LANGUAGE, LITERACY

AND COMMUNICATION

1. RATIONALE

Language, literacy and communication are intrinsic to human development and central to lifelong learning.  

Language (including Sign Language, and alternative and augmentative methods of communication) and language learning empower people to:  

  • make meaning; 
  • negotiate meaning and understanding; 
  • access education; 
  • access information and literacies; 
  • think and express their thoughts and emotions logically, critically and creatively; respond with empathy to the thoughts and emotions of others; 
  • interact and participate socially, politically, economically, culturally and spiritually; 
  • understand the relationship between language and power, and influence relationships through this understanding; 
  • develop and reflect critically on values and attitudes; 
  • communicate in different contexts by using a range of registers and language varieties; and 
  • use standard forms of language where appropriate. 

The advancement of multi-lingualism as a major resource affords learners the opportunity to develop and value:  

  • their home languages, cultures and literacies; 
  • other languages, cultures and literacies in our multi-cultural country and in international contexts; and 
  • a shared understanding of a common South African culture. 

2. SPECIFIC OUTCOMES

The outcomes for this learning area are:

Outcome 1: Learners make and negotiate meaning and understanding.
Outcome 2: Learners show critical awareness of language usage.
Outcome 3: Learners respond to the aesthetic, affective, cultural and social values in texts.
Outcome 4: Learners access, process and use information from a variety of sources and situations.
Outcome 5: Learners understand, know and apply language structures and conventions in context.
Outcome 6: Learners use language for learning.
Outcome 7: Learners use appropriate communication strategies for specific purposes and situations.

3. EXPLANATORY NOTES

3.1 Background

The outcomes for this learning area should be seen in relation to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996), the South African Schools Act (1996) and all related language policy and guideline documents. The Constitution advocates a policy of multi-lingualism. The proposed Language in Education Policy subscribes to the additive bilingualism model.

3.2 Definition of Text 

The term "text" refers to a unit of spoken, written, or visual communication, including Sign Language, and alternative and augmentative methods of communication. 

Spoken texts include conversations, speeches and songs, etc. 

Written texts include poetry, drama, novels, letters, magazine and newspaper articles and scripts, etc. 

Visual texts include posters, cartoons, advertisements, environmental print (e.g. road signs, signs on electronic equipment, icons), maps, diagrams, and charts, etc. 

Texts should always be interpreted within a context or contexts. Contexts could include: 

  • linguistic context: the words or sentences surrounding any piece of written (or spoken) text; 
  • extralinguistic context (context of situation): the whole situation in which an utterance is made, taking into cosideration, for example, the backgrounds of speakers, writers, listeners, and readers. 

3.3 Literacy and literacies

Literacy: Initially "literacy" was seen as a cognitive process that enables reading, writing, and numeracy.

Literacies: Currently the use of the term "literacy" has expanded to include several kinds of literacies. "Literacies" stresses the issue of access to the world and to knowledge through development of multiple capacities within all of us to make sense of our worlds through whatever means we have, not only texts and books.

Examples of kinds of literacies: 

3.4 Language across the Curriculum

The outcomes in this learning area emphasise that language is not an end in itself. Language is a means to acting in the world in order to establish relationships, to engage with others in reciprocal exchange, to integrate new knowledge into existing knowledge, to obtain and convey ideas and information.

Competence in the language of learning and teaching (LoLT) is crucial for academic mastery across the curriculum. The learner's development of terminology and language relevant to the field of learning is the responsibility of the subject teachers in co-operation with language teachers.

3.5 Outcomes

The language outcomes are directed at an 'ideal language user' in that they relate to all languages and all levels of language learning.

The multi-dimensional and dynamic nature of language can hardly be expressed in a set of linear statements as found in the rationale, outcomes and assessment criteria. Different language outcomes tend to overlap. The function of an outcome is to emphasise a certain feature of language activity. This feature will often be exemplified in the context of an integrated set of language activities. An outcome and its associated assessment criteria and range statements should therefore not be viewed in isolation.

Learning programme designers could select and cluster certain outcomes as the main focus of a learning programme in order to meet the needs of a specific group of learners (e.g. for a phase, or for main, additional or foreign language learning).

3.6 Outcomes and Skills

The seven outcomes are achieved through the integrated use of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

3.7 The Development of Differentiated Learning Programmes

The next step in curriculum development will be the development of learning programmes from:

  1. Specific Outcomes
  2. Assessment Criteria related to Specific Outcomes
  3. Range Statements
  4. Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing Skills underpinning all outcomes
  5. Performance Indicators.

A, B, C and D apply equally to all learning programmes, whereas E creates a basis for differentiation. A variety of learning programmes will be developed to cater for learners' different needs. Differentiation between main and additional language learning programmes, for example, is achieved through the performance indicators. The table below suggests a mechanism to attain differentiation. Therefore, while all specific outcomes are achieved by all learners, the nature of achievement in main language learning programmes will differ from that in additional language learning programmes.

Skills  Foundation 

Phase 

Intermediate 

Phase 

Senior 

Phase 

FET 
LISTENING  Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

SPEAKING  Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

READING  Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

WRITING  Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

Main: 

Additional: 

Different skills could be assessed to provide evidence of the achievement of outcomes. Learners with special education needs (LSEN) should be afforded the opportunity to demonstrate evidence through appropriate alternative skills or methods of communication where and when necessary.

3.8 Skills-related Assessment Criteria

It was felt that criteria for the assessment of written or spoken evidence, and for the assessment of the receptive skills of reading and listening, could be useful to Learning Programme developers. To this end generic grids of Skills-related Assessment Criteria are included. These go across all the outcomes, to be applied where appropriate to the evidence. See Annexure A.

1. Learners make and negotiate meaning and understanding.

Meaning is central to communication. This specific outcome aims at the development of a learner's ability to understand, create and negotiate meaning in various contexts by using appropriate communication strategies and by using listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. These strategies and skills are developed and refined by constantly being exposed to a variety of situations which afford language users opportunities to interact in different ways.

PHASES 

Senior 
Phase 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
  1. Original meaning is created through personal texts. 
  2. A key message is identified and clarified. 
  3. Inferences are made from texts. 
  4. Meaning is constructed through interaction with other language users. 
  5. Ways in which construction of meaning varies according to cultural, social and personal differences are identified. 
  6. Ways in which context affects meaning and understanding are identified. 
  7. Writer's/speaker's point of view is critically reflected on. 
  8. Reasoned arguments about interpretation and meaning are developed. 
  9. Discourse is sustained. 
RANGE STATEMENT 

At this level learners create a wide range of texts of different kinds. Learners also interact with and respond to a wide range of texts. Interaction with other language users takes place  
with a wide range of audiences from both familiar and unfamiliar contexts. 

Intermediate Phase 
  1. Original meaning is created through personal texts. 
  2. A key message is identified and clarified. 
  3. Inferences are made from texts. 
  4. Meaning is constructed through interaction with other language users. 
  5. Ways in which construction of meaning varies according to cultural, social and personal differences are identified. 
  6. Ways in which context affects meaning and understanding are identified. 
  7. Writer's/speaker's point of view is critically reflected on. 
  8. Reasoned arguments about interpretation and meaning are developed. 
  9. Discourse is sustained. 
At this level learners create a wide range of texts of different kinds with some guidance. Learners also interact with and respond to a wide range of texts. Interaction with other language users takes place with a wide range of audiences from both familiar and unfamiliar contexts. 
Foundation 
Phase 
  1. Original meaning is created through personal texts. 
  2. A key message is identified and clarified. 
  3. Meaning is constructed through interaction with other language users. 
  4. Ways in which construction of meaning varies according to cultural, social and personal differences are identified. 
  5. Ways in which context affects meaning and understanding are identified. 
  6. Writer's/speaker's point of view is reflected on. 
  7. Interpretation and meaning are discussed. 
  8. Discourse is sustained. 
At this level learners are guided to create a wide range of texts. Learners also interact with and respond to a wide range of texts. Interaction with other language users takes place with the emphasis on audiences from immediate and familiar contexts.  

2. Learners show critical awareness of language usage.

This specific outcome aims to develop a learner's understanding of the way in which language is used as a powerful instrument to reflect, shape and manipulate people's beliefs, actions and relationships. The complexity and sensitivity of a multi-lingual context specifically requires the development of a learner's skills to interpret and consciously reflect on language usage. For this reason the development of the decoding skills (reading and listening) is emphasised.

PHASE 

Senior Phase 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
  1. Purpose, audience, and source of texts are identified and analysed. 
  2. Ways in which language is used to transmit and shape socio-cultural ideas and values are explained. 
  3. Awareness of the power relations between different languages and between varieties of the same language is demonstrated by suitable responses. 
  4. Awareness of how language changes over time and place is demonstrated. 
  5. The manipulative uses of language and text are identified, analysed and responded to effectively. 
  6. Visual and other non-verbal features of texts are identified and analysed. 
  7. Ideologically driven and biased language is identified, analysed and responded to effectively. 
  8. Biased attitudes towards languages and language varieties are explained, challenged and responded to. 
RANGE STATEMENTS 

At this level, learners engage with a wide range of texts, forms of discourse and a variety of contexts. These include texts created by learners themselves.  

The complexity of texts relates both to level of discourse and range of text types. 

Language as a social construct is discussed and analysed with emphasis on contexts such as:  

  • civil society 
  • literary contexts 
  • media contexts 
  • gender and race contexts 
  • historical, social and political contexts 
  • institutional contexts 
  • personal relations and interpersonal relations 
Intermediate  
Phase 
  1. Purpose, audience, and source of texts are identified. 
  2. Ways in which language is used to transmit and shape socio-cultural ideas and values are explained. 
  3. The relations between languages and language varieties are recognised. 
  4. Awareness of how language changes over time and place is demonstrated. 
  5. The manipulative uses of language and text are identified and analysed. 
  6. Visual and other non-verbal features of texts are identified and analysed. 
  7. Ideologically driven and biased language is identified, analysed and responded to effectively 
  8. Biased attitudes towards languages and language varieties are explained, challenged and responded to. 
At this level, learners engage with an appropriate range of texts and contexts.  

Language as a social construct is discussed and analysed with emphasis on contexts such as:  

  • community life 
  • literary contexts 
  • media contexts 
  • gender and race contexts 
  • historical and social contexts 
  • institutional contexts 
  • personal relations and interpersonal relations 
Foundation  
Phase 
  1. Purpose, audience, and source of texts are identified. 
  2. Ways in which language is used to transmit and shape socio-cultural ideas and values are explained. 
  3. Awareness of how language changes over time and place is demonstrated. 
  4. The manipulative uses of language and text are identified, analysed and responded to. 
  5. Visual and other non-verbal features of texts are identified and analysed. 
  6. Language reflecting bias is identified and responded to effectively. 
  7. Biased attitudes towards languages and language varieties are explained, challenged and responded to. 
At this level, learners engage with appropriate texts and contexts. 

Language as a social construct is discussed with emphasis on contexts such as:  

  • community life 
  • literary contexts 
  • media contexts 
  • gender and race contexts 
  • school life and interpersonal relations 
  • personal and interpersonal relations 

3. Learners respond to the aesthetic, affective, cultural and social values in texts.

The aim of this outcome is to develop a learner's appreciation, use and creation of text as an artistic expression of thoughts, feelings, attitudes and values through exposure to a wide variety of genres. The development of learners' listening, reading and viewing skills to recognise and use literary devices enriches the quality of their own language use and lives.

PHASE 

Senior 
Phase 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
  1. Responses to the artistic effects of texts are demonstrated. 
  2. Literary effects of texts are identified, analysed and described. 
  3. Opinions on texts are given and justified. 
  4. Opinions are reviewed in relation to the opinions of others. 
  5. Texts are critically evaluated. 
  6. Response to text is linked to personal life and the lives of others. 
RANGE STATEMENT 

At this level, learners engage with a wide range of texts in a variety of contexts.  

The emphasis in terms of content is on: 

  • the expression of stylistic devices (e.g. extended metaphor) in all kinds of texts. 
  • the study of literary, visual, auditory and multi media texts. 

The emphasis in terms of process is on the enriching effect of texts in relation to : 

  • knowledge (e.g. related to history, social conditions, human experiences, human rights) 
  • aesthetics (e.g. appreciation of the artistic elements) 
  • relationships (e.g. social sensibility, power relations) 
  • emotions (e.g. sympathy, empathy, identification, rejection) 
Intermediate 
Phase 
1. Responses to the artistic effects of texts are demonstrated. 

2. Literary effects of texts are recognised and described.  

3. Response to text is linked to personal life and the lives of others.  

4. Opinions on texts are given and justified.  

5. Opinions are reviewed in relation to the opinions of others. 

6. Texts are critically evaluated. 

At this level learners engage with a range of appropriate texts in different contexts. 

The emphasis is on : 

  • the expression of stylistic devices (e.g. personification, onomatopoeia) in all kinds of texts. 
  • responding to literary, visual, auditory and multi media texts. 

The emphasis in terms of process is on the enriching effect of texts in relation to : 

  • emotions (e.g. sympathy, empathy, identification, rejection) 
  • knowledge (e.g. related to history, social conditions, human experiences, human rights) 
  • relationships (e.g. social sensibility, power relations) 
  • aesthetics (e.g. appreciation of the artistic elements) 
Foundation  
Phase 
  1. Responses to the artistic effects of texts are demonstrated. 
  2. Literary effects of texts are recognised. 
  3. Response to text is linked to personal life. 
  4. Opinions on texts are given. 
  5. Opinions are reviewed in relation to the opinions of others. 
  6. Texts are critically evaluated. 
At this level learners engage with a range of appropriate texts in different contexts.  

The emphasis is on : 

  • the expression of stylistic devices (e.g. rhyme, repetition, alliteration) in all kinds of texts. 
  • responding to literary, visual, auditory and multi media texts. 

The emphasis in terms of process is on the enriching effect of texts in relation to : 

  • emotions (e.g. sympathy, empathy, identification, rejection) 
  • knowledge (e.g. related to history, social conditions, human experiences, human rights) 
  • relationships (e.g. social sensibility, power relations) 
  • aesthetics (e.g. appreciation of the artistic elements) 

4. Learners access, process and use information from a variety of sources and situations.

This specific outcome aims to develop the capacity of learners to function fully in modern society by finding, evaluating and using information. The development of information skills is indispensable for the attainment of quality lifelong learning.

PHASE 

Senior 
Phase 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
  1. The information need is defined. 
  2. The aim of the information search is defined. 
  3. Information is located, accessed and selected. 
  4. The accuracy and relevance of the information is evaluated. 
  5. The reliability of the information source is ascertained. 
  6. Organisational skills are applied. 
  7. The difference between fact, fiction and bias is identified. 
  8. Reasoned arguments are developed in the course of applying information. 
  9. The results of the information search and processing are presented. 
  10. The relevance of the information search is evaluated by the learner(s). 
  11. Awareness of the value of informed decision-making is demonstrated. 
  12. The ability to integrate new information into existing knowledge is shown. 
  13. The ability to apply the newly acquired knowledge to real-life situations is demonstrated. 
RANGE STATEMENT 

At this level information is obtained from a variety of sources: e.g. factual articles, reports, magazines, manuals, journals, cartoons, books, the media, reference material (e.g. catalogues, glossaries, dictionaries), Internet, and graphic material. Information can also be accessed from others, for example through interviews. 

The information obtained is presented in accordance with the requirements of the different formats of presentation (e.g. essay, poster, drawing, speech, electronic message, written paper, model).  

The emphasis is on the production of integrated projects, expository texts (non-fiction writing), non-verbal conveyors of information (e.g. symbols, signs, graphs, illustrations) and structured debates. These should show selection, assimilation and comparison of information.  

Evidence of the use of resource centres, libraries or resource boxes should also be shown. 

Intermediate 
Phase 
  1. The information need is defined. 
  2. The aim of the information search is defined. 
  3. Information is located, accessed and selected. 
  4. The accuracy and relevance of the information is evaluated. 
  5. The reliability of the information source is ascertained. 
  6. Organisational skills are applied. 
  7. The difference between fact, fiction and bias is identified. 
  8. Reasoned arguments are developed in the course of applying information. 
  9. The results of the information search and processing are presented. 
  10. The relevance of the information search is evaluated by the learner(s). 
  11. Awareness of the value of informed decision-making is demonstrated. 
  12. The ability to integrate new information into existing knowledge is shown. 
  13. The ability to apply the newly acquired knowledge to real-life situations is demonstrated. 
At this level information is obtained from a variety of sources: e.g. factual articles, reports, magazines, manuals, cartoons, books, the media, reference material (e.g., content pages, atlases, dictionaries), Internet, and graphic material. Information can also be accessed from others, for example through interviews. 

The information obtained is presented in accordance with the requirements of the different formats of presentation (e.g. essay, poster, drawing, speech, electronic message, written paper, model).  

The emphasis is on the production of integrated projects, showing selection, assimilation and comparison of information.  

Evidence of the use of resource centres, libraries or resource boxes should also be shown. 

Foundation  
Phase 
  1. The information need is defined. 
  2. The aim of the information search is defined. 
  3. Information is located, accessed and selected. 
  4. The accuracy and relevance of the information is evaluated. 
  5. The reliability of the information source is ascertained. 
  6. Organisational skills are applied. 
  7. The difference between fact, fiction and bias is identified. 
  8. Reasoned arguments are developed in the course of applying information. 
  9. The results of the information search and processing are presented. 
  10. The relevance of the information search is evaluated by the learner(s). 
  11. Awareness of the value of informed decision-making is demonstrated. 
  12. The ability to integrate new information into existing knowledge is shown. 
  13. The ability to apply the newly acquired knowledge to real-life situations is demonstrated. 
At this level learners are assisted to obtain information from a variety of sources: e.g. factual articles, reports, magazines, manuals, cartoons, books, the media, reference material (e.g., content pages, atlases, dictionaries), Internet, and graphic material. Information can also be accessed from others, for example through interviews. 

The information obtained is presented in accordance with the requirements of the different formats of presentation (e.g. paragraph, poster, drawing, speech, electronic message, model).  

The emphasis is on the production of integrated projects. The skills of selection, assimilation and comparison of information are developed in learners.  

Evidence of the use of resource centres, libraries or resource boxes should also be shown. 

5. Learners understand, know and apply language structures and conventions in context. 

This specific outcome aims to develop a language user's understanding and knowledge of grammar. The development of this grammatical competence empowers the learner to communicate clearly and confidently by using grammatical structures (e.g. word order) correctly. Clarity of communication is improved through the development of a learner's editing skills which includes a conscious awareness of the learner's own language usage.

PHASE 

Senior  
Phase 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
  1. Knowledge of grammatical structures and conventions is applied to structure text. 
  2. Incorrect and/or inappropriate language usage by self and others is edited. 
  3. Common features and patterns of different languages are identified, explained and applied. 
RANGE STATEMENT  

At this level learners study and apply a range of grammatical structures and conventions in a range of texts. 

A variety of texts is studied and generated. An activity for this outcome could be meaningful paragraphing using logical opening and concluding sentences. 

Similar grammatical structures and conventions are recognised across languages and applied in interpretation, translation and code -switching. 

Intermediate 
Phase 
  1. Knowledge of grammatical structures and conventions is applied to structure text. 
  2. Incorrect and/or inappropriate language usage by self and others is edited. 
  3. Common features and patterns of different languages are identified, explained and applied. 
At this level learners study and apply grammatical structures and conventions in a range of texts. 

A variety of texts is studied and generated. An activity for this outcome could be combining simple sentences to form complex sentences using logical connectors. 

Similar grammatical structures and conventions are recognised across languages and applied in interpretation and code-switching. 

Foundation 
Phase 
  1. Knowledge of grammatical structures and conventions is applied to structure text. 
  2. Incorrect and/or inappropriate language usage by self and others is edited. 
  3. Common features and patterns of different languages are identified, explained and applied 
At this level learners study and apply grammatical structures and conventions in a range of texts. 

A variety of texts is studied and generated. An activity for this outcome could be the logical construction of sentences introducing connectors and conjunctions. 

Similar grammatical structures and conventions are recognised across languages and applied in interpretation, and code switching. 

6. Learners use language for learning.

This specific outcome aims to develop the learner's ability to use language as a tool for learning in all learning areas. Learning is mediated through language as the learner interacts with new knowledge, materials, peers, teachers and other people. The intrinsic value of language as a tool for problem-solving, decision-making, and creative, critical and evaluative thinking should be developed across the curriculum. The role of language in cognitive and conceptual development should furthermore be reflected in and promoted by the total school environment.

PHASE 

Senior 
Phase 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
  1. Different styles and terminology suited to the demands of a particular learning area are used. 
  2. Learning strategies are evaluated and adapted according to the demands of the task. 
  3. Language is used in order to refine ideas and solve problems. 
  4. Language to talk about learning is used. 
  5. The ability to transfer terminology and concepts from one language to another is demonstrated. 
RANGE STATEMENT 

At this level learning strategies include memorisation, the transfer of information from one text form to another, synthesising, summarising, skimming, scanning, note taking, drafting and redrafting, asking for clarification, etc. 

At this level learners understand and use terminology about learning such as define, discuss critically, evaluate, etc. 

Intermediate 
Phase 
  1. Different styles and terminology suited to the demands of a particular learning area are used. 
  2. Learning strategies are evaluated and adapted according to the demands of the task. 
  3. Language is used in order to refine ideas and solve problems. 
  4. Language to talk about learning is used. 
  5. The ability to transfer terminology and concepts from one language to another is demonstrated. 
At this level learning strategies include selecting, memorisation, underlining key words and key ideas, skimming, scanning, note taking, asking questions. 

At this level learners understand and use terminology about learning such as compare, explain, describe, etc. 

Foundation 
Phase 
  1. Different styles and terminology suited to the demands of a particular learning area are used. 
  2. Learning strategies are evaluated and adapted according to the demands of the task. 
  3. Language is used in order to refine ideas and solve problems. 
  4. Language to talk about learning is used. 
  5. The ability to transfer terminology and concepts from one language to another is demonstrated. 
At this level learning strategies include selecting, memorisation, underlining key words, asking questions, etc. 

At this level learners understand and use terminology about learning such as explain, describe, etc. 

7. Learners use appropriate communication strategies for specific purposes and situations.

This specific outcome aims at the development of the learner's ability to apply communication skills and strategies appropriately to a specific purpose and a defined situation.

PHASE 

Senior  
Phase 

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
  1. Appropriate medium of communication is chosen. 
  2. Register, tone and body language are adapted for audience and situation. 
  3. Purpose of the interaction is identified and achieved. 
  4. Evidence of planning, drafting and checking is produced. 
  5. Evidence of the following is shown: 
    • structural organisation 
    • clarity of expression 
    • originality of ideas 
    • appropriate use of language (e.g. vocabulary, register, grammar, spelling, syntax, punctuation etc.) 
    • care and attention to the quality of presentation. 
RANGE STATEMENT 

At this level learners are proactive in identifying the situation and in applying the appropriate communication strategy. 

Intermediate  
Phase 
  1. Appropriate medium of communication is chosen. 
  2. Register, tone and body language are adapted for audience and situation. 
  3. Purpose of the interaction is identified and achieved. 
  4. Evidence of planning, drafting and checking is produced. 
  5. Evidence of the following is shown: 
    • structural organisation 
    • clarity of expression 
    • originality of ideas 
    • appropriate use of language (e.g. vocabulary, register, grammar, spelling, syntax, punctuation etc.) 
    • care and attention to the quality of presentation. 
At this level learners experiment with creating situations. Learners then apply the appropriate communicative strategies to these situations. 
Foundation Phase 
  1. Appropriate medium of communication is chosen. 
  2. Register, tone and body language are adapted for audience and situation. 
  3. Purpose of the interaction is identified and achieved. 
  4. Evidence of planning, drafting and checking is produced. 
  5. Evidence of the following is shown: 
    • structural organisation 
    • clarity of expression 
    • originality of ideas 
    • appropriate use of language (e.g. vocabulary, register, grammar, spelling, syntax, punctuation etc.) 
    • care and attention to the quality of presentation. 
At this level situations are given. Learners experiment in applying a relevant communication strategy to the given situations. 

ANNEXURE A

SKILLS RELATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

NB. Categories given below are intended to help develop a global assessment of a piece of evidence. Choice of organising principles reflected below is one approach amongst many.

LISTENING

CATEGORIES  CRITERIA 
Informative listening  Conscious Listening 
Listening for detail 
Understanding of literal meaning 
Extraction of main ideas 
Assimilation of details 
Evaluative listening  Bias/ prejudices detected 
Interpretations made 
Note taking 
Critical listening  Sequence of events determined 
Inferences made 
Outcomes predicted 
Social listening 
(immediate comprehension) 
Active engagement in communication/ ask questions/ respond verbally or gestures/ eye contact/ body language 

Empathise with speaker in relation to cultural conventions 

SPEAKING

CATEGORIES  CRITERIA 
1. CONTENT  Relevance to task/audience/situation/purpose 
2. ORGANISATION  Coherence/cohesion/logical flow of ideas 
format 
Quality of presentation 
3. LANGUAGE  Fluency/register/tone/pitch/pausing 
Vocabulary/idiom/expression 
Sentence construction 

COMMUNICATION STRATEGY

Examples of communication strategies relevant to listening and speaking skills.  Voice/pronunciation /enunciation 
Pausing and pacing 
Quality of presentation 
Body language/eye contact 
Turn taking/establish, manage and maintain discourse and interaction 
Using recovery strategies when interrupted (strategic competence) 
Checking own and others understanding/ success of communication 
Empathising (tune into) with audience /sensitivity to cultural conventions/ discourse interactions 

READING

CATEGORIES  CRITERIA 
Literal comprehension  Ability to respond to explicit information:  denotative meaning of words 
details of content 
sequencing of logical order 
paraphrased meaning of common idioms 
Inferential/interpretative comprehension  Ability to read "between the lines" - implicit or connotative meaning/ making inferences based on a given text 
Evaluative comprehension  The ability to read "beyond the lines" by assessing ideas or facts in a text according to: 
  • appropriacy 
  • effectiveness 
  • relevance 
  • accuracy 
Referential comprehension  Ability to consult and use reference sources and to organise information: 
  • alphabetical order 
  • dictionary techniques 
  • symbols on maps /charts etc. 
Classification skills applying knowledge to external criteria  The ability to apply own knowledge (taught or intuitive) in classifying text: 

e.g. different genres or types of discourse, identify source etc. 

WRITING

CATEGORIES  CRITERIA 
1. CONTENT  Relevance to topic/task/situation/ audience  Originality/creativity/clarity/effect 
Purpose 
2. ORGANISATION  Cohesion/coherence/logical flow of ideas  Paragraphing 
Format of text/layout 
Quality of presentation 
3. LANGUAGE  Vocabulary/idiom/expression  Tone/appropriate register 
Grammatical structures 
  • concord 
  • tense 
  • sentence structure 
  • word order 
  • punctuation 
  • spelling etc. 


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