completed in class and the second at home or the whole sheet can be given for homework. Listening development at home enables learners to listen as often as they wish and tune in until they hear the text more clearly.

Level
Entry Level 1
Entry Level 2
English
FE E1.2 Identify & extract the main information from short statements & explanations
FE E2.1 Identify & extract main information & detail from short explanations
ESOL
ESOL Lr/E2.2a Listen for detail
ESOL Lr/E2.3c Listen for a specific purpose

Reformed Functional English assessments include group discussion at all levels beyond Entry 1.  This useful, 3 page planner can be used (with varying amounts of teacher support) from E2 to L2. Covers everything from choosing a topic, jotting down initial ideas, and making extended contributions. Also describes the different roles withing a discussion and useful phrases for each role.

With detailed Functional English mapping.   

Level
Entry Level 2
Entry Level 3
Level 1
Level 2
English
FE E2.6 Make appropriate contributions to simple group discussions with others about a straightforward topic
FE E3.6 Make relevant contributions to group discussions about straightforward topics
FE E3.7 Listen to & respond appropriately to other points of view, respecting conventions of turn-taking
FE L1.7 Use appropriate phrases / registers & adapt contributions to take account of audience / purpose / medium
FE L1.8 Respect turn-taking rights of others during discussions, using appropriate language for interjection
FE L2.8 Make relevant and constructive contributions to move discussion forward
FE L2.10 Interject & redirect discussion using appropriate language & register
ESOL
ESOL Engage in discussion