Unit of competency details

TAELLN703A - Develop English language skills of adult learners (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to TAELLN803 - Develop English language skills of adult learnersUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 26/Aug/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 31/May/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 070199 Teacher Education, N.e.c.  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 070199 Teacher Education, N.e.c.  31/May/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop English language teaching strategies to meet the literacy and numeracy needs of adult learners in vocational education and training (VET) contexts.

It includes analysing the English language requirements of VET contexts, applying teaching approaches and strategies for teaching English language skills, and selecting English language learning resources that meet learner requirements.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to adult literacy and numeracy practitioners working in the VET sector. The classroom, the workplace and the community may include those who wish to develop their English language skills. Teaching groups of diverse learners in diverse delivery contexts requires adult literacy and numeracy practitioners to draw on a wide range of teaching pedagogies and practices, including those related to English language teaching.

Specialist adult English language provision is offered:

  • in stand-alone courses for settlement purposes, such as the Adult Migrant Education Program (AMEP)
  • in curricula designed specifically for English as a second language (ESL) learners
  • as specialist support for learners.

The qualifications required by teachers in these programs are described in human resource statements in ESL-accredited course documentation.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Analyse English language skills required in the delivery context

1.1. Identify  and analyse English language skills required by learners 

1.2. Establish profile of the language skills  of learner group

1.3. Analyse English language skills of learner group 

2. Select teaching approaches

2.1. Review strategies  to address barriers and impediments to language development 

2.2. Examine English language teaching approaches 

2.3. Determine applicability  of teaching approaches for specific learners

3. Select range of learning resources to develop English language skills

3.1. Identify and review realia / authentic materials

3.2. Review learning resources  from traditional and new and emerging technologies

3.3. Evaluate ICT and e -learning resources  that link appropriately to language learning outcomes and promote learner engagement

3.4. Contextualise identified resources

3.5. Select and use appropriate resources, drawing on knowledge of English language and knowledge of learner needs and goals

4. Apply and evaluate activities to develop learners' English language skills

4.1. Create an environment conducive to language learning  using interpersonal skills

4.2. Apply adult learning principles  to teaching English language skills

4.3. Apply strategies to develop English language speaking and listening skills 

4.4. Apply strategies to develop reading and writing skills in English 

4.5. Develop activities that integrate listening, speaking, reading and writing skills appropriate to purposes, contexts and learners' level of English language skills

4.6. Use formal and informal monitoring to evaluate effectiveness of teaching strategies

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • analysis and interpretation skills to:
  • interpret information from pre-training assessments to identify and respond to learner needs, goals, skills and learning styles
  • select and interpret underpinning skills in training specifications and particular workplace contexts
  • communication skills to:
  • adjust intonation and stress in order to convey meaning
  • give clear instructions and explanations and respond to learner questions effectively
  • interact appropriately with learners from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • paraphrase as part of effective listening techniques
  • teach technical terms and language
  • use appropriate language
  • vary teacher talk to adjust to the English language level of others
  • initiative, enterprise and creativity to:
  • devise, select and vary teaching strategies
  • seek appropriate resources and materials
  • interpersonal skills to establish productive relationships with learners
  • literacy skills to:
  • identify and analyse English language requirements embedded in selected contexts
  • select, read and interpret VET documents
  • planning and organising skills to plan:
  • effective programs that reflect understanding of range of learner group needs
  • learning opportunities for learners
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • evaluate language skills required by learning software
  • identify specific English language difficulties of learners
  • select strategies to address barriers to English language learning
  • self-management and learning skills to:
  • develop and adjust own teaching practice
  • use advice from colleagues and others to adjust teaching practice
  • technology skills to:
  • use a range of educational technology tools to support language learning
  • teach software packages and educational software

Required knowledge 

  • adult learning principles and practices as they apply to working with culturally and linguistically diverse adults
  • conventions of English language in a range of genres and registers
  • English language needs of learners in a multilingual and multicultural learning environment
  • English language systems and structures, including basic features of English grammar, phonology and lexis development
  • English language teaching and learning approaches applicable to learners with English language needs in different contexts
  • national standards, such as:
  • accredited course documentation
  • Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF)
  • International Second Language Proficiency Rating (ISLPR) scale
  • Training Packages
  • social, cognitive and affective factors that may influence language development
  • text analysis, including how to analyse the linguistic structure and features of a text

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • analyse the English language demands of delivery contexts
  • identify English language skills of learners
  • apply teaching approaches and strategies to develop the English language skills of a learner group in a specific delivery context
  • evaluate effectiveness of teaching strategies
  • review and use a range of learning resources to develop English language skills.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a suitable workplace environment relevant to the context in which the candidate intends to work
  • learners who need to develop their English language skills
  • research about profiles of learners with English language needs
  • wide range of resources on teaching approaches and strategies that develop English language skills
  • resources to use with learners to support English language skill development.

Assessment must also ensure the use of culturally appropriate processes, and techniques appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy capacity of the candidate and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

A range of appropriate assessment methods should be used to determine competency. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation or video recording of candidate's adult language, literacy and numeracy practice
  • evaluation of a portfolio of evidence comprising:
  • learner responses and feedback
  • personal reflections
  • planning notes
  • preparation, such as detailed session plans, learning activities and assessment tools
  • samples of resources
  • review of work samples, which may include session plans, units of work, resources, assessment tasks, evaluations, and other work documents
  • questioning to establish required knowledge
  • review of third-party reports.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • TAELLN704A Implement and evaluate delivery of adult language, literacy and numeracy skills.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Identifying  may require analysis of:

  • academic writing
  • accredited course documentation
  • formal and informal workplace communication systems
  • language and cultural demands of texts, tasks and instructions commonly used in literacy and numeracy lessons
  • reports using English language scales
  • text features and performance strategies at the required ACSF level
  • underpinning language requirements of specific Training Packages.

Analysing English language skills required by learners  relevant to the delivery context may include:

  • establishing level of complexity of English language features in a wide range of texts by aligning them to a framework, such as the ACSF
  • investigating basic features of language at the level of:
  • discourse or text
  • sentence and phrase level.

Language skills  of the learner group may include learners:

  • from Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds who speak Indigenous language(s) as their first, second, third or more language
  • whose first language is not English, but who have been resident in Australia for long periods and have developed differing levels of spoken and written skills
  • who have experienced trauma and dislocation
  • who speak Aboriginal English
  • with disrupted education or limited formal education for a range of reasons.

Analysing English language skills of learner group  may require:

  • aligning language use to frameworks, such as ACSF
  • drawing on existing information, for example from:
  • pre-training assessment
  • previous language assessments, such as ISLPR.

Strategies  may include:

  • advice and support from specialist English as a second language (ESL) teachers
  • approaches and multi-sensory activities and resources that build on learners' strengths
  • bilingual approaches or peer support where learners have low levels of English
  • designing tasks and contexts that provide opportunities for learners to internalise and practise new skills
  • developing meta-language skills by teaching grammatical terms and structures:
  • to provide a language for learners to discuss their learning
  • including activities to support learners in their own use of meta-language, if appropriate for the level of the group
  • referring learners to specialist ESL provision where necessary
  • strategies, like scaffolding activities, that build on learners' existing skills and knowledge in English and other languages
  • support from teachers with specialist skills and knowledge in working with learners with physical or mental health issues.

Barriers and impediments to language development  may include:

  • effects of trauma
  • extent and type of exposure to English speakers
  • factors resulting from current socioeconomic circumstances
  • influence of first language
  • limited education in first language
  • sensory disabilities
  • specific learning difficulties.

English language teaching approaches  may include:

  • task-based
  • topic-based.

Applicability  of teaching approaches may include:

  • learners' different skill profiles
  • previous experiences of language learning
  • range of linguistic backgrounds
  • requirements of particular learning context.

Learning resources  may include:

  • bilingual materials, including:
  • lists of useful words and phrases
  • published dictionaries and personal dictionaries
  • reference materials
  • bilingual support workers
  • group members' experiences of other cultures
  • guest speakers
  • materials that are adult in orientation and relevant to learner needs
  • technology, such as mobile telephones and computers.

ICT and e -learning resources  may include:

  • audio recording technology, such as podcasts and digital tracks
  • CDs and DVDs
  • digital cameras and video capture
  • educational software, such as dictionaries, word games and other commercial products
  • online resources, including downloadable learning resources
  • software applications, including:
  • digital stories
  • word-processing and multimedia packages, such as PowerPoint
  • technology used in everyday life, such as:
  • automated teller machines (ATMs) and EFTPOS
  • mobile telephones
  • internet
  • DVDs, television and film.

Environment conducive to language learning  may include:

  • demonstrating empathy for students from diverse backgrounds
  • for Indigenous learners:
  • being prepared to allow time to develop a relationship of mutual respect with learners as individuals
  • demonstrating an understanding of the history of Indigenous people, and how cultural history can impact on the learning process
  • recognising how the backgrounds of individual students and the communities in which they live impact on the learning process.

Applying adult learning principles  to teaching English language skills may include:

  • acknowledging learners' life experience and world knowledge
  • acknowledging that implicit and explicit knowledge of the grammar of English and other languages is a resource for learning English
  • applying awareness of differences in cultural attitudes to learner autonomy
  • selecting tasks and content in learning resources appropriate to adult learners in a multicultural context.

Strategies to develop English language speaking and listening skills  may include those that:

  • develop accuracy and fluency in spoken English, including pronunciation, such as:
  • drills, chants, pair work and small group work
  • formulaic expressions
  • role plays and simulations
  • develop active listening strategies, such as:
  • awareness of different accents
  • listening for detail
  • listening for gist
  • develop knowledge of, and skill in using, English grammar and lexis, such as:
  • choosing appropriate grammatical structures
  • introduction and practice of new lexical items, grammatical structures and text types
  • strategies that equip learners to make lexical and grammatical choices appropriate to genre and register
  • develop phonological skills, such as:
  • pronunciation of individual sounds
  • stress, rhythm and intonation
  • with the sounds of English
  • develop skills in interaction, such as:
  • joining and leaving discussions
  • structured dialogues
  • turn taking
  • identify discourse structure, such as basic language features of particular form of interaction depending on context.

Strategies to develop reading and writing skills in English  may include:

  • analysing features of a range of text types, including:
  • electronic and printed texts
  • texts containing visual elements
  • multi-modal texts
  • building sociocultural knowledge to assist learners to make meaning of texts
  • developing graphological skills, such as:
  • awareness of different scripts
  • handwriting
  • Roman script
  • spelling patterns in English
  • punctuation in English texts
  • developing letter formation, scribing, group editing and writing collective texts
  • developing vocabulary
  • locating the text in context, including purpose and audience
  • meaning-making strategies, such as building on existing knowledge and evaluating information in light of previous knowledge
  • modelling and constructing texts
  • process writing
  • reading for meaning, reading for gist and reading for details
  • using structured exercises, such as cloze exercises and matching.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Language, literacy and numeracy practice

co-requisite skills

Co-requisite skills