Adult Literacy, Functional English, and GCSE Resources

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Developed after a training session with Geoff Petty, I use this self-assessment checklist for mixed level groups. 

Although colour-coded to various levels, the idea is that any learner, regardless of level, can use the checklist to assess their own writing, and map their strengths and weaknesses.  It also helps  teachers to see how effectively learners are able to self-evaluate.   I have found it to be a really good tool to foster independent learning.

Editor's note

Level
E3
L1
L2
English
Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)
Writing composition
ESOL
ESOL Writing: text focus (composition)
ESOL Writing: sentence focus (punctuation and grammar)
ESOL Writing: word focus (spelling and handwriting)
General
Study Skills and General Teaching

In a world where social media is everywhere and in our lives day and night the impact of this on people as individuals can be a mixture of positivity and negativity. For a lot of people the impact of the promotion of having the ‘perfect body’ whether you are male / female can have a devastating impact for example bullying, mental health and worst case scenario suicide.  So how can we improve / promote a more positive image using social media and support male / fema

Level
L1
L2
English
L1.4 Communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly and accurately on a range of topics
L1.5 Express opinions and arguments and support them with evidence
L1.6 Follow and understand discussions and make contributions relevant to the situation and the subject
L2.5 Communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly and effectively, providing further detail and development if required
L2.6 Express opinions and arguments and support them with relevant and persuasive evidence
L2.8 Make relevant and constructive contributions to move discussion forward
FE READING understanding and locating information
Writing composition
General
Generic resources for literacy, numeracy and beyond
Context
Mental health and psychology
Voluntary & Charity

I created this resource to try to engage my learners during lockdown. There are two reading tasks based on the same text, which I adapted for level 1 learners by using more basic vocabulary. The reading task can then be followed by the writing a blog task and I have included a step by step sheet to help with the writing task.

Level
L1
L2
GCSE L1-5
English
FE L1.9 Identify and understand the main points, ideas and details in texts
FE L1.13 Use reference materials and appropriate strategies (e.g. using knowledge of word types) for a range of purposes, including to find the meaning of words
FE L1.12 Recognise that language and other textual features can be varied to suit different audiences and purposes
FE L2.14 Understand the relationship between textual features and devices, and how they can be used to shape meaning for different audiences and purposes
L2.15 Use a range of reference materials and appropriate resources (e.g. glossaries, legends/keys) for different purposes, including to find the meanings of words in straightforward and complex sources
FE L2.19 Identify different styles of writing and writer’s voice
Spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG)
Writing composition
GCSE Reading A2 Analyse language & structure
(a) Use tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences
GCSE A6 SPaG
TL - Synthesise information
TL - Create texts for different purposes and audiences
Context
Health and safety
News, Politics & Government items

During the Covid-19 lockdown I started working online in Google Classroom and created this L1-2 writing task (and an accompanying introductory presentation) in Google Docs / Slides. Use the presentation to introduce learners (if needed) to Captain Tom and his remarkable achievement for the NHS (national health service) during the Covid-19 crisis.  Slides also provide links to related news articles (important for background information and also for demonstrating the layout and language features of articles). 

Level
L1
L2
English
FE L1.23 Write text of an appropriate level of detail and of appropriate length (including where this is specified) to meet the needs of purpose and audience
FE L1.24 Use format, structure and language appropriate for audience and purpose
L1.25 Write consistently and accurately in complex sentences, using paragraphs where appropriate
FE L2.24 Write text of an appropriate level of detail and of appropriate length (including where this is specified) to meet the needs of purpose and audience
FE L2.25 Organise writing for different purposes using appropriate format and structure (e.g. standard templates, paragraphs, bullet points, tables)
FE L2.27 Use different language and register (e.g. persuasive techniques, supporting evidence, specialist words), suited to audience and purpose
FE L2.28 Construct complex sentences consistently and accurately, using paragraphs where appropriate
Context
News, Politics & Government items
Voluntary & Charity

A PowerPoint set of L1-L2 reading, maths and writing tasks. All are based on information a recent UK.gov Home Office fact sheet about Prevent and Channel*. The fact sheet can be found online or downloaded from this page. Main Functional Maths coverage is reading and comparing whole numbers and percentages, and percentage-fraction equivalents. Some questions involve calculating percentages or checking the figures that are quoted in the text (Level 2).

Editor's notes

Level
L1
L2
English
FE L1.9 Identify and understand the main points, ideas and details in texts
FE L1.17 Read and understand a range of specialist words in context
FE L1.24 Use format, structure and language appropriate for audience and purpose
FE L1.23 Write text of an appropriate level of detail and of appropriate length (including where this is specified) to meet the needs of purpose and audience
FE L2.11 Identify the different situations when the main points are sufficient and when it is important to have specific details
FE L2.16 Understand organisational features and use them to locate relevant information in a range of straightforward and complex sources
FE L2.24 Write text of an appropriate level of detail and of appropriate length (including where this is specified) to meet the needs of purpose and audience
FE L2.25 Organise writing for different purposes using appropriate format and structure (e.g. standard templates, paragraphs, bullet points, tables)
FE L2.27 Use different language and register (e.g. persuasive techniques, supporting evidence, specialist words), suited to audience and purpose
Maths
FM L1.1 Read, write, order and compare large numbers (up to one million)
FM L1.8 Read, write, order and compare common fractions and mixed numbers
FM L1.13 Read, write, order and compare percentages in whole numbers
FM L1.14 Calculate percentages of quantities, including simple percentage increases and decreases by 5% and multiples thereof
FM L1.16 Recognise and calculate equivalences between common fractions, percentages and decimals
FM L2.4 Identify and know the equivalence between fractions, decimals and percentages
FM L2.6 Calculate percentage change (any size increase and decrease), and original value after percentage change
General
Generic resources for literacy, numeracy and beyond
Context
Health and safety
News, Politics & Government items

This set of steps (taken from Coady & Nation (1988)) with a worked example shows students one process for doing a ‘best guess’ of what to do when they come across a new word. Followed by a set of 10 exercises with some lovely, unusual words.

Editor's note
Fully mapped to GCSE and the new 2018 Functional English content

Level
E3
L1
L2
GCSE L1-5
English
FE E3.11 Use effective strategies to find the meaning of words (e.g. a dictionary, working out meaning from context; using knowledge of different word types)
FE L1.17 Read and understand a range of specialist words in context
FE L1.16 Recognise vocabulary typically associated with specific types and purposes of texts (e.g. formal, informal, instructional, descriptive, explanatory and persuasive)
FE L2.17 Analyse texts, of different levels of complexity, recognising their use of vocabulary and identifying levels of formality and bias
GCSE Reading A2 Analyse language & structure

This booklet has many different tools to improve spelling that have been collected from various sources (a list of these resources can be found in the back of the book).

For E3 upwards it could be used as a self-study booklet. For levels before E3 it may be useful to 'cherry pick', be used as a tutor manual and/or an in-class group activitiy.

It has been designed to be printed as a booklet (A5 per page, in Adobe select print and then just short of half way down the page you will find the option to print as a booklet), unless you wish to print it in A4.

Level
E1
E2
E3
L1
L2
GCSE L1-5
English
FE E1.15 Spell correctly words designated for Entry Level 1
FE E2.14 Form regular plurals
FE E2.16 Spell correctly words designated for Entry Level 2
FE E3.17 Spell correctly words designated for Entry Level 3
FE L1.21 Spell words used most often in work, study and daily life, including specialist words
FE L2.22 Spell words used in work, study and daily life, including a range of specialist words

I created this activity for my ESOL students but it would also work well for Functional English.
The idea is taken from Laura Jeffrey Kiiza’s text types mind map drag and drop activity (L1) – see link below under See also.

Level
L1
L2
GCSE L1-5
English
Rt/L2.4
Rt/L2.2
Rt/L1.2
GCSE Reading A2 Analyse language & structure
Functional English reading
ESOL
ESOL Rt/L2.4a Understand and identify how written arguments are structured
ESOL Rt/L2.2a Identify the purposes of a wide range of texts, whether inferred or explicitly stated
ESOL Rt/L1.2a Know how language and other textual features are used to achieve different purposes

This is a basic editable word wheel which you can print, cut out and attach together with a brass paper fastener.
Learners can concentrate on one word at a time. Word wheels can be used for building vocabulary, spelling practice and much more. Suitable for all levels of Functional Skills and ESOL.
Instructions and ideas are included within the PPT. For example:
Stretchy:

  • Write positive or negative words in the table
  • Look up words that are unfamiliar

Stretchier:

Level
E2
E3
L1
L2
English
FE READING and understanding words
FE WRITING Spelling
FE WRITING Sentence structure and paragraphs
AL Apply strategies to spell correctly
AL Recognise and understand a range of words
ESOL
ESOL Writing: word focus (spelling and handwriting)
ESOL Reading: word focus (vocabulary, word recognition, phonics)
General
Generic resources for literacy, numeracy and beyond

This is a short explanation with examples of eight sorts of conjunctive adverb arranged by type. There is an activity to complete, as well as some stretch/research activities for differentiation.

Editor’s note
Fully mapped to L2 Functional English and GCSE English

Level
L2
GCSE L1-5
English
FE L2.20 Punctuate writing correctly using a wide range of punctuation markers (e.g. colons, commas, inverted commas, apostrophes and quotation marks)
FE L2.28 Construct complex sentences consistently and accurately, using paragraphs where appropriate
Ws/L2.1
GCSE A6 SPaG
GCSE A5