|WHAT IT'S NOT||WHAT EWP IS|
|It's not a game.||It's a serious learning opportunity.|
|It's not for teaching English literacy.||It's for effective communication at a secondary and tertiary academic level, as well as application in a working environment.|
|It's not a total solution for mastering voice modulation, pronunciation, and sense-stress.||It's a powerful support strategy for other voice training interventions as it ensures grammatical integrity.|
|It's not a walkover.||It's a challenge, even for first-language English speakers.|
|It's not expensive.||It is cost-effective as it is not a read-and-forget manual, but a powerful practice-and-learn resource.|
|It's not a one-off learning experience.||Its three reference tools have on-going value to the learner. Learners can re-learn to improve performance at any time.|
|It's not a quick fix.||It's a thorough development programme.|
|It does not require close supervision.||It's a self-directed learning opportunity with built-in monitoring and reporting.|
|It's not a newly-developed programme||It's a mature, market-tested programme, and has been working in the marketplace for more than a decade. The present version is the fourth release of a progressively developed program.|
|It's not difficult to get into.||The learner's energy goes into learning the language, not the software.|
It certainly does. We applied the NQF principles to ensure conformance This table outlines the principles, how these are defined by SAQA, and how English Word Power conforms to the interpretation of the principles.
|PRINICPLE||DEFINITION||ENGLISH WORD POWER|
|INTEGRATION||Forms part of a system of human resource development that provides for the establishment of a unifying approach to education and training.||Takes over where ABET leaves off. Integrates with several other unit standards where English is critical: (Writing; Minuting; Proofreading; Editing; Comprehension, etc).|
|RELEVANCE||Be and remain responsive and appropriate to national development needs.||The world is doing business in English. Almost eighty-percent of South Africa's working population does not have English proficiency. The education system is stretched to deliver at both Secondary and Tertiary level with a national shortage of educators. The relevance of English, and of self-directed learning is clear.|
|CREDIBILITY||Have national and international value and acceptance.||The value of the learning is global. Tertiary education institutions have purchased the program and have reported excellent results. A publisher of grammar books used in the present school system wrote a large section of the program. A remedial teacher, as well as a tutor of English for foreigners contributed to the writing and integrity checking process.|
|FLEXIBILITY||Allow for multiple pathways to the same learning ends.||Learners can follow the learning path or can explore numerous aspects of the language and still reach the same level of proficiency. Certain learning sections can be skipped and only the assessments completed. This flexibility in no way forfeits integrity.|
|STANDARDS||Be expressed in terms of nationally agreed framework and internationally accepted outcomes.||The program adheres to international rules governing English grammar and British spelling. Learning is outcomes-based.|
|LEGITIMACY||Provide for the participation of all national stakeholders in the planning and coordination of standards and qualifications.||There is an entry-level assessment that the learner completes. However, the learner will need to comprehend the rules before being able to apply them. With easier exercises at the start, the learner gains confidence early in the learning process. Thereafter learning progresses through two modules with incremental complexity.|
|ACCESS||Provide ease of entry to appropriate levels of education and training for all prospective learners in a manner that facilitates progression.||The program adheres to international rules governing English grammar and British spelling. Learning is outcomes-based.|
|ARTICULATION||Provide for learners, on successful completion of accredited prerequisites, to move between components of the delivery system.||Sound English is a building block for all components of communication. It therefore underpins all written forms of communication, as well as the ability to articulate with accurate application of grammar principles (sentence structure, word-order, vocabulary, word-choice, etc).|
|PROGRESSION||Ensure that the framework of qualifications permits individuals to move through the levels of national qualifications via different combinations of the components of the delivery system.||The delivery system is totally flexible. Learners can gain proficiency in an educational environment, in a work environment, or at home The ultimate proficiency gives mobility through other required qualifications|
|PORTABILITY||Enable learners to transfer their credits of qualifications from one learning institution and/or employer to another.||The English Word Power certificate documents the learner's proficiency. This is a standard of its own, and clearly equips the learner with a standard that is portable. The certificate underpins further learning, and opens doors to improved job opportunities.|
|Through assessment, give credit to learning that has already been acquired in different ways; e.g. through life experiences.||The program has a pre-course assessment that documents prior learning. However, the learner may also choose to ignore areas where proficiency already exists, and merely do assessments for certification of this prior learning.|
No. English Word Power has a learning formula of its own. The results have been most encouraging as the outcomes have been proven with a large number of students from both the academic and corporate world. The ultimate objective is not to cite rules, but to apply rules without thinking about them when writing and speaking English.
With the Internet based version a learner can learn from the same program wherever they have internet access, be that at the place of learning or at home, or even an Internet cafe.
The program was developed by a team of people from both the academic and commercial environment. Debbie Cook, a retired remedial teacher specialising in English ensured that the learning process developed confidence and progressive competence.
Lynette Strydom, who wrote most of the rules in Module Two, has published several English Grammar books, which have been adopted in the South African school curriculum. The focus of her books was on English for second language students. Lynette also reviewed and edited the entire program.
Debbie Thackery is a university lecturer who has specialised in teaching English to Orientals. She also reviewed and edited the entire program.
The NDA Training team, Tertia Borgelt and Pauline Joubert wrote most of the text and assessment exercises in support of the rules. They also researched and developed the Glossary. Insights gained from marking assignments over a number of years were applied to the section “Sound-Alikes and Words Confused”. These learning sections have been woven through Module One, and include many typical pitfalls unique to second-language users of English.
As English Word Power has been developed and produced in South Africa, users are assured of excellent technical support whenever needed. The software program developers as well as the writers and compilers are also readily accessible for user-support.
The period needed to complete the program depends on the learner's keyboarding proficiency, as well as comprehension and reading ability at the time of starting. It also depends on how much time is being dedicated to the learning process each day. Assuming sound proficiency in all these areas, it is realistic to say that it would take 100-hours of learning. At two hours per day, the learner should be able to complete the program within 50 to 60 working days.
A computerised spell and grammar check is a valuable first routine. However, the writer still has to make an informed choice when the software highlights possible problem areas, or points out sentence construction and grammar issues. Spell- and grammar-checks have been designed to recognise or reject character strings. The system therefore frequently overlooks words and phrases that do not make sense, but nevertheless have a recognisable character string.
A change in tense affects verbs and nouns. This makes learning grammar complicated and stressful, especially for adults who do not pick up a new language as readily as children. Plurals and possessives also pose quite a challenge. For this reason, we split the learning into two Modules.
To comprehend and read the rules and questions, the learner will need reading ability and comprehension, ideally no less than Grade 10. However, the level of English comprehension needed to learn from English Word Power has no bearing on the ultimate level of proficiency delivered by the program. Adults from all academic levels and English language proficiencies are benefiting.