Individual Learning Plans in Community Term Paper

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V. Government System RARPA

The government introduced the RARPA Program which is abbreviated for the:: "Recording and Recognition of Progress and Achievement Summary of the Evaluation Report" in relation to the Pilot Projects April 2003 to March 2004 Learning and Skills Development Agency National Institute of Adult Continuing Education 2004 August. Since 2002 the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has focused its efforts on establishing an appropriate method of recognizing and recording the progress and achievement of learners that is non-accredited in nature. Development of a model called the 'Staged Process." The RARPA consists of the application "of an explicit and common staged process to the recognition and recording of progress and achievement, together with the validation of this process through a range of judgments about its consistent and effective application." The background of the project is stated to be that LSDA and NIACE were involved in preparation of work in relation to the development of RARPA with the overall vision being a learner-focused system of the recognition and recording learning outcomes from non-accredited programs. RARPA plays an important role in the delivery of the Skills Strategy as the July 2003 white paper 21st Century Skills: Realizing our Potential makes identification of the continued importance of non-accredited provision in support of the development of skills that are necessary for both employment and inclusion on a societal level. The staged process contains five elements that are linked explicitly to key part of the Common Inspection Framework. The five elements are:

1. Aims: appropriate to the individual group of learners.

2. Initial assessment to establish the learner's starting point.

3. Identification of appropriately challenging learning objectives: initial renegotiated and revised.

4. Recognition and recording of progress and achievement during programme (formative assessment): tutor feedback to learners, learner reflective, and progress reviews.

5. End of Programme learner self-assessment; tutor summative assessment, review of overall progress and achievement.

RARPA was characterized by a learner-centered approach with benefits to learners being inclusive of better motivation, faster progress and better engagement in learning. Recommendations stated were as follows:

VI. Resulting into ILPS (ESOL) in Community Education

In a study involving a total of five case studies Community-based classrooms in which it is shown how the ESOL teacher creates safe and productive environments for the ESOL learners. Stated in the study is that:

"There is an urgent need for a more strategic approach to cross-agency support of ESOL learners. Another "recurring message is the intuitive notion that in an ESOL class, groupwork is the dominant mode and that all talk is of value, to quote from the report "talk is work in the ESOL classroom" The tensions between this and the increasing individualization of EWOL teaching through individual learning plans are also addressed."

VII. Critical analysis of ILPS & how they affect the role of Community ESOL Practitioners.

Key points arising from the case studies are as follows:

An emphasis on individualized teaching and learning may not support the needs of adult ESOL learners.

Effective teachers of ESOL employ a series of measures in supporting the needs of ESOL learners in the classrooms.

There is a need for more pro-active cross-agency support for refugees and asylum seekers. Many ESOL teachers handle many roles and are in lack of needed institution support.

The use of everyday culturally specific situations to contextualize math programs may act as a barrier to attainment by ESOL learners in numeracy classes.

Learners use their own languages in concrete and strategic ways to help them learn English.

It may be that the involvement of learners and the planning and reviewing of their learning through individual learning plans is not meaningful, as language learners appear unable to reflect on and predict their language development even when they have achieved an advanced level of English.

VIII. ESOL Case Studies:

In the study entitled, "English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) - Case Studies of Provision, Learners' needs and Resources" was that,

"An emphasis on individualized teaching and learning may not support the needs of ESOL learners. Talk is work in the ESOL classroom and the most significant mode of learning for ESOL learners is through group interactions

. Effective learners are though group interaction and opportunities to practice speaking and listening.

Effective teachers of ESOL employ a series of measures to support ESOL learner needs. Mainstream teachers need to learn from these approaches to better support the needs of ESOL students in their classrooms.

There is a need for more pro-active cross-agency support for refugees and asylum seekers. ESOL teachers in most classes were juggling a number of roles and lack institutional support and specialist knowledge to do so.

The use of everyday, culturally-specific situations to contextualize math problems may act as a barrier to attainment by ESOL learners in numeracy classes.

Learners use their other languages in concrete and strategic ways to help them to learn English. Teachers can facilitate this in many ways with strategies to encourage the use of learners' other languages within teaching and learning English.

It may be that involvement of learners in the planning and reviewing of their learning through individual learning plans is not meaningful, as language learners appear unable to reflect on and predict their language development, even when they have an advanced level of English.

The Case Study two on Heterogeneity (Shrubshall, et al., 2004) states that, "Learners in ESOL classes, particularly community-based classes, have heterogeneous past educational experiences, needs, [language] skills, and perspectives on learning. Heterogeneity is commonly viewed as something "brought along" to the ESOL classroom by learners (E.G. DfEE, 2000, 26) and appropriate classroom responses to this diversity are described in general terms."

The focus of this study is "how heterogeneity is produced within classroom practices by learners and teachers. The two main questions asked are:

(1) "How does heterogeneity show itself within classroom interaction? And (2) How do teachers and learner manage classroom interaction so that learning can take place which is useful for all participants?

The study states that the case study was conducted in London in community-based classes at the locations of:

(1) Green Dale - location in London Primary school

(2) TRAG - Tamil support centre

The study states that it draws on methods of "micro-ethnography, combining

(1) a concern for learners' and teachers' perspectives,

(2) The ways meaning emerge within the details of talk in interaction and (3) an interest in understanding these meaning within wider classroom practices.

Case Study Report: Green Dale reports that opportunities are a provision where learners can display their personal as well as share identities, where they are able to be themselves in English. Heterogeneity is to be found within the classroom practices described as "relatively accommodating." This kind of heterogeneity allows for continuity: the class can fit into the complicated lives of learners including their lives away from the classroom and "how they bring this 'outside' into the classroom in terms of their roles, identities and experiences." (Shrubshall, et al., 2004)

The class at Green Dale is funded by the Learning Skills Council and meets two times per week year round during the academic year. All of the learners excepting one have children in school at the location of the adults' classes. The language spoken among the groups are various languages including those of Urdu, Arabic, Dari, and Somali, Romanian and Albanian? The teacher has two years teaching experience with this class. There are various language levels among the learners. The class "group goals' are stated to be "negotiated with the learners and so draw on ILPs as well as a suggested scheme of work mapped on to elements from the Adult ESOL Core Curriculum.

TRAG is heterogeneous class at the level of "explicit, teacher-led pedagogies which are tuned to the different language levels of the students within Entry 1. During this 16-week course the Heterogeneous classroom practices are stated to "allow for progress along a particular academic route and this is supported by the learner's strategic use of Tamil."

Issues identified in the study:

Despite the overall basis skills environment which tends to emphasize similarities there seem to be distinctive cultural differences between adult ESOL and adult numeracy, displayed for examples in differences in modes of classroom organization such as group work.

There is a perception among the ESOL tutors interviewed that aspects of the National Curriculum such as ILPs are more relevant to workshop type adult literacy and numeracy classes than to ESOL classes with predominantly group objectives.

In this study the students in all classes felt that lessons which used authentic materials were 'more real and useful'. Presently the core curriculum for ESOL does not stipulate the content of text students should be reading (material based on the curriculum recently published are not compulsory, so much as the…[continue]

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