Nine Learning Levels for Developing English as an Additional Language (DEAL)

Originally published on HakeemAlexander.com

(Haiku Science Academy) Updating guidelines continues for the Development of English as an Additional Language (DEAL) for Students of English as an Additional Language (SEAL).

Format: You are composing, producing, and authoring a comprehensive course or mini-course of English language instruction, complete with research papers, instructional videos, and lesson plans.

A very important part of the process is identifying our audience properly, in order to deliver the most benficial program for their needs.

As expected, different organizations and institutions have their own distinct classifications, while no definitive system seems to be in place at this time.

Colorado State University provides an enormously insightful resource with definitions of performance standards for ESL learners HERE.

In the previous publication on Certification Foundations, I shared some suggestions from New Concept English author L.G. Alexander. His recommended levels are

Stage 1: Pre-Elementary level. | Elementary level.

Stage 2: Pre-intermediate level. | Intermediate level.

Stage 3: Pre-advanced level. | Advanced level.

to which I have added an additional level to each stage, amending it thusly

Stage 1: Pre-Elementary | Elementary | Upper Elementary

Stage 2: Pre-intermediate | Intermediate | Upper Intermediate

Stage 3: Pre-advanced | Advanced | Upper Advanced (Fluent)

As you can count, this makes 9 levels in 3 stages, matching the 9 research papers, 9 videos, and 9 lesson plan production requirements.

  • Video 1: Pre-elementary.
  • Video 2: Elementary.
  • Video 3: Upper Elementary
  • Video 4: Pre-intermediate.
  • Video 5: Intermediate.
  • Video 6: Upper Intermediate
  • Video 7: Pre-advanced.
  • Video 8: Advanced.
  • Video 9: Upper Advanced (Fluent)

A more streamlined work-flow can proceed from this point.

  1. Complete the research papers
  2. Create video lesson outlines from research papers
  3. Produce and record video lessons from outlines
  4. Extrapolate detailed, written lesson plans from videos.

Some further details clarifying what the levels are supposed to indicate were found on the ICAL TEFL website:

“The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) uses these levels. An abbreviated list is here:

  • A1: Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases.
  • A2: Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to everyday subjects.
  • B1: Can understand the main points on familiar subjects encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • B2: Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization.
  • C1: Can understand well a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning.
  • C2: Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.

The CEFR system is becoming more popular and has been adopted by many institutions around the world.”

The CEFR system is mapped onto the 9 levels to enhance the Haiku Science Academy DEAL classification in the following manner

  1. A- Pre-Elementary | A1- Elementary | A2- Upper Elementary
  2. B- Pre-intermediate | B1- Intermediate | B2- Upper Intermediate
  3. C- Pre-advanced | C1- Advanced | C2- Upper Advanced (Fluent)

The following releases will fill in the descriptions for A, B, and C for the “Pre” levels in each stage pending further research.

In addition, very specific subjects and materials will be provided for each level, as well as definitive prompts for producing research papers, videos, and lesson plans.

These will be in the form of English language courses, complete with research papers, instructional videos, and lesson plans.

An examination and grading protocol is also being established.

  • DEAL – Developing English as an Additional Language.
  • SEAL – Speakers / Students of English as an Additional Language.

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