LOW ADVANCED ESL                                               COMPETENCY OUTLINE


By the end of this level, learners will have worked on and attained competency in the following areas:


  1. Communication
    1. Paraphrase words or ideas in conversations.

                                                    i.     Paraphrase orally

    1. Understand use of formal versus informal vocabulary and basic idiomatic expressions.

                                                    i.     Use formal and informal vocabulary in appropriate situations—i.e. hi vs. how are you

                                                   ii.     Use common idioms in appropriate situations; understand common idioms

  1. Consumer Economics
    1. Understand banking systems and terms.

                                                    i.     Loans

1.     home loan, home equity loan, mortgage

2.     car loans

3.     college loans

4.     interest rates, annual percentage rate, principal, term

                                                   ii.     Investments

1.     savings accounts

2.     stocks, stock market

3.     IRA, retirement accounts

4.     CD, Money Market

5.     checking accounts

6.     interest rates, reconciling, term, cashing in, maturity, dividends

    1. Identify budget planning strategies.

                                                    i.     Expenses, revenue, income, net loss, net income, gross, net

                                                   ii.     Budget categories—housing, food, utilities, clothing, education, transportation, entertainment, medical, vacation, savings, charitable contributions

                                                 iii.     Concept of percents, adjusting a budget to meet changes in income or expenses

    1. Discuss US driving responsibilities.

                                                    i.     Driver’s license—applying for

1.     where, how, when, why

                                                   ii.     Traffic regulations

1.     road signs—mph, speed limit, minimum, maximum, no U turn, no left turn, no turn on red, one way, no passing zone, stop sign, stop light, merge, yield, caution, men at work, work zone, pedestrian crossing, rail road crossing, school zone, hospital zone, hospital, children at play

2.     road markings—solid white line, solid yellow line, dashed white line, dashed yellow line, pedestrian crossing, stop line, bike lane, HOV lane

    1. Know driving safety regulations and procedures.

                                                    i.     Seat belts, child safety restraints, air bags, how to drive in icy, wet, snowy, or foggy weather

                                                   ii.     What to do

1.     flat tire

2.     accident

3.     run out of gas

4.     can’t see (snow or rain)

    1. Describe information regarding rental agreements/contracts.

                                                    i.     Lease, tenant, lessee, lessor, roommate, sublet, clauses, no pets, renewal, landlord, building manager, handyman, rental, renters, rent

    1. Describe tenant and landlord rights and responsibilities.

                                                    i.     Tenant

1.     rights—safety, cleanliness of common areas, timely repair, no unannounced visits

2.     responsibilities—pay rent on time, keep noise at a minimum, follow building rules for laundry/parking/play and pool areas

                                                   ii.     Landlord

1.     rights—rent paid on time, tenants follow rules, tenants report problems, tenants available for repairs to be made, tenants make apartment available for potential renters when leaving

2.     responsibilities—keep common areas clean, keep safety measures operational, make repairs, announce visits

                                                 iii.     Where to file complaints

    1. Compare/contrast various types of insurances.

                                                    i.     Health, homeowners, renters, life, dental, auto

                                                   ii.     Premiums, term, beneficiary

  1. Community Resources
    1. Give and request information clearly by telephone.

                                                    i.     Take phone messages in work and home environments

1.     relay message verbally and in writing

2.     note caller, phone number, reason for calling

                                                   ii.     Respond to requests for information over the phone

1.     telemarketing

2.     name—say and spell—address, phone number

                                                 iii.     Request information over the phone

1.     request a job application

2.     order a pizza

3.     registration requirements for a class, training program or child’s school

4.     call for when business hours

    1. Locate and use a variety of resources in telephone directories.

                                                    i.     Differences between regular white pages and business white pages (gray margin)

                                                   ii.     Differences between white pages and yellow pages

                                                 iii.     Blue pages—government offices

                                                 iv.     Resources at the beginning of the phone book

1.     how to get phone service

2.     how to report phone problems

3.     maps

4.     zip code information

5.     area code information

    1. Describe recycling regulations.

                                                    i.     Glass, aluminum, plastic, cardboard, office paper, newspaper, bundle

                                                   ii.     Where and when to set out

                                                 iii.     What is collected

                                                 iv.     How to personally collect recyclable materials

                                                  v.     Recyclable sign

  1. Health
    1. Complete medical forms and accident reports.

                                                    i.     Medical history form

1.     immunization, operations, major illnesses, medications, complaint, vocabulary for medical conditions (hypertension, thyroid, high blood pressure, nausea, dizzy spells, abdominal, headaches, gastro-intestinal, etc.), emergency contact, next of kin

                                                   ii.     Accident report

1.     write narrative description of an accident (car or work)

a.     car vocabulary—fender, dent, ding, scrape, windshield, break, shatter, flat tire, rear ended, spin out, slid, lost control, turned 360, turned 180, skid

2.     describe actions taken (work)

3.     fill out a car accident form with name of insurance company, policy number, personal information

4.     use drawings to describe a car accident

5.     on the drawing indicate speed, direction traveling, where other vehicles were, where car was damaged, what other streets, roads, highways, off ramps were located

  1. Employment
    1. Use a variety of resources to search for job opportunities.

                                                    i.     Want ads

1.     abbreviations—EOE, exp, ft, pt, req, nec, educ, ed, hs, dip, 4yr, ref

2.     vocabulary—experience necessary, experience required, apply in person, college degree, high school diploma, GED, fax resume, email resume, resume, call for an application, mail resume, references, full time, part time, first shift, second shift, third shift, swing shift

3.     locate instructions to apply for a position

a.     fax, mail, email, in person, by phone

b.     application, cover letter, resume, phone call

                                                   ii.     Internet

1.     common job search sites (Minnesota Job Bank)

2.     maneuver through screens to locate a job vacancy

3.     locate application instructions

                                                 iii.     Workforce Centers

                                                 iv.     Employment agencies

                                                  v.     Personal contacts

1.     professional people

2.     teachers

3.     religious leaders

4.     counselors

5.     friends

                                                 vi.     Cold calls

1.     phone calls

2.     drop in

3.     asking if any openings

4.     asking for an application

    1. Know about different types of training.

                                                    i.     Training types—4 year college, community college, technical college, for-profit technical schools, on-the-job training

                                                   ii.     Entrance or placement tests, TOEFL

                                                 iii.     Financial aid, grants, loans, work-study, scholarships

    1. Complete a job application, resume, cover letter.

                                                    i.     Independently complete a job application using correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and abbreviations where appropriate

                                                   ii.     Create a resume; should be word processed

                                                 iii.     Write a cover letter following a standard format using correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation; letter should be word processed

1.     purpose of a cover letter

2.     what should be included in a cover letter

a.     job applying for

b.     summary of skills and qualifications

c.     explanation of how individual fits job requirements

d.     request for an interview

    1. Ask and answer questions during a job interview.

                                                    i.     Interpersonal skills

1.     hand shake

2.     nodding

3.     eye contact

4.     posture

5.     dress and grooming

                                                   ii.     Formulate and practice answering questions from an interviewer (appropriate and inappropriate questions)

1.     Tell me about yourself

2.     What skills do you have

3.     What jobs have you held in the past

4.     Describe your experiences

5.     Why should we hire you

6.     Why do you want this job

7.     Why are you the best candidate for this job

8.     Are you married

9.     Do you plan to get pregnant

10. Have you ever been fired from a job

11. Why did you leave your last job

                                                 iii.     Formulate and practice asking questions of an interviewer

1.     What are the benefits

2.     What is the pay range/pay scale

3.     Do you provide for on-the-job training

4.     What training opportunities do you provide

5.     Will I be expected to work overtime

                                                 iv.     Follow up thank you

1.     written thank you note

a.     who to write it to

b.     what to include

c.     when to send

2.     thank you phone call

a.     who to call

b.     what to say

c.     when to call

    1. Understand performance evaluations and their impact.

                                                    i.     Read a job description

                                                   ii.     Performance evaluation, raises, merit pay

                                                 iii.     Being fired, being laid off, being let go

1.     unemployment rights

2.     Unemployment Compensation

a.     What is it

b.     How do you get it

c.     Where do you get more information

    1. Understand job benefits.

                                                    i.     Vocabulary—health insurance, medical insurance, dental insurance, vacation pay, sick pay, personal leave, funeral leave, bereavement leave, long term disability, short term disability, life insurance, dependents

                                                   ii.     Filling out various forms to enroll in benefit programs

1.     vocabulary—beneficiary, enrollee, enrollment, dependent, spouse

    1. Fill out employment forms.

                                                    i.     Filling out W-4 and I-9

    1. Demonstrate understanding of US work ethic.

                                                    i.     Appropriate work attire

                                                   ii.     Small talk

                                                 iii.     Punctuality

                                                 iv.     Calling in sick

                                                  v.     Taking breaks

                                                 vi.     Attitude toward coworkers, toward supervisor

                                                vii.     Team work

    1. Demonstrate understanding of workers’ rights.

                                                    i.     Minimum wage

                                                   ii.     Double time, over time

                                                 iii.     40 hour work week, 8 hour work day

                                                 iv.     Paid and unpaid breaks

                                                  v.     Unionization

                                                 vi.     Right to work

                                                vii.     OSHA

  1. Government and Law
    1. Describe problem to and request service from public safety personnel.

                                                    i.     How to respond when stopped

1.     Verbal and physical responses

                                                   ii.     Request assistance with a problem, describe a problem

                                                 iii.     Request directions

    1. Identify and report types of crime as victim or witness.

                                                    i.     911

                                                   ii.     Giving details of what and where orally and clearly on phone and in person

                                                 iii.     Types of crime—burglary, robbery, homicide, rape, assault, vandalism, gang, graffiti, fight, domestic abuse, break in, murder, shooting, speeding, hit and run

    1. Demonstrate understanding of elements of US court of law.

                                                    i.     Judge, jury, trial by jury, rights, Miranda warning, lawyers, bail, innocent, guilty

  1. Computation
    1. Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers and decimals.
    2. Add and subtract fractions.
    3. Compute percent of a whole.
    4. Compute interest using the interest formula.
  2. Learning to Learn
    1. Read and comprehend short fiction, narratives, informational articles, and news articles.

                                                    i.     Main idea

                                                   ii.     Sequence

                                                 iii.     Fact/opinion

                                                 iv.     Preview and make predictions

                                                  v.     Skim and scan for information

    1. Use context clues and dictionaries to define new vocabulary.

                                                    i.     Context clues

                                                   ii.     Dictionary—standard English language dictionary

    1. Read and interpret graphic documents.

                                                    i.     Diagrams, tables, graphs, schedules

  1. Grammar and Writing
    1. Write a paragraph focusing on one topic.

                                                    i.     Topic sentence, supporting details, concluding sentence

                                                   ii.     Edit for grammar, spelling, and punctuation

    1. Use verbs.

                                                    i.     Past continuous

                                                   ii.     Future progressive

                                                 iii.     Past perfect

                                                 iv.     Modals

                                                  v.     Conditionals

                                                 vi.     Gerunds

                                                vii.     Participles

                                              viii.     Infinities

    1. Identify parts of speech and use in sentences.

                                                    i.     Common, proper, plural, and possessive nouns

                                                   ii.     Pronouns—subject, object, indefinite, possessive, and reflexive

                                                 iii.     Adjectives

                                                 iv.     Adverbs

                                                  v.     Prepositions

                                                 vi.     Verbs

    1. Use sentence structure.

                                                    i.     Compound

                                                   ii.     Complex

                                                 iii.     Clauses

                                                 iv.     Phrases

                                                  v.     Active and passive voice

                                                 vi.     Direct and indirect speech