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Language Standards in Action: The Case of One Framework and Its Impact on Adult ESL Marianne Kayed, Ottawa Catholic School Board Anne Senior, Centre for.

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Presentation on theme: "Language Standards in Action: The Case of One Framework and Its Impact on Adult ESL Marianne Kayed, Ottawa Catholic School Board Anne Senior, Centre for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Language Standards in Action: The Case of One Framework and Its Impact on Adult ESL Marianne Kayed, Ottawa Catholic School Board Anne Senior, Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks 24 March 2015 – TESOL Adult Pre-Conference Day, Toronto, Ontario

2 Outline of Topics 1. Framework vs. Standards 2. Evolution of the CLB 3. Structure and Examples of CLB Usage in Language Training 4. CLB and Other Uses 5. Supporting TESL Educators 6. Questions

3 Getting to Know You and Us Who is familiar with standards/frameworks for ESL/EFL? Which ones? Who works with adults? Who works with adult immigrants? About us

4 Standard or a framework A standard: “something used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations” A framework: “a basic structure underlying a system, concept, or text”

5 Why are National Standards important? By articulating standards for language proficiency, all stakeholders can now speak a common language and make informed decisions regarding settlement, training and employment opportunities. CLB 2000: A Guide to Implementation, page 9

6 Theoretical Requirements of Models Communicative Competence = Mastery of Code and Usage Standards (Hymes) Most frameworks feature: –grammatical, sociolinguistic and strategic components in Canale and Swain (1979; 1980), to which the discourse component is added in Canale (1983) –linguistic, discourse, referential and socio-cultural components in Moirand (1982) –grammatical, textual, pragmatic (illocutionary and sociolinguistic) and strategic components in Bachman (Bachman, 1990) –grammatical, textual, functional, sociolinguistic and strategic components in Bachman and Palmer (1996, 2010)

7 Symphony of Components Language competence and strategic competence (Bachman, 1996, 2010) are meta- cognitive components which assure performance management

8 What are the Canadian Language Benchmarks? The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) are a set of national standards for adult immigrants and prospective immigrants for living and working in Canada. CLB are learner-centred, competency-based, task-based, and stress community, study and work-related communication tasks. Fair, valid, reliable, transparent

9 Pre-CLB Prior to 1986, only “heads of households” were eligible for free language training from the federal government 1986 - Settlement Language Program (Citizenship & Immigration Canada - CIC) –Lacked consistency –Difficult to evaluate effectiveness from a government’s standpoint

10 Seeds of a Standard In a 1990 TESL Conference in Canada, a recommendation was made to the government to create a national standard Between 1992 and 1996, a National Working Group oversaw a pan-Canadian consultation with TESL/ESL/EFL field 1996 – Canadian Language Benchmarks (Working Document) – to allow for input from practitioners/users –CIC committed to maintain integrity; relevance; identify gaps; enhance accessibility

11 Standard for the Millenium 1999 – National consultation process with practitioners 2000 Version released: – Canadian Language Benchmarks 2000: ESL for Adults (aka “CLB 2000”) –Canadian Language Benchmarks 2000: ESL for Literacy Learners

12 English and French Canada has two official languages: English and French Challenges to French being used/taught in minority settings outside of Quebec is realized in policy Creation of Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens 2006 Quebec has its own set of language standards, evolved from the CLB 2000

13 The First Decade: CLB 2000 Increase in usage, scope and implementation National Consultation – 2008 Revision of CLB 2000/NCLC 2006 began in 2009 Validation of CLB and NCLC (including the Theoretical Framework) in 2010 Release of revised CLB/NCLC in 2012 CLB/NCLC included in changes to federal immigration legislation (2014) and citizenship requirements

14 Adult Language Training in Canada Government-funded programs: –Federal program (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada – aka “LINC” (1992)) –Provincial programs (e.g. Ontario, Quebec) Tuition-based programs Colleges Universities School Boards Settlement agencies and Community organizations Some private training providers

15 Users of CLB/NCLC - Map from consultation

16 CLB structure Progression is based on 3 factors: Progressively more demanding communication tasks Progressively more demanding contexts Progressively higher expectations of effectiveness and quality of communicative competence Describe competency in four skill areas: 16

17 Theoretical framework behind CLB/NCLC Reflects models of language ability promoted by Bachman (1990), Bachman & Palmer (1996, 2010) and Celce-Murcia et al. (1995). For more information, refer to the Introduction section (pp. VI, VII) of the CLB/NCLC Common Theoretical Framework. LANGUAGE KNOWLEDGE Organizational Knowledge Grammatical Knowledge Textual KnowledgeSTRATEGIC COMPETENCE Pragmatic Knowledge Functional Knowledge Socio-linguistic Knowledge 17

18 Communicative competence CLB describe language in terms of communicative competence: Communicative competence enables language users to express themselves in spoken and written texts, to interact with other speakers and writers, and to negotiate with others in a range of specified situations and social settings. Learning a language involves developing both communicative performance and communicative knowledge. Communicative competence takes into account socio-linguistic competence, pragmatic competence, and grammatical competence, etc. Essential to the notion of communicative competence are: the important role played by the context of discourse. the concept that language takes places in a setting and occurs for a purpose. that language speakers should be evaluated on their ability to use language to accomplish a set of tasks, under specifically defined performance and situational conditions.

19 Increased Rigour As a result of a National Consultation in 2012, CLB and NCLC were revised and renewed to reflect their increasing use in a variety of different contexts including high-stakes ones. The new versions are the result of a well planned revision process which included the development of a common theoretical framework based on a communicative competency model. The final stage of the revision/renewal process was a comprehensive validation process.

20 Validation of CLB/NCLC Draft of a common theoretical framework based on accurate revision of existing CLB and NCLC theoretical frameworks Validation of by independent experts of: – the theoretical framework – the CLB/NCLC content against the framework Concurrent validity study against: – CEFR – ACTFL Guidelines – Échelle québécoise Validation of CLB/NCLC content against authentic production samples and tasks Final revisions of the CLB/NCLC

21 A practical, fair means to determine language proficiency in terms of common human situations and behaviour where language is used Describe what a person is capable of accomplishing or demonstrating through language Include a variety of components that describe adult communication. Levels indicate completion of a CLB or NCLC level. 12 levels from basic to advanced Why Use CLB/NCLC?

22 Maturation CLB/NCLC Standard Assessment Immigration into Canada Language Training Benchmarking Occupations TESL Resources Teaching Resources Citizenship Requirement Academic placement

23 Language Assessments AssessmentPurposeCLB Levels Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) Placement into CLB-based programs CLB 1-8 Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment (CLBA) Placement into CLB-Based programs; Exit testing CLB 1-8 Enhanced Language Training Proficiency Assessment (ELTPA) Placement into bridging programs CLB 8-10 Workplace Language AssessmentPlacement into bridging programs CLB 8-10 Canadian Language Benchmarks Literacy Assessment (CLB-LA) Placement into ESL literacy programs CLB Literacy Literacy Placement ToolPlacement into ESL/FSL literacy CLB Literacy

24 Who does the Assessments? CLARS (Common Language Assessment and Referral System) – joint initiative between federal government and province of Ontario Third party assessment One in each community Online learning management system (HARTS/I-CARE)  Single point of entry for adult ESL/FSL immigrant and newcomer learners

25 Specialized Assessments Occupation-specific assessments: –CELBAN (Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for Nurses) –ECLAB/BELIC (Engineers Canada Language Assessment Battery) High Stakes –Milestones Test (for CIC)

26 Benchmarking Competency Exams Competency Exams (initial research): –Medical Council of Canada’s Evaluation Exam –Medical Council of Canada’s Qualifying Exams I and II –Medical Council of Canada’s NAC (National Assessment Collaboration)

27 Immigration to Canada CLB/NCLC 7 is required for entry into Canada on a Points system for several immigration categories (e.g. Express Entry, FSW, CEC, FSTW, PNP) for principal applicant and spouse (pre-arrival) FSTW requires a CLB/NCLC 4 or 5

28 Language Training Programs LINC (Funder: CIC) Provincially funded in Ontario (Funder: MCIIT) –Programs differ by type of immigrant served e.g. Ontario permits naturalized citizens to participate Program supports / resources/professional development: –Curriculum guidelines –Portfolios Based Language Assessment (PBLA) –Lesson Plans –Can Do Statements –Training

29 CLB Supports for ESL practitioners Pre-service TESL Certification requirements (e.g. TESL Ontario) * In-Service CLB/NCLC Professional Development offered: –Conferences (provincial, federal) – in-house PD (mandatory) – regional events – TESL association affiliate events –Online (CLB Boot Camp & Modules) Much of the training offered through Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks

30 For assessors and practitioners in person and on-line Revised CLB and Support Kit Training PBLA Integrating Assessment into the ESL Classroom Summative Assessment Manual (SAM) for CLB 1-4 CLB 5-10 Exit Task Training Can Do Statements Placement tests Professional development/training 30

31 Other Uses Since 2002, the CLB has been used to identify language requirements for non-regulated and regulated occupations / professions. Benchmarking results in a CLB/NCLC level but also an inventory of language competencies in four skill areas. Regulatory bodies to identify safe language levels for professional practice standards. Immigrants to know what language skills they need to have in order to meet professional competencies. ESP practitioners can develop curriculum and provide appropriate language instruction related to their target goal if it is employment.

32 CLB Levels for Nurses 32 Note: The CLB skills are recognized and were used to inform the development of CELBAN Funded only to develop English version.

33 Initial benchmarking study (2002) – five provinces, multiple stakeholders & funders Recognized as 1 of 2 assessments for English proficiency of IENs: CELBAN and IELTS Two versions:  CELBAN  CELBAN Institutional version for training programs

34 Nursing language tasks

35 CLB/NCLC Levels for OT/PT 35 CLB/NCLC for Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists for the Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators, & the Colleges of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy of Ontario

36 What did we learn?

37 Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists 20 sites observations for each profession in English and 7 in French (total 54 sites) Variety of practice care settings (hospitals, rehabilitation, private clinics, school boards, etc.) plus various sub-specialties Competencies in CLB/NCLC matched to the CAASPR adaptation of the CanMEDS framework of competencies.

38 CLB/NCLC Levels for Engineers 38 Note: CLB/NCLC 8 for entry to practice Benchmarked in one province

39 Test Model: ECLAB/BELIC (CIC-FCR) Discipline-specific Content MechanicalElectrical Civil Chemical Language Skill Tests SpeakingListeningReadingWriting Core Engineering Language Test

40 CLB/NCLC and Citizenship It is legislated that Citizenship applicants must demonstrate completion of a CLB/NCLC 4 in Speaking and Listening. School Boards are permitted to provide certificates attesting to the oral proficiency of a learner. This is tracked in the online system and based on evidence-based practice.

41 CLB Core Documents CLB and NCLC Literacy benchmarks CLB Support Document CLB and NCLC Theoretical Framework

42 Tools for ESL Practitioners Guide to implementation Curriculum Guidelines Lesson plans Can Do statements CLB Boot Camp (revised 2014/15) PBLA Foundations module Various resources on the CCLB website, (e.g. Lesson plans) and publications

43 Academic Placement

44 Questions or comments: CCLB contact: Ron Lavoie Ottawa Catholic School Board contact: Marianne Kayed Email:

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