The Starting Points assessments – Reading and Listening – were released in 2016. Starting Points Reading is an adaptive assessment option designed for all learners who are at or below koru/step one of the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy. Starting Points Listening assesses a learner’s ability to understand basic, everyday words in spoken English. It is suitable only for beginning English language learners (ESOL), particularly those new to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Both Starting Points options were released under a trial basis. We now have enough data from completed assessments to finalise scores for the assessment items, and to map these to a scale score. This functionality has now been introduced to the Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Tool for Adults, along with a new reporting structure for these assessment options.
Starting Points Reading: New scale and new reports
- There are now four levels within the Starting Points Reading assessment; starting points 1, starting points 2, starting points 3 and step/koru 2+
- The Starting Points Reading items/questions are now mapped on to the same achievement scale as the other reading assessment options, rather than using their own scale
- The question details on the learner assessment report can be filtered by question number, skill, subskill or result (correct or incorrect)
Starting Points Reading has now been mapped on to the same 1000 point scale as the existing Reading option. This means that it essentially provides more gradation to what is otherwise known as Step 1 in the Adult/Youth and Te Ata Hāpara reading assessment option. A learner cannot score more than 650 on a Starting Points Reading assessment.
There are new ‘step’ options in Starting Points Reading: Starting Points 1, Starting Points 2, Starting Points 3, and Step 2+.
- Starting Points 1: Learners can identify the names and shapes of most letters of the alphabet. They have a small bank of common words that they recognise on sight. They also recognise some words found in public environments, such as shop and street names.
- Starting Points 2: Learners are able to match the letters of the alphabet with the sounds they make, and use this knowledge to decode simple regular words. They can identify the beginning and final sounds of spoken words and find words that rhyme. Learners vocabulary is expanding and they can read and understand short single sentences containing familiar words.
- Starting Points 3: Learners can read and understand a simple text of two or three sentences, supported by photographs or illustrations. They use their growing knowledge of sound-letter relationships to unlock words containing more complex spelling patterns, such as 'might' and 'learn'. Their growing reading vocabulary means that they are able to understand a variety of less common words, such as 'estimate'.
- Step/Koru 2+: Learners can read and understand short texts of up to a paragraph that contain simple or compound sentences. They can find the information they need in texts such as invitations, work notices, and advertisements. Learners have a well-developed knowledge of letter-sound relationships. They use this, as well as their knowledge of word families, to work out the meaning of unfamiliar words. Some learners at step 2+ may be ready to move on from Starting Points assessments.
When learners approach a scale score of around 600 points – near the top of the level Step/Koru 2+ - they may be ready to try an adult, youth or Te Ata Hāpara reading assessment.
Reports can also now be filtered by question number, skill, subskill, and/or result. This will allow a quick oversight of patterns in the learners’ responses.Note: this functionality is now available in all learner assessment reports.
Starting Points Listening: Three steps and new reporting
- The Starting Points Listening assessment remains on its own, bespoke 1000 point scale
- There are three achievement levels within the assessment; SP1, SP2 and SP3
- The question details on the learner assessment report can be filtered by question number, category, sub-category or result (correct or incorrect)
SP1: Learners have listening vocabulary of some common nouns relating to everyday life in Aotearoa New Zealand.
SP2: Learners have a listening vocabulary of a number of common nouns, verbs and adjectives relating to everyday life in Aotearoa New Zealand.
SP3: Learners have a listening vocabulary of a developing range of common nouns, verbs and adjectives relating to everyday life in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Note: When a learner scores in the top half of SP3 – above 900 scale score points - they may be ready to try a Starting Points Reading assessment.
Reports can also now be filtered by question number, skill, subskill, and/or result. This will allow a quick oversight of patterns in the learners’ responses
Note: this functionality is now available on all assessment reports.