Within the ELLE project, content development is ongoing across all partners. As INQS is developing content around assessing, evaluating and improving LESLLA training programmes for migrant women., we thought that we would share some of the developed content which is aimed at supporting teachers and trainers working in this area
An important pedagogical approach and element which should be included in any effective approach to LESLLA learning is a needs analysis. A needs analysis can be used to develop assessment plans (and lesson plans!) in a format and with a goal which is based on learners’ existing abilities, intended learning outcomes and goals. According to Brown (1995), language program development should undertake a needs analysis to identify learner needs in order to make sure that assessment is appropriate and effective. Similarly, Graves (2000) notes that a needs analysis also has the additional effect of helping learners develop self- reflection skills, personal learning needs and to allow them to take ownership of their own learning process, as well as identifying that the teacher is focused on their requirements. The use of a needs analysis also corresponds to frameworks such as the Irish National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA). NALA identifies that “initial assessment” for low-educated adult learners can greatly help to put the student at ease and identify their goals for learning.
An important first step in this needs analysis is an Initial assessment. An initial assessment, generally involves organisers or tutors welcoming a new student, creating a quiet or personal space to find out more about the learning process and to discuss the students’ interests and needs.
Guidelines related to initial needs analysis generally recommends that the four aims of this first conversation should be to:
- Allow the student to speak freely
- Help the educator to get an idea of the student’s ability and desired learning ability/ outcomes
- Help both the student and teacher to clarify the options available to the student
- Help both the student and teacher work out what is most suited to the student in terms of learning
For more on the ELLE Project, please see https://www.elleproject.eu