Starting Points Listening is one of two online, adaptive assessment options designed for 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. The main focus is listening. It is suitable only for beginning English language learners (ESOL), particularly those new to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Starting Points options are intended to be accessible for learners with limited language, reading, and computer skills. A key feature of the Starting Points options is that the learners listen and respond to spoken language. In a group situation, learners may need to use headphones so as not to disturb others.
What do we need to know?
- Starting Points Listening assesses a learner’s ability to understand basic, everyday words of spoken English. It is therefore only suitable for learners who are at very early to early stages of learning English. A learner’s score on Starting Points Listening is likely to provide an indication of their readiness to engage with Starting Points Reading.
- Starting Points Listening assessments are available online only. They are designed to be completed in a supported, one-to-one situation, ideally using a tablet, although the assessments can be completed on a desktop or laptop computer and could be completed independently by more confident learners.
- The web address for the Starting Points assessment homepage is https://assess.literacyandnumeracyforadults.com/StartingLogin.aspx
- Starting Points assessments are created via the link on the Home and Assessments tabs.
- Starting Points Listening assessments have a new ‘Discontinued’ feature that will end the assessment after seven incorrect or skipped questions.
- Starting Points Listening assessments allow the learner to advance without answering a question. The response is treated as incorrect but reported as ‘not answered’ to differentiate it from genuine incorrect responses.
Creating a Starting Points Listening assessment
Starting Points Listening assessments are created in a similar way to vocabulary assessments and are only available online.
To create a Starting Points Listening assessment, click on the appropriate link on either the Home or Assessments tab.
Assessments are then created in the usual manner. Note: Audience, Assessment Type, and Assessment Status are fixed values.
Sitting a Starting Points Listening assessment
Learners will sit their assessments online using a six digit alphanumeric code. When they enter their code into the Assessment Tool they will be taken to the Starting Points homepage.
Once the learner clicks ‘Start’ they will be prompted to confirm their name and then start the assessment. Starting Points assessments do not use practice questions.
For each question the learner will be required to click on the ear icon to play the sound file associated with that question. They then choose one of the four answer options by touching it (tablet) or clicking on it (PC or laptop).
When sitting an assessment the learner (or educator) can select the 'Next >" button without entering a response. This causes a pop-up message to appear asking the learner (or educator) to confirm they want to move to the next question (Yes>) or stay on the current question (<No). Skipped questions are treated as incorrect for the purposes of generating a scale score; however, they are tagged as 'Not Answered’ on the learner’s end of assessment report.
At the end of a Starting Points Listening assessment the learner will see a “Ka pai! Well done!” screen and can choose to click through to the final report.
Starting Points Listening assessments are discontinued if the assessment encounters a sequence of seven incorrect and/or skipped questions. This feature has been included to support beginning English Language learners who find the content too challenging.
It also offers the tutor/educator a means to finish the assessment early if, in their opinion, the content is too challenging for the learner or if the learner is finding the assessment experience distressing.When seven incorrect and/or skipped questions occur in a row, the assessment will terminate with the ‘Ka pai! Well done!’ screen. The learner will not see that their assessment has terminated early unless they view the learner report.
A discontinued assessment is labelled as such in the assessment reports Note the addition of 'Not Answered" to the response key.
Starting Points Listening Scale Scores and Steps
There are three 'steps' within the Starting Points Listening Assessment; SP1, SP2, and SP3, on a stand-alone 1000 point scale.
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.