Maximising opportunities to address the Minimum Core Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector
Aims • To support the delivery of part of the minimum core (literacy and language)
Objectives • To experience some of the activities that could be used to address A2 (reading and writing) • To provide a range of short interactive activities which may help to cover the knowledge and understanding of literacy and numeracy
Reading • Interpreting written texts • The reading process • Reading for meaning • Different kinds of reading • Importance of background knowledge • Knowledge of range of text types and their features • Accessibility of texts
How does it feel? Mirror reading It is impossible to say a piece of writing is difficult when you can read it as a mature and experienced reader. It is much more difficult when the reader has to struggle to decode the words before they have any time to begin to work on comprehension. So, if it was the case that reading was only a matter of working out the sound made by the words, you might say that there would be little enough trouble. In reality, it is the fact that we need to make sense of the words and sentences at the same time which causes us problems. • How much of what you read can you remember? • How did you feel doing the exercise? Relaxed, anxious, frustrated etc. • How much reading would you do if it were as difficult as that for you? • How would you have felt if you had been asked to read aloud on your own? • Did you understand the text you were reading?
Context Red is not a colour snooker
Different rates of reading • Poor readers read everything at the same pace (word by word) • Good readers choose different approaches for different purposes – skimming, scanning, detailed reading and critical reading • Can you think of an example of when you would use each of these approaches to read different texts on your courses? • How could you help learners develop skimming and scanning skills?
Readability What makes reading easier?
Font: serif and sans serif Times New Roman Serif fonts have ‘runners’ along the top and bottom of letters which aid reading fluency in text for confident readers. Arial Sans serif fonts are easier to read because of their letter definition.
Justifying text ‘Rivers of white’ appear when text is fully justified. These can be incredibly distracting and cause difficulty with fluency in reading, particularly for learners who may have dyslexia.
Case, font and underlining IT IS SOMETIMES TEMPTING TO WRITE A PIECE OF TEXT IN UPPER CASE FOR EMPHASIS, TO MAKE IT BOLD OR TO UNDERLINE IT BUT IN FACT IT IS HARDER TO READ. This is much easier to read and allows us to use our graphic cue to identify word shape. This is one of the reading searchlights that we use.
Readability scores Using SMOG Ready Reckoner assess the readability of your favourite text book • Entry Level 3 8 – 10 • Level 1 11 – 15 • Level 2 16 - 20
Keeping language simple • Avoid using unnecessarily complicated words, where a simpler one exists • Keep sentences short • Use the imperative form ‘you’ and pronoun ‘we’ in correspondence • Use the active tense • Create lists where appropriate
Alternative vocabulary Formal or informal? • ask request • get obtain • tell inform • think about consider • buy purchase • inside enclosed
Useful websites • National Literacy Trust http://www.literacytrust.org.uk • Campaign for Plain English http://www.plainenglish.co.uk • Learning Technologies http://www.learningtechnologies.ac.uk • Techdis http://www.techdis.ac.uk • British Dyslexia Association www.bda-dyslexia.org.uk
Simplifying text • Look at a real example of a difficult text and decide what makes it difficult to read then look at the adapted text to see which of these devices have been employed to make a more readable text. Highlight and or annotate them on the amended version. • Now have a go at amending an example of your own that you want to use on your course – in two stages first identify the factors that make it difficult to read • Then try and change it to make it easier to read. • Work in pairs! • Exchange work to look at each other’s examples.
Writing • The writing process • Using genre to develop writing skills • Developing spelling and punctuation skills
The writing process • Create a flow diagram which shows the process you undertake when you have to do an important piece of writing.
Text types • Texts written for different purposes have different features: • Structure • Layout - typography and graphology • Grammar • Vocabulary • Register
Teaching text types Read a good example Draw attention to key features Shared writing activity Use of writing frame Continued practice Independent writing
Spelling • ‘Share’ own spelling knowledge with learners • Dispel myths and misconceptions • Use learners’ strengths to develop spelling strategies • Personalise learning
Review • Have a look in the Minimum Core document in the literacy section A2 and see how much could have been covered using the activities we have looked at today
Contacts firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.warwick.ac.uk/go/wmcett/