Specialist support needs for learners may be ascertained during the application process

Specialist support needs for learners may be ascertained during the application process, initial assessment and during the programme.
Language requirements can be compared with those on the course specification and adapted. If the awarding body permits, the assessment may be arranged in the learner’s first language or a bilingual assessment may be offered. (Gravells, 2014)
In my practice, I have a few learners with English not being their first language. During the initial assessment, their language needs are identified. If required, they are enrolled on a level 2 English course such as GCSE or Functional skills. For formative assessments, the arrangements are adapted by grouping such learners with those whose first language is English. Learners receive further support from the LSA in class. Since BTEC assessments are mostly assignment based, learners often write the assessment in their native language and translate to English. However, this approach results in errors in their grammar and sentence structuring which they can improve through use of software such as Grammarly for MS Office (grammarly, 2018). Grammarly also helps learners to learn and improve their work. Further proof reading assistance is available from the English support lab at the college. Additional support can be provided in the form of a glossary of keywords translated from the native language, however ensuring that the required standard of assessment is applied fairly and consistently for all learners. The awarding body EdExcel advises assessors to delay marking until the work is submitted to the required standard but within a timeframe not considered to provide an unfair advantage to the learner. (BTEC Centre guide to internal assessment, 2017)


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