Preparing for the Progress Conference
To prepare learners, consider providing an overview of what will occur during the conference, including some of the topics of discussion. Working in groups, learners might be asked to do some of the following:
- Review their portfolios and discuss the goals they set at the beginning of the course and the progress they have made towards
- Discuss what they have learned, what they are proud of, what is still difficult, or their strengths and
- Talk about what they think the teacher will say about their progress.
Based on the needs of learners, consider identifying and practising some phrases or sentence stems that they or the teacher might use to talk about their experiences. At higher CLB levels you may consider having learners write a brief reflection.
For suggestions for preparing ESL literacy or beginning learners, see the ESL for ALL Support Kit (CCLB, 2015, Section III).
Conducting the Progress Conference
Throughout the course, learners have received ongoing feedback and engaged in self-reflections, so they should have a good idea of what they have achieved as well as their strengths and challenges.
Talk about goals: Talk briefly about the expectations of the course or program and refer to the personal goals the learner expressed at the beginning of the term or course.
Reflect on progress: Ask learners to talk about their progress – about what they can do now in English that they could not do before. Learners who are familiar with the CLB outcomes they have been working toward should be able to say whether they think they have met those outcomes.
If learners are less familiar with the CLB outcomes, they can talk about something that they could not do before, something they have improved on, and something they think they still need to improve. Ask learners to pick out samples from their portfolios that support their opinions.
If the learners are at a low CLB level, ask them to show you one or two of samples of language use that they are particularly proud of.
Provide learners with the written progress report and discuss the contents: Portfolio contents will provide examples of language use for discussing the progress reports. During the conference, encourage learners to identify future goals and language learning objectives, and discuss strategies that might be helpful in furthering their language development.