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May 30, 2014

Revision of the CLB Literacy Benchmarks

This initiative was funded by the Government of Manitoba with support from Citizenship & Immigration Canada. CCLB managed the project with the Government of Manitoba and provided a pan-Canadian presence on the development and validation of the revised ESL literacy benchmarks, the CLB 2000: ESL for Literacy Learners document. This was a one-year project, ending March 31st, 2014.

March was a very busy time on this project. This included finalizing the initial draft of the revised document, initial validation of the revised document, and the development of various supporting tools and reports. Working remotely, the Writing team under the leadership of Linda Johansson with support from Andrea Strachan, Gail Stewart, Christine Pinsent-Johnson and Anne Senior helped the team to finish the new and improved document. In addition, the writing team was supported with input from experts in CLB, CLB assessment, Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Essential Skills.

A validation plan was prepared for the revised document by Dr. Nick Elson (York University), the Validation Lead. In addition, Dr. Elson was able to begin validating the document with (a) the Content Advisory Committee Members and (b) ten Experts who applied to CCLB with expertise in ESL/Second Language Literacy, CLB, Adult Literacy and Essential Skills. Due to time constraints it was decided, in consultation with the funders, that the second part of the validation with ESL Literacy practitioners would be done in the spring when funding became available. CCLB issued a call for teachers to volunteer to participate in the practitioner validation and is awaiting the green light to begin once funding is confirmed.

Some of the key deliverables for March 31 were:

  • A working document version of the revised CLB literacy document.
  • Validation work (includes an interim validation report) of the validation with ten experts and with the Content Advisory Committee. A final version to be prepared by Dr. Nick Elson is planned once further funding is obtained to validate the revised CLB literacy document with teachers.
  • Twenty sample lesson plans.
  • Online survey report with Assessors on how they assess ESL Literacy learners.

CCLB also held a one-day symposium at TESL Canada 2014 in Regina. Twenty practitioners attended the session and provided feedback on portions of the document. Linda Johansson and Carla Woods from the Writing team joined Marianne Kayed, Anne Senior and Dr. Elson in presenting the journey to revise the literacy benchmarks. The session was a success as indicated by the enthusiasm and passion that practitioners in the room showed for the revised document.

Plans for the coming months are to finish validation of the document with ESL practitioners and to finalize and print the revised document, pending the availability of additional funding. CCLB has also proposed a Phase II which includes development of a Support Kit for ESL Literacy practitioners and training. Stay tuned to future newsletters for more information on the CLB: ESL for Adult Literacy Learners document.

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