Competency Puzzle “Read & Write Effectively” Pieces (F-01.10 &) F-02.01 to F-06.10: Consider Written-Language Skills Assessments, Lessons, & Materials (at Least) One More Time
Give It Another Look. Then Do What Works & No More. . .?
So we’re all either fully vaccinated or about to be. Time to take a deep breath and clean up what’s yet to do or think about in regard to Written Language Skills in Coordinated Contexts. The Parts & Pieces listed below for Effective Reading & Writing are all excerpted from Worklife English: Competency-Based Reading / Writing Books 1-6. Just to have yet another way to systematize or arrange what’s available, they’re organized into very generalized groupings according to Content / Subject Matter:
# Progress Tests to Use As Assessment Instruments for Lesson Planning
# Places & Times, Including Moving, Housing & Transportation
# Health vs. Illness; Fitness (the Body), Including Food, & Emergencies
# Life in the Community, with Work, Education, Shopping, Finances, Events
# Relaxation, Socializing, Recreation, Entertainment
Here are some visuals that are collages of montages for the above. Maybe they’ll get you in the mood—perhaps to choose which segments listed below that you’d like to go to first—or at all.
Competency Puzzle “Read & Write Effectively” Pieces F-01.10 to F-06.10: Consider Written-Language Skills Assessments, Lessons, & Materials
All the following Parts & Pieces are available from WorkLife English.com for download from the collections of materials labeled “Read & Write Effectively.”
F-01.10: WorkLife English Life Skills Workbook, Teacher’s Annotated Edition, Progress Tests (pages 95-117). All six WorkLife English Competency-Based Reading/Writing Instructor’s Editions provide “Progress Tests” useful for pre– and/or post-assessment of written English skills (covered in corresponding texts). Here are the first in the series. The Download begins with Instructions for Use and ends with an Answer Key.
Excerpts Related to Places & Times, Including Moving, Housing & Transportation
F-02.01: WorkLife English Life Skills Skillsbook 1, Chapter 5: Times & Places (pages 60-64) + Workbook (pages 72-75). These basically practical Beginning Level excerpts address Reading competencies related to “Time, Days, & Dates (Calendars, Time Zones); Weather (Thermometers & Maps); Location; Appointments.” Writing Skills include Spelling of Initial Consonant Sounds.
F-02.02: WorkLife English Competency-Based Reading / Writing Book 2: English in Everyday Life, Chapter 3: Moving (pages 31-45). Text readers get to acquire or demonstrate understanding of “Housing & Sale Ads,” “Numbers & Amounts of Money,” & “Map Locations.” They fill out “Housing Applications,” practice vowel spellings, and read (edit) and write short letters on relevant topics.
F-02.03: WorkLife English Competency-Based Reading / Writing Book 3: An Immigration Story, Chapter 2: Housing (pages 18-30). The “Alternative-Ending Story” is “A Place to Live.” Then come “Housing Ads, Application Forms, & Rental Agreements,” replete with abbreviations + specialized vocabulary. Writing sections elicit capitalization, punctuation, editing, vowel-sound spelling.
F-02.04: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 3: An Immigration Story, Chapter 3: Transportation (pages 31-44). The Story, “A Bus Ride,” has two likely endings to choose from. Reading matter includes “Bus Schedules, Route Maps, Traffic Rules, Road Signs, Accident Reports.” Writers edit and compose text in “getting-around” segments (street directions, incident accounts), observing and using spellings for more vowel sounds + possessive endings.
Here are some typical pages from the above lessons:
Excerpts Related to Health vs. Illness; Fitness (the Body), Including Food, & Emergencies
F-03.01: WLE Life Skills Skillsbook 1, Chapter 6: The Body (pages 86-88) + Workbook (pages 88-90). Extracted from two correlated Level 1 All-Skills texts, these pages offer (simulated) practice in understanding “Medical Forms & Medicine Labels.” A Writing section reinforces knowledge of Initial Consonants & Vocabulary in Categories (“Body Parts, Clothing, Feelings, Health Problems). It ends with short sentence-level dictation.
F-03.02: WLE Life Skills Skillsbook 1, Chapter 4: Food & Money (pages 46-50) + Workbook (pages 57-59). Excerpted from the two same two basic texts, here’s practice in understanding money math, U.S. coins & bills, price lists (on simplified menus), and signs on eating places. Its Workbook Writing section contrasts the spellings of initial voiced vs. voiceless consonants in Vocabulary relevant to Food & Money. There’s dictation of phrases.
F-03.03: WLE Competency-Based Reading / Writing Book 2: English in Everyday Life, Chapter 4: Food & Things (pages 46-61). Readers get to practice and/or demonstrate understanding of (simplified, mock) “Restaurant Menus, Bills, Tax, Tips, Math Operations, Measurements, Labels, & Shopping Lists.” They answer comprehension questions, fill out and do math on checks, use digraphs, spell plural & possessive nouns, deal with abbreviations in measurements and on labels, and edit / compose listings.
F-03.04: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 3: An Immigration Story, Chapter 8: Health & Illness (pages 102-113). The Story, “A Nutritious Diet,” has two possible endings to choose from—and to go beyond in relating attitudes about food. Other reading matter includes “Labels on Food Containers & Signs on Stores & Buildings.” Noting hyphens, dashes, and spelling of words with /r/, writers edit, jot down dictated sentences, and compose text and lists.
F-03.05: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 4: Cross-Cultural Communication, Chapter 4: Eating & Drinking (pages 52-55). This Download contains four pages only, Part Three / Practical Reading & Writing, of an Intermediate-Level Book. It consists mainly of fictitious (super)market circulars / fliers, ads, and “coupons” to work with in planning meals and shopping trips. Language students / new readers might use it as preparation for real-life tasking.
F-03.06: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 2: English in Everyday Life, Chapter 9: Health (pages 120-134). Readers gain and/or demonstrate understanding of (simulated) “(Medical) Building Directories, Info on Health Services, Medicine Labels, Insurance Plans, & Claim Forms.” They answer comprehension and opinion questions, examine pharmaceutical directives, and consider typical paperwork (to compare with reality). Spelling instruction covers the consonants / z s f / and verbs with the –ing ending.
F-03.07: WLE Life Skills Skillsbook 1, Chapter 8: Emergencies (pages 114-117) + Workbook (pages 118-120). Here’s practice in identifying emergency situations and knowing what to do when necessary. There are (simulated) pages and signs to read. A Spelling & Vocabulary section focusing on Vowel Sounds and –ing Verbs reinforces and furthers readiness for whatever happens.
F-03.08: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 4: Cross-Cultural Communication, Chapter 3: Dealing with Problem (pages 52-55). This Download contains three pages only, Part Three / Practical Reading & Writing, of an Intermediate-Level Reading / Writing text. There’s a page to fill in with “Emergency Medical Information.” There are drawings / lists of First Aid supplies and steps to follow.
F-03.10: WLE Competency-Based Reading / Writing Book 2: English in Everyday Life, Instructor’s Manual Progress Tests for Intro + Chapters 1-10 (pages 16-40). These 11 high-beginning (one-, three-, or) two-page “tests” touch on the content, vocabulary, grammar, and written-language skills “covered” in the parallel student text, WLE R / W 2. Even so, they can be used independently, as a pre-assessment instrument or approximate measure of improvement in Reading / Writing readiness or ability. Suggestions for use and answers are included.
Here are some typical pages from the above lessons:
Excerpts Related to Life in the Community, Involving Work, Education, Shopping, Finances, Events
F-04.01: WLE Competency-Based Reading / Writing Book 2: English in Everyday Life, Chapter 6: Community (pages 76-89). To understand and perhaps update for current times, readers get information on “Community Services, Checking Accounts, & the U.S. Postal Service.” There are exercises on “Community Information Numbers, Deposit Slips, Check Registers, Bank Statements, Letter / Package Addresses, Postal Forms, Bills, & Checks.” Part Three Spelling items contrast Consonants in all word positions in sentences.
F-04.02: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 3: An Immigration Story, Chapter 6: Money (pages 72-86). The doubled-ended Story, “Money, Money, Money,” is about buying things, using charge accounts / credit cards, worrying about bills, and the like. Other reading / writing matter includes “Credit Applications & Debt, Budgeting, Income vs. Expenses, & Business Letters.” Noting writing mechanics + spelling (of / k h w / combos and words with –ing, -(e)r, and -(e)st endings), text users edit, read aloud, take dictation, and compose paragraphs.
F-04.03: WLE Life Skills Skillsbook 1, Chapter 9: Work (pages 130-131) + Workbook (pages 135-137). Here’s practice in understanding and putting down what’s called for in Applications for Employment. Spelling practice is with the letters g, ng, j, ge and regular past-tense verbs. There are Fill-Ins, a Crossword Puzzle, past sentences to complete, and statements to write from dictation.
F-04.04: WorkLife English Competency-Based Reading / Writing Book 2: English in Everyday Life, Chapter 3: Work (pages 90-104). Text readers get involved in “Things to Do to Get Jobs.” They gain or demonstrate understanding of “(Classified) Job Ads (with Abbreviations),” “Social Security Numbers & Forms,” “(Alphabetized) Job Titles,” and “Application Forms.” After considering two-letter vowel spellings and words ending in -(e)d & -(e)r, they apply their writing skills to the creation of “Job Wanted” ads.
F-04.05: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 5: Language & Culture in Depth, Chapter 7: Work (pages 54-56). This Download contains three pages only, from Part Three / Scanning for Information, of an High-Intermediate Reading / Writing text. There are large, reproduced Employment Ads to scan and scrutinize in prep for working with real ads for currently available positions.
F-04.06: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 3: An Immigration Story, Chapter 4: Work (pages 45-57). The Story, “New Jobs,” which has alternative endings, includes plans to study, work, and get green cards. Will the main characters marry or lose touch, argue over or or solve their financial issues, or what? (Read Part One to find out—and/or create better endings of your own.) Other reading / writing matter includes “Income Tax Forms, Resumes, Letters of Application”—in response to “Job Ads.” Noting writing mechanics + spelling (of / g k / combos and words with –[e]s endings), text users correct paragraphs lacking capitals and punctuation, read aloud, take dictation, and compose their own stories.
F-04.07: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 4: Cross-Cultural Communication, Chapter 9: Work & Money (pages 111-115, 117-119). From Parts Two & Three, these pages provide practice with mundane office papers—“Memos, Time Cards, Reports, Petty Cash Receipts, Routing Requests, Insurance Application,” and the like.
F-04.08: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 3: An Immigration Story, Chapter 5: Education (pages 58-71). As usual in this Intermediate Written-Language-Skills text, the Story (“A New School,”) has two possible (realistic) endings for language students to choose from—before contributing their own thoughts or realities. Then there’s text and a test on “The American System of Education.” Part Three: the Rules of Writing uses short business letters as examples; the spellings of “difficult consonant sounds” are featured. There’s not only dictation but also short education-related notes to compose.
F-05.01: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 2: English in Everyday Life, Chapter 8: Shopping (pages 105-119). To understand and perhaps update for current times, readers get information on, show understanding of, and react to “a Shopping Index, Page Headings, Mail Order Catalogs, Order Forms, & Consumer Letters.” Part Three Spelling items contrast the Consonants / g j y m n mg, kw x / in all word positions—along with superlative forms. There’s the usual editing, dictation, and guided-writing practice.
F-05.02 & F-05.03: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 5: Language & Culture in Depth, Chapter 1: Meeting People (pages 13-15) & Chapter 7: Getting Along (pages 92-94). From Parts Three: Scanning for Information, these pages provide practice with published “Calendars” that announce events and with “Business Ads” that (used to? still?) appear in telephone or other Directories.
Here are some typical pages from the above lessons:
Excerpts Related to Relaxation, Socializing, Recreation, Entertainment
F-06.01: WLE Life Skills Skillsbook 1, Chapter 10: Fun (pages 141-143) + Workbook (pages 149-150). Extracted from two correlated Level 1 All-Skills texts, these pages offer (simulated) practice in understanding “Recreation Programs, TV & Radio Schedules, Ads, Tickets,” etc. Spelling practice concerns Initial Consonant Clusters and relevant Vocabulary.
F-06.02: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 2: English in Everyday Life, Chapter 10: Weekends & Vacations (pages 135-149). First, there’s a reading on “Recreation & Entertainment.” Then text users work / play with (fabricated + current, authentic) TV & Radio Schedules; Movie, Concert, & Vacation Ads; Travel Maps & Charts; Weather Reports (with Fahrenheit / Centigrade Conversion). Part Three Spelling involves Consonant Clusters / Blends. Part Four / Read & Write editing, dictation, and writing practice is on or for (Travel) Postcards.
F-06.03: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 3: An Immigration Story, Chapter 7: Recreation & Entertainment (pages 87-101). The main two-ending Story in this Mid-Level Written-Language-Skills Chapter is “The Party.” Part Two / Practical Reading & Writing is about Entertainment Ads & Ticket Orders. Part Three: the Rules of Writing contains sentences, short business letters, and paragraphs to work with; its featured Spelling section covers (unusual) initial, medial, & final consonant spellings. When Communicating in Writing in Part Four, learners write (and respond to) invitations and thank-you notes.
F-06.04: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 3: An Immigration Story, Chapter 9: Friendship, Romance, & Love (pages 115-126). Because its two potential endings are so different, the title of Part One / the Story is a question: “A New Romance?” Read it and relate. Then in Part Two / Practical Reading & Writing, “Understand Announcements for Activities.” (Start looking for real, current events to attend.) Part Three: the Rules of Writing will remind you of Capitalization / Punctuation conventions, rules for doubling consonants, and the spelling of consonant clusters. When Communicating in Writing in Part Four, you’ll be composing Personal Notices / Letters.
F-06.05: WLE Competency-Based R / W Book 3: An Immigration Story, Chapter 10: Family & Special Occasions (pages 127-138). Start with the colorful Chapter Opener, which displays “Family Announcements.” Answer the question “A Family Ceremony?” by reading and appreciating the illustrated, double-ended Story. Enjoy the used-to-be-real but now blackened / whitened “Family Announcements & Greeting Cards.” Put capitalization + punctuation into (the dialog of) narrative paragraphs. Create, exchange, and react to “Telegrams” and “Personal Letters” about family-life events.
F-06.10: WLE Competency-Based Reading / Writing Book 3: An Immigration Story, Instructor’s Manual Progress Tests for Intro + Chapters 1-10 (pages 15-40). These 11 intermediate two-page “assessment instruments” can be printed out back-to-back (double-sided)—for use in “placement” of appropriate Reading / Writing materials, for quiz-like Independent or Cooperative-Learning breaks, and/or for follow-up, correction, or catch-up. Instructions for use and answers are included. (Progress Tests for higher-leveled Parts & Pieces F-09.01 to F-11.12 come later.)
So That’s About It for WLE Competency-Based R/W Books 1-3 (+ 4 & 5) Excerpts, Except . . .
Since most of the material from the first three volumes of WorkLife English Competency-Based Reading / Writing Books targets practical, commonplace Written-English skills, abilities, and content, why not simply skip it? Why not allow, encourage, and/or push language students and new readers to tackle “authentic materials” right away—instead of bothering with less complicated, adapted, guided reading and writing selections or tasks? Here’s a (feeble) reason. It’s a “cautionary tale” of what (without directed instruction,) (even) native speakers of English may come up with on their own:
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