12 Dec 2019

Developing embedded English, maths and digital skills in T Levels 


The Education and Training Foundation is supporting teachers to get ready for the development of embedded English, maths and digital (EMD) skills in T Levels. Claire Collins, Director of ccConsultancy, writes on what embedding means in practice.

"In T Levels, as opposed to other further education routes, we are not thinking about abstract skills applied in technical contexts, but about specific technical practices that include English, maths and digital elements; something Hoyles et al (2002) might have termed ‘techno-mathematical literacies’. 

But what exactly does this mean in practice?

Learners doing Functional Skills English, for example, need to demonstrate that they can ‘use different language and register (e.g. persuasive techniques, supporting evidence, specialist words), suited to audience and purpose’ as part of their writing assessments. This task can be achieved using a broad context, but when applying it to specific industry practice in a workplace, the production of such material would entail much more than the ability to adapt language and register for audience and purpose. Learners would need to be able to include, for example: some spoken language (asking a manager for clarification of the task), possibly some maths (keeping production within budget), and certainly some digital design in most workplaces. An awareness of audience will be shaped by the context of the business type as well as the intended messaging and the register used may also be shaped by local dialect conventions. In Functional Skills and other specialist qualifications, learners are actively developing their English, maths and digital skills – but in T Levels, ‘techno-mathematical literacies’ are pragmatically applied within the context of everyday working life."

Read the article in full on the ETF website

Find out more about the T level CPD programme here

Visit the ccConsultancy website


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