Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Time to dust away the cob-webs - Changes to Teenage ESOL Curriculum - How will you respond?


I've been away for a while. I've been preoccupied with work, family and life.

However, change is in the air. 

The changes are inescapable, some of them I'm pleased to see, others are less welcome. 

As ESOL tutors we have learnt to change or adapt. If we don't, we get left behind in the frosts of winter.

It seems appropriate that my 100th post comes at this time. I'm hoping to use this post as an opportunity to crowd source and share ideas on how to respond to the changes we face.

So what has changed?

The biggest changes, for ESOL Tutors working with teenagers, are the reduced contact time and the content of what we will be teaching them. This can be seen most clearly in the higher level hours. 

We have 180 hours to prepare students for Trinity College ESOL Exams - a couple of years ago we had 306 hours to prepare students for the same exams! (see below in red)

Personal development and employability skills are also a key theme of the changes - these will be accredited at Entry 3 and Level 1 and are a response to new Government Policy. (Click here to read more)

Below is a brief outline of the proposed hours for lower and higher levels.


Entry 1 and 2 - Breakdown of hours
                             
       
  ESOL embedding personal development and work skills
 7.5x36=270
  ESOL Maths and  IT  Embedded 
 5x36=180
  Tutorial  
 2x36+72
  Enterprise week
 30hrs
  Student hours
 552hrs
  Tutor teaching hours
 522hrs
                                                                  
Entry 3 and Level 1/2 - Breakdown of hours

 ESOL   
 5x36=180
 Personal development and employability skills (accredited) 
 2.5x24=60  
 Maths and IT Accredited FS
 5x35=180 
 Tutorial 
 2x36+72
 Enterprise week
 30 hrs
 Work Experience
 30 hrs 
 Student Hours
 552 hrs
 Total tutor teaching hours with work placement supervision 
 (16 hours)
 492+16=508
                        
The addition of an Enterprise week and Work Experience (which aren't contact time), for the higher levels, will also bring new challenges. Developing new links and materials to meet these requirements will be challenging but I'm sure that there are plenty of resources already available, I just need to find them. Any links you can share would be most welcome!

How can we respond to these changes?

I believe ESOL Tutors can respond to these changes by collaborating and shaping the curriculum to fit our students' needs. There is an opportunity to be creative and innovative and I find that exciting.

A new, generic scheme of work for Full-Time classes

I'm currently working with other tutors at Leeds City College to develop a new scheme of work for our Full-Time classes.  

The last thing we need to do is start from scratch. I think we can collaborate on this process and produce a document that reflects these changes. I would also like to see more connectivity between the ESOL, ICT and Numeracy. i.e. When students are studying types of text in ESOL they are making posters in their ICT classes.

So far my colleagues and I have identified the following EXTRA topics that young people may find engaging, interesting and ultimately useful to study. They are:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Advertising & TV
  • Fashion
  • Staying Healthy and Safe
  • Finances - personal, housing and small business / enterprise
Please feel free to add any other topics that you feel we could include by commenting below

Please contribute!

If you work with teenage ESOL students please get in touch. I would love to know how you are responding to the changes in funding and hours.

I would also appreciate any links to useful websites or textbooks that you've used. 

Crowd sourcing has always allowed me to harness a much broader range of expertise. I'm very lucky to be working with many talented and professional tutors. I would like to invite you to join us in this journey and together I think we can respond to the challenges ahead.

I hope that this blog can provide a collaborative space where ESOL Tutors can share thoughts and ideas. Please share your thoughts about how we can respond to these changes.

Thanks,

Mike

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