In Ontario, adult literacy instructors have defined 5 levels of skill or complexity to describe the work they are doing with their students. Below are summaries of levels 1 to 4 for reading and writing. I’ve left out level 5 because we seldom get students working at that level. By the time they reach level 4 they’re ready to move on.
By the way, these are not the same as the 5 levels of the International Adult Literacy Survey (groan).
|1||understands simple, concrete ideas, presented in logical sequence, in very short texts about familiar topics. (e.g. simple recipe)||writes a few sentences for personal everyday use, using some basic conventions of grammar, spelling and punctuation. (e.g. short note to roommate)|
|2||understands concrete information and reads between the lines in short uncomplicated texts; uses common reading strategies and background knowledge to aid comprehension. (e.g. short news article about familiar event)||writes for a variety of familiar purposes and audiences; 1 or 2 paragraphs on a single topic; chooses vocabulary appropriate for the audience. (e.g. letter to relative)|
|3||makes judgments about ideas and information in a variety of texts that have some complexity of content and form. (e.g. article discussing a local issue)||writes for a variety of specific purposes and audiences; several paragraphs are developed to convey a main idea; chooses appropriate style; more variety in forms of grammar and punctuation are used. (e.g. letter applying for a job)|
|4||analyzes, synthesizes and draws conclusions about ideas, information and the writer’s perspective in texts that are complex in form and content. (e.g. editorial about political controversy)||writes longer, organized passages; paragraphs are well-developed and linked, containing supporting details that convey a main idea; more complex grammar and punctuation are used as well as more obscure or technical vocabulary. (e.g. incident report for work)|
Recently, the Ontario Government has changed how it defines literacy levels. They have transformed the 5 level LBS system to a 3 level OALCF system (Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework). Both will be discussed in class.