Breaking Down the Continuum of Reading Skills into Literacy Levels


by Donna Clarke
Literacy Centre of Expertise Lead

Many first-language learners don’t realize the depth of their reading skills. I certainly didn’t until I started teaching literacy learners. In ESL for ALL, these skills are broken down into specific parts. It is a great resource that all literacy teachers should know and use regularly.   

The Continuum of Reading Skills Development offers a three-point continuum with five increments along the way (pages 108 – 123, ESL for ALL):

The continuum, however, is not necessarily aligned to Literacy levels and there is a copious amount of information in the document. For these reasons, I broke it down into the level I teach: Literacy Foundation/Literacy 1.  

My often used and heavily marked up
ESL for ALL book.

After a few semesters I abandoned the scribbles in my book for a more organized and directed approach. For reference, I used the Literacy Reference List compiled by ECSD (Edmonton Catholic School District) and the ISANS Literacy Curriculum Guidelines available on Tutela.

The result is a document that has ten topics with objects and activities and a separate checklist for teachers.

Feel free to download the Word version of these documents to use as you wish. Some modifications will be necessary for those teaching online. Feedback and collaboration are more than welcomed.  

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