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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Module 4 - Reporting progress in primary schools

Introduction

In this module, you will explore:

  • the background information that is relevant to reporting progress and achievement for English language learners in primary schools
  • key ideas about reporting progress and achievement to parents
  • specific ideas for leading the professional development and learning of others in your school.

To help you, you will need:

Summary of key messages about reporting progress

  • Most English language learners will be able to work at the curriculum level of their cohort in their first language/s. However, they will need scaffolding so that they can access curriculum content that is delivered in English. They will need support with:
    • English language and literacy development
    • background knowledge and understandings about contexts
    • ways of learning in New Zealand classrooms.
  • Teachers, deans, families, and whānau all benefit from understanding the English language learner pathways described in The English Language Learning Progressions and how these pathways are related to The New Zealand Curriculum, The Literacy Learning Progressions, and The New Zealand Curriculum Reading and Writing Standards for Years 1–8.
  • A key purpose of reporting student progress and achievement is to inform the students themselves and to ensure they are able to track their own pathway and reflect on their own progress.
  • Making accelerated progress must be the goal for English language learners who are achieving below their age-level cohort in English literacy and who need to reach this constantly moving cohort. The reading and writing standards describe the expectations for year-appropriate literacy skills.
  • Some English language learners are working below or well below the expectations for their year level. In these cases it would be advantageous for a school to use the English language learning Progressions as well as National Standards to report to parents.
  • Some English language learners are working above the expectations for their year level. In these cases, schools will use the reading and writing standards to report their progress.
  • In order to ensure the school’s reporting processes are understood and acceptable, schools need to recognise the diversity of their family and whānau communities and engage in discussion with relevant groups. It is helpful if guardians can pass information on to the families of international students.

Background

Purpose

In this section of the module, you will explore background information that is relevant to reporting the progress and achievement of English language learners.

This includes:

  • Key messages
  • The New Zealand Curriculum – Setting the direction
  • Who The English Language Learning Progressions are for
  • Why schools should use The English Language Learning Progressions
  • Making an overall teacher judgment for English language learners
  • Moderation using The English Language Learning Progressions.

Key messages: Questions to think about or discuss with colleagues

Read the key messages for this module and prepare to discuss the questions below.

key messages about reporting - primary (PDF 63KB)

What are the different purposes for reporting progress and achievement to:

  • students?
  • parents, families, and whānau?
  • Boards of Trustees?
  • the Ministry of Education?

The New Zealand Curriculum – Setting the direction

  • NZ Curriculum
    One of the visions of The New Zealand Curriculum is to develop “confident, connected, actively involved, and lifelong learners” (page 8). Engaging English language learners and their families in monitoring each student’s progress and achievement can contribute to this outcome.
  • All the learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum provide the appropriate contexts for cognitively rich and challenging teaching and learning for all students, regardless of their English language proficiency. However, for English language learners, teachers will need to provide scaffolding to help them access curriculum content (which includes amplifying language rather than simplifying it).
  • Focusing on developing key competencies will support learning.
  • The principles in The New Zealand Curriculum (page 9) underpin all decisions teachers and schools make about their teaching and learning programmes.
    • The principle of inclusion states that we “ensure that students’ identities, languages, abilities, and talents are affirmed and that their learning needs are addressed”.
    • The principle of high expectations states that “the curriculum supports and empowers all students to learn and achieve personal excellence, regardless of their individual circumstances”.
    • The principle of coherence requires us to provide for “coherent transitions, and [to] open up pathways for further learning”.

Think about or discuss with colleagues:

  • What do you do in your classroom to address each of the points above?
  • How does your school address each of the points above?

Who are The English Language Learning Progressions (ELLP) for?

The English Language Learning Progressions is effective with a wide range of learners, including:

  • students from homes where a language other than English is spoken
  • ESOL-funded students from migrant, refugee, or New Zealand backgrounds
  • previously ESOL-funded students who have exceeded their funding period
  • students transitioning from kura to English-medium learning environments
  • students from bilingual education settings
  • international fee-paying students.

Why should schools use The English Language Learning Progressions?

The English Language Learning Progressions provides:

  • a nationally consistent set of progressions that enable teachers to identify and describe specific stages of English language learning
  • a detailed description of English language learners’ progress and achievement in reading, writing, speaking, and listening as they move towards the relevant curriculum expectations
  • a means for showing a student’s pace of progress and achievement over time (which will ensure you know if their pace of progress is limited and consider whether the student’s learning needs are being met)
  • a document for teachers to use to track, monitor, and report the progress and achievement of individual students
  • guidance about learning an additional language and learning in an additional language
  • matrices and exemplars that support teachers to give feedback to students and families on a student’s next learning steps
  • a tool for aggregating information about groups of students in a school (which is especially useful for reporting to the Board of Trustees).

Please note: The English Language Learning Progressions are valuable for all of the purposes described above, even if schools choose not to use them for reporting to parents, families, and whānau.

Making an overall teacher judgment for English language learners

Teachers use several sources of information to place a student on the appropriate stages of The English Language Learning Progressions.

Teachers draw on a variety of information from a range of sources, including assessment tools, learning conversations, and observations.

The process of making an overall teacher judgment is similar for all students, but there are some important points of difference for English language learners.

When assessment tools that have been norm referenced for students whose first language is English are used with an English language learner, the results may lead their teacher to make inappropriate judgments about aspects of the student’s ability, for example:

  • the student may be able to make inferences and draw conclusions from reading, but the unfamiliar vocabulary or context may prevent them from displaying this skill
  • the student’s performance in some tests might result in them being placed in lower levels or groups when they have the potential to work at a more advanced level.

If you need to order these materials, please email  orders@thechair.minedu.govt.nz or telephone 0800 660 662.

ESOL Progress Assessement Guidelines

For general information and guidelines on using appropriate assessment processes, see  ESOL Progress Assessment Guidelines - Using assessment tools and processes in diagnosing the needs and monitoring the progress of English language learners.

Moderation using The English Language Learning Progressions

In the process of moderation, teachers are sharing their understandings to improve the consistency of their decisions about student progress and achievement.

Moderation with a classroom teacher and an ESOL teacher

In many schools, a classroom teacher and an ESOL teacher can work together to moderate their overall teacher judgments in relation to the ELLP stagesThis is a valuable process as each professional brings different knowledge of and perspectives on a student.

Moderation in groups

Moderation may also involve teachers in a group, either within a school or from different schools. Local ESOL cluster meetings and ESOL workshops are possible contexts for supporting this process of group moderation.

Reporting to parents

Purpose

In this section of the module, you will explore reporting learners’ progress to parents in primary schools. This includes:

  • National Administration Guidelines (NAGs)
  • Guidelines for reporting to parents using the ELLP or the reading and writing standards
  • Which students will have their English literacy progress and achievement reported using The English Language Learning Progressions?
  • What will you say to parents, families, and whānau about learning in school
  • Guidelines for English language learners and The New Zealand Curriculum Mathematics Standards for Years 1–8
  • Written reports for English language learners
  • Community engagement.

Guidelines for reporting to parents using the ELLP or the reading and writing standards

  • “National Standards will set benchmarks of progress that may be unrealistic for children who are new learners of English.” (The national standards fact sheets at  http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/National-Standards/Key-information/Fact-sheets)
  • The Reading and Writing Standards for years 1-8 set benchmarks of progress for all students.
  • English language learners’ progress and achievement in learning to read and write in English will be tracked, monitored, and reported on to parents/ families, and whānau, using the reading and writing standards
  • It is also recommended that schools use the English Language Learning Progressions (ELLP) to report progress towards meeting the Standards.
  • As many English language learners will initially be below the expectations of National Standards, assessing progress in relation the English Language Learning Progressions will help parents see that their child is making progress towards meeting the reading and writing standards. Teachers will be better able to support students’ language learning and therefore English language learners will be more likely to make accelerated progress towards meeting the expectations of the National Standards.
  • Schools and teachers will need to make informed decisions whether to report each English language learner’s progress and achievement using ELLP as well as in relation to the National Standards.
  • Parents, family, and whānau benefit from understanding the English language learner pathways towards the curriculum expectations for each year group.

Which students will benefit from having their English literacy progress and achievement reported using the ELLP?

For all students, it is critical that the expectations described in the reading and writing standards, which provide signposts for year-appropriate achievement, are the long-term goal.

Guidelines for English language learners who are not yet meeting the expectations of the National Standards:

For Years 1-4 students
Students working within Foundation Stage and Stage 1 of ELLP should be tracked and monitored, and have their progress reported to parents and students using the ELLP as well as in relation to the National Standards.

For Years 5-8 students
Students working within Foundation Stage, Stage 1, or Stage 2 of ELLP should be tracked and monitored, and have their progress reported to parents and students using the ELLP as well as in relation to the National Standards.

When students move to a higher stage than that described in the guidelines above, they are getting closer to cohort level but The Progressions: ELLP will continue to be a helpful tool for informing teacher practice.

For further information see
http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/National-Standards/Key-information/Fact-sheets

What will you say to the parents, families, and whānau of English language learners about the student’s learning?

This diagram from The English Language Learning Progressions illustrates the relationships between the progress of English language learners in acquiring proficiency in English and the levels in the learning areas of the curriculum.

You could copy this diagram and the explanation of the relationship between learning in the curriculum learning areas and learning English from the PDF and use them to support your discussions with parents, families, and whānau. You could use them as part of a school report and/or as a prompt when conferencing with parents, families, and whānau.

The key points in the diagram and the relationship between students’ progress in English language learning and their learning across the curriculum in primary school are summarised below.

  • The learning areas of the curriculum are represented in different colours on the right-hand side of the diagram.
  • As students in years 1–4 progress in English, they move through Foundation Stage, Stage 1, and Stage 2. These stages are shown on the left-hand side of the diagram.
  • As students in years 5–8 progress in English, they move through Foundation Stage, Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3. These stages are shown on the left-hand side of the diagram.
  • Students might start at primary school at any of the ELLP stages. Depending on their prior knowledge and experiences, primary students may take five years to develop enough academic English to meet the national expectations described in The New Zealand Curriculum Reading and Writing Standards for Years 1–8.
  • English language learners are usually tracked on the ELLP stages until they approach the national expectations for English literacy.

Guidelines for English language learners and The New Zealand Curriculum Mathematics Standards for Years 1–8

Maths is taught in the English language, and students often need to show their maths knowledge and understanding through language. Teachers consider this when judging a student’s progress and achievement. At all times, teachers and principals need to know the English language proficiency level of English language learners, their learning needs, and the implications of this for displaying their knowledge and understanding of mathematics.

Teachers need to make judgments about a student’s readiness for participating in assessment procedures. Teachers base these judgements on information they gain from regular formative assessment during daily lessons, balanced by a sense of urgency and a need for accelerated progress.

At times there is a mismatch between teacher and/or student expectations and assessment results. Teachers will need to explore with the student whether the results can be attributed to difficulties with the language of a task or a lack of mathematical knowledge and understanding.

English language learners’ progress and achievement in mathematics will be reported in relation to the mathematics standards

Written reports for English language learners

Schools will need to consider the method, content, and layout of their written reports to parents, families, and whānau. Some choices include:

  • a student-led conference
  • a portfolio
  • a written report
  • a student self-assessment.

Think about or discuss with colleagues:

  • How will you describe English language learner’s progress in relation to the Standards?
  • How will you show English language learners’ progress and achievement in reading, writing, and oral language using the ELLP stages but also report the learning areas and key competencies?
  • Will you use the ELLP to determine what has been learned and the next learning steps in reading, writing, and oral language?
  • Will some aspects of the report need to be translated and/or an interpreter provided for a parent conference to ensure the parent can understand and respond to the information and/or participate in the conference?

Teachers may find it useful to use The English Language Learning Progressions matrices or exemplars as a source for specific comments and “next learning steps”.

Mid-year report for ELLS student. A resource to help schools report to parents of ELL students.

Community engagement

In successful community engagement, the school both communicates well and listens effectively to their parent community.

Schools may have groups of parents who would benefit from having important educational messages translated into their home languages. In some cases, the school needs to organise translations. In other cases, translated written materials may be available from the Ministry of Education.

Parents should always have opportunities to discuss and ask questions about their children’s learning.

  • How would your parent community like their children’s progress and achievement reported?
  • What methods will you use to communicate key messages about students’ learning to parents?
  • How can you ensure that parents understand the role of The English Language Learning Progressions?

Materials to support parents’ understanding of the reading and writing standards, including leaflets, posters, and foldouts, are available online, for example:

  • Supporting Your Child’s Learning (foldouts containing information on how parents can get involved in children’s learning and providing visual ways of showing curriculum expectations for each year group to parents).

You can include these materials in discussion sessions and conferences about student’s learning rather than just sending them home to parents.

Leading professional learning

Purpose

This section of the module will support you to lead the professional development and learning of others in your school.

  • The content of the module contains some key messages for teachers. You could copy these messages as a prompt for your discussions.

key messages about reporting - primary (PDF 63KB)

  • You may also find the  Self-review tools on The New Zealand Curriculum Online useful in your discussions.

Task one

Task 1: In the scenarios below decide if it is beneficial for the student to be tracked, monitored and reported using the English Language Progressions in conjunction with the National Standards.

Scenario 1: Yu Wen was born in New Zealand and speaks Mandarin at home. She had some time in pre-school and started school in New Zealand on her fifth birthday. She has had nine months at school. She is at Foundation Stage in oral language and Stage 1 in writing and reading.

Scenario 2: Sione has just started school in New Zealand in year 4 after his family have newly arrived from Sāmoa. He speaks gagana Sāmoa fluently, but in English, he is at Stage 1 in oral language and Foundation Stage in writing and reading.

Scenario 3: Anahita is an 11-year-old girl (year 6) of Afghani background. She was born in a refugee camp and spent the first six years of her life there before being settled in New Zealand. She is very quiet and makes very few oral contributions in English in her class. She is a fluent Farsi speaker. Her teacher has assessed her English language proficiency at Stage 1 in oral language, Stage 2 in reading, and Stage 1 in writing.

Scenario 4: Hiran is seven years old (year 3) and was born in Fiji. He came to New Zealand when he was four years old and speaks Hindi and English fluently. He is having more difficulty with reading and writing in English. Using the stages of the ELLP, Hiran’s teacher has placed him at Stage 2 in oral language, Stage 2 in reading, and Foundation Stage in writing.

Task two

Who are the English language learners in your school?

Examine your school enrolment information and ensure you have a picture of the cultural and linguistic diversity in your school. Does your enrolment form ensure you collect all of the important and relevant information about each student?

Use the school enrolment information to:

  • identify students who would benefit from being tracked and monitored using the matrices in the ELLP
  • highlight those students who meet the guidelines for using the ELLP stages for reporting to parents, families, and whānau in conjunction with the reading and writing standards.

For the English language learners who meet the guidelines for reporting using the ELLP stages, discuss a reporting plan.

Task three

Reporting to parents

Examine the models provided in this module and/or analyse your current school reports from the perspective of your English language learners and their families. 

Look for evidence of:

  • the student’s strengths
  • the student’s current learning goals
  • the student’s achievement and progress in relation to the reading and writing standards and/or the ELLP stages
  • the student’s achievements across the learning areas and evidence of developing key competencies
  • what the school will do to support the student’s learning
  • what parents, family, and whānau can do to support the student’s learning
  • other aspects of school involvement or service.

Discuss with colleagues your current school reporting formats. Record comments and ideas on the table attached.

Task four

Analyse the school-wide achievement data for English language learners that is reported to the Board of Trustees.

Review the progress of groups such as:

  • those receiving ESOL support intervention
  • international students
  • students who have previously received ESOL funding
  • students born in New Zealand
  • recent arrivals.

What are the strengths of individual students and groups of students? What are the learning needs of these students? Which intervention and support has been most effective for individual students and groups of students? How can you support teachers to incorporate identified effective practice into their teaching?

Published on: 18 Dec 2015




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