Try the basic literacy and spelling test stumping teaching graduates

Try the basic literacy and spelling test stumping teaching graduates

February 23, 2020

How aspiring teachers are graduating university without basic literacy skills and failing a simple test – so could YOU pass?

  • Future Australian teachers are paying tutors to help them qualify as educators
  • There’s been a five per cent jump in teachers failing a literacy test from 2016-18
  • While tutoring agencies are reporting an increase in teachers seeking their help

Future Australian teachers are struggling to pass a basic literacy tests before they graduate from university – and are paying for tutoring services to qualify.  

An increasing number of teachers have reached out to independent agencies to guide them through the Federal Government’s Literacy and Numeracy Tests for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE).

The LANTITE test features questions around when to use punctuation marks, identifying the correct spelling of words and finding the meaning of words or phrases.

Future Australian teachers are struggling to pass a basic literacy test involving simple grammar and punctuation rules (stock image)

Tutoring agency, Cluey Learning, has seen more than 750 inquiries for help to prepare teachers for the test over the past four months, according to the Herald Sun. 

It found many of its students are lacking basic skills around grammar, punctuation, spelling and fractions. 

Tutoring Academy teacher Melinda Wood told the Herald Sun young teachers are propping themselves up with technology.

‘They use spell check and stuff at home to help them but the second they are in exam conditions they don’t know how to cope,’ she said.

An increasing number of teachers have reached out to independent agencies to guide them through the federal government’s Literacy and Numeracy Tests for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) (stock image)

One of the questions students were struggling with involved finding the annual income based off weekly pay.

The reason they were unable to answer the question was they didn’t know many weeks were in a year. 

In the past two years the pass rate for candidates sitting the LANTITE test in literacy for the first time dropped by five per cent, from 95.2 per cent in 2016 to 90/4 per cent in 2018.

The lack of knowledge among aspiring teachers has sparked calls from the Australian Tutoring Association to introduce the test as a university entrance exam.

But Australian Catholic University’s Professor John Munro said the test isn’t a reflection of the students’ overall intelligence and knowledge.

He said many students were passing all subjects except for the LANTITE literacy test.    

‘In other words, they had at least adequate literacy knowledge and skill for their specialist subject teaching areas but struggle with the LANTITE version of literacy,’ he said.

‘It is debatable whether individuals such as Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso or Winston Churchill could qualify to teach in our schools because they were dyslexic and would probably fail LANTITE.’

Example LANTITE test

1. Jennifer sets goals and works towards them with perseverance. Which word is closest in meaning to perseverance?

A. patience

B. resilience

C. fervour

D. persistence  

2.  Which one of the following words correctly completes the sentence?

The preparation for each dance was always ____________ because Mrs Kinsella upheld such exacting standards; everyone complained but the results spoke for themselves.

A. interim

B. onerous

C. injudicious

D. impracticable

3. Which of the following words are spelled incorrectly?

A. Address

B. Peculiar

C. Engreaved

D. Mechanical

4. A word has been left out of the following sentence. Select the word that correctly completes the sentence.

My colleagues who teach other subject areas may well be interested in making Science Week part of their __________ education as well.

A. students

B. student’s

C. students’

D. students’s

5. A word has been left out of the following sentence. Which one of the following words best completes the sentence?

Unfortunately, we have had _____________ responses than we were expecting.

A. less

B. fewer

C. smaller

D. insufficient

ANSWERS:

1. D. persistence 

2. B. onerous

3. C. Engreaved

4. C. students’

5.  B. fewer

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