Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Info on ELLOPA/SOPA Training

Yesterday the administration approved the SOPA/ELLOPA training programme for language teachers. If you have not yet reviewed the materials I sent to the school divisions, please open the attachments. You can also visit the website of the Centre for Applied Linguistics at http://www.cal.org or, of course, you can come and see me. After you have reviewed the materials, please consider earnestly signing up for this training. Why? Here are the answers to some FAQs:

What will change if I am trained?

You will be an officially certified trainer of an internationally recognized oral proficiency test which is modeled on the ACTFL proficiency guidelines currently in use in our school. You will be able to determine student placement, progress, language needs (and in the case of ESL, the exiting criteria) more accurately and in a consistently aligned way throughout the school than is currently the case. You can also expect that the timetable for proficiency testing will be modified. Specific times will need to be identified when this testing takes place. All new and existing ESL and foreign language students will be subjected to proficiency testing.

What will be expected from me?

Your training will take place most likely on a Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. You will also work with a CAL trainer in making moderations to your curriculum to accommodate the oral testing. You will also receive online follow-up and advanced training online. You will work with a partner in administering the test. You will need to plan that all relevant students receive proficiency testing in an agreed upon, consistent manner.

Will I have administrative support?

Absolutely. The Head of School and the principals are fully supportive of this training and appreciate your devotion to the goals of the school. They also realize that you will need time to get used to this new feature, for training and for the administering of this test. Your programmes will not be compromised; rather, they will be enhanced with the students benefiting greatly.

Will I have faculty support?

It needs to be understood and accepted that if you receive this training, you will be working with a colleague. You will have to be supportive of each others’ efforts and respect the ratings of your colleague. It will be my responsibility to make sure that the other school departments understand what will be happening. I do not see this as being a problem as the proficiency testing which is already going on in, say, the US, does not seem to bother other colleagues.

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