7407 – Stage 1


Lesson 03


Date Tuesday, 24 September 2002



Main Points covered today:


101 – Assessing Learners Needs

105 – Supporting Learners Needs

New members of the group: Eliah and Christine

Barriers to learning

Basic Skills – Assessing

Cloze technique

Task 101 and 105 given out today

FOG Index

SMOG Index

Supporting Learners Spider Diagram





“Lessons should be 75% student led and 25% tutor led.”


From a picture of two learners what assumptions could you make?




Could be a Mum returning to work

Eager to work

Slightly Conservative





Physical Violence – Boxing?



You cannot make any assumptions about their physical abilities. You cant take this on looks alone.


“Never ASSUME, because it makes an ASS out of U and ME”



Assessing Learners needs:


How do we do it?

Why do we do it?

Where do we do it?

When do we do it?



One-to-one meetings

Open Day

Visual assessment

Assessing Previous Education




So that our learners achieve their goals and that their needs are assessed

To ensure that our learners receive the best support

To ensure that the learner has the ability to do the course

To ensure that the learner has the motivation to do the course

To ensure that the learner has the appropriate communication skills (e.g. Basic understanding of English)





Every time you meet

  • Phone
  • One-to-one
  • In the classroom



At any time


We are tutors, not social workers


List of barriers to learning

  • Social Needs or Problems
  • Environmental Needs (Equipment)
  • Extrinsic Motivation rather than Intrinsic (having to be there)
  • Illness (Physical or Mental)
  • Mis-identification of learners needs (language, jargon)






External or outside motive to be on the course. Can be positive or negative.



Internal (personal) motive to be on the course. Genuine interest in being there to make life better etc.












Group result: Barriers to learning


Middle group:

  • Social Needs or Problems
  • Environmental Needs
  • Extrinsic / Intrinsic Motivation
  • Illness
  • Mis-identification of learners needs (jargon, language)


Window side group:

  • Uncomfortable Environment
  • Peer Group
  • Mental/Physical Health
  • Disabilities
  • Geography
  • Personal / Social Life
  • Suitability
  • Ability of Learner / Tutor
  • Structure and Pace of Lesson
  • Time
  • Resources
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Structured Learning
  • Jargon


Door side group:

  • On the wrong course
  • Problems with childcare
  • Time of course not suitable
  • Problems with travel
  • Problems at home
  • Impairments
  • English as a 2nd Language
  • Lack of funds
  • Insufficient Equipment
  • Physical barriers
  • Environmental
  • Distractions
  • Illness / Holidays / Accidents
  • Discrimination “anyism”
  • Favouritism
  • Lack of preparation
  • Not pinpointing learning styles
  • Behaviour Problems
  • Continuity
  • Punctuality




  • Previous experiences
  • Confidence
  • Study skills


Kirsten’s Lesson Plan


Discussed how to use lesson plan to cater for all speeds and capabilities of learners. This lesson plan is available in the Student Handbook



Time Subject Matter Student Activity Teacher Activity Resources








Task 101 given this week


Due: Week 5 (2 weeks)


Assess learner’s needs


Describe the group or series of individuals that you will be teaching, their learning needs, barriers to learning and how consideration of these and similar issues will affect the planning of your teaching.




    1. Outline present system of assessment at work
    2. Assess system for pro’s and con’s against FENTO Standards
    3. Ensure that present system meets ALL suggested evidence checklist
    4. Statistics!!!! Gender, Age, 1-2-1 Meetings etc. Perhaps graphs etc for Gender to break up text


Not less than 4 sides of A4






Task 105 given this week


Due: Week 8 (5 weeks)


Learner Support


Briefly describe how you managed and supported learners during your teaching


In a nutshell:


What do you do to change your lesson to meet the needs of your learners.

Looking at how you are identifying your learners needs.


“I support my learners by…”


No less than 4 sides of A4

After break…

Once we have identified our learners needs….


Most adults who have learning difficulties have strategies in place that they can use when in a teaching environment. This may include ensuring that the lesson progresses at a pace they would like.


We are not primarily talking about learning difficulties; we are talking about basic skills


Basic Skills:


Hard Skills Soft Skills

Literacy Listening

Numeracy (Application of Number) Working with others

IT Social Skills


Problem solving


As teachers we need to have strategies in place to deal with people who lack basic skills.


A way of assessing people’s basic skills is to conduct a Basic Skills Assessment (BSA).


Why integrate basic skills into teaching sessions?


  • So that all learners can improve their basic skills within their chosen course.
  • To assist learners who are not confident in their basic skills – it avoids remedial activities which can often stigmatise of patronize
  • Basic skills are not necessarily specialists in the programmes they support. It is important that we are producing handouts and assignments that are basic skills aware.



How can we make our lessons basic skills aware and help our learners?


  • Pastel shades of paper are easier to read than black on white paper
  • Simplify assignments / text
  • Varied lessons
  • Clear handouts

Cloze technique

  • Technique to determine whether or not learners can cope with specific reading material
  • Does not give a specific reading age
  • Technique is simple:
  • Take a pass and omit every n’th work (say every 5th word)
  • The learners then have to supply the correct word



N = 5 N = 7 Comments
Score 50%+



Score 30% – 50%



Score less than 30%

Score 80% +



Score 65% – 80%



Score less than 65%

Learners should have no problems


Some guidance needed


Materials too demanding





Advantages of Cloze technique:

  • Can be set for any learner at any level because the learner relates to your material
  • Your own relevant text can be used
  • It is realistic to the student
  • It tests recognising words, semantic and skimming


The FOG Index


The Fig index is one of the indices used to calculate the required reading age of written materials. You can use if on your handouts to give an indication of whether you are writing at an appropriate level for your students.


FOG is the Frequency of Gobbledegook and may be calculated as follows:


  1. Select a passage of 100 words


  1. Count the number of complete sentences



  1. Count the words in each complete sentence


  1. Find the average sentence length (L) by dividing the number of words in all of the complete sentences by the number of complete sentences (i.e. divide your answer to “3” by your answer to “2”



  1. Count the number of words of three or more syllables (N) in the 100 word sample


  1. Add L and N, multiply by 0.4 and then add 5 i.e. 0.4(L+N)+5



  1. This is the reading age


You may wish to select three or four passages of a textbook to find the average reading age.






Our FOG statistics.



Newspaper Ages

The Daily Mail: 25, 22.8, 20.8, 13

Sunday Telegraph: 23.8, 21.

Independent: 19.6

Independent Sporting Section: 12

The Sun 18.6, 18.1, 13.8, 14.2


The SMOG Index


SMOG is a Simple Measure of Gobbledegook and may be calculated as follows:


  1. Take a sample of 30 sentances


  1. Count the number of words with three of more syllables



  1. Find the square root of this number


  1. Add 8


This will give the reading age of the material.


3 or 4 samples should be calculated to gain an average age of a textbook.






Supporting Learners


When we produce handouts we need to ensure that they are at a suitable level for your learners. If your learners seem to be struggling with the material it is important to test what level it is aimed at.




































Worksheet idea













NOTE TO SELF: Tasks to do for 105


Prepare some new handouts for Unit 1 – Using a Computer


  • Picture glossary / blank glossary
  • Cloze assignment or worksheets for every chapter





FENTO Standards concerning the assessment of learners needs:

(NOTE TO SELF – see course jargon page for more detail on FENTO and the standards)



  1. Acknowledge the previous learning experiences and achievements of learners
  2. Enable learners to review their past experiences in a way that reveals their strengths and needs
  3. Recognize when additional specialist assessment is required and take the appropriate action
  4. Support learners while they deal with unfamiliar circumstances and assist learners to explore and articulate their personal aspirations
  5. assist learners to explore and articulate their personal aspirations
  6. Identify and confirm any exemptions to which learners are entitled
  7. Provide information to, and negotiate with, colleagues to ensure that the learning needs of individuals can be met in a realistic way



  1. Consider and apply a range of assessment techniques
  1. Use a variety of methods for assessing the previous learning experiences  and achievements of learners including their basic skills and key skills
  1. Consider a range of selection criteria appropriate to learning programmes
  2. Identify the implications of a disability or learning difficulty for an individual’s learning
  3. Establish with learners the requirements and limitations of the programme
  1. Assess the experience, capabilities and learning styles of individual learners in relation to the identified learning programme
  2. Prepare for and carry out the initial assessment
  3. Provide feedback to the learner on the outcome of the assessment and its consequences
  4. Liaise with colleagues and other interested parties throughout the initial assessment process, as necessary


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