Key skills portfolios

31st January 2003 at 00:00
Students will soon be putting their key skills portfolios together. Since a communication portfolio at level 3 requires students to provide evidence that they can contribute to discussions, make a presentation, read and synthesise information, and write different types of documents, ASA-level English provides ample opportunities for them to attain this.

As an English teacher I find I can help a great deal simply by using something that I would naturally teach students as part of their skills development for English.

Classroom activity might comprise telling a story and giving a presentation. As students are asked to provide evidence for the portfolio, they can be given a range of options. For example:

* Students are provided with the illustrated text of a fairy tale and are asked to relate the story by producing a written version with questions for other class members to answer.

* Students are provided with a tape recording of a story and asked to retell it and to generate a discussion about it;

* Students are provided with a selection of objects (hats, clothes, household items, toys and so on) that relate to a story they see on video and are asked to devise an improvised version.

* A story is cut into sections and students are asked to rearrange it into a coherent version (not necessarily, but possibly, as in the original).

* Students are given a photocopy of the whole story and asked to choose any section and to present it as a learning activity.

Ian Duckett, teacher of English and communications at East Berkshire College

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