apple Additional Resources

This is not intended as an exhaustive list and we encourage you to explore the resources available on the Internet or through:

  • Literacy Resources and Discussion Forum  This site from Community Literacy of Ontario and Laubach Literacy Ontario has resources divided into the 5 OALCF goal paths and links to discussions including one on Assessment.
  • The Learning Networks of Ontario site has a repository of resources and publications created by the 16 regional Literacy and Basic Skills networks located throughout Ontario. A number of the resources under Instructional Resources have assessment information or tools included.

The following are some examples of assessment tools and resources that were of interest to LBS practitioners interviewed during the development and update of this module.

  • ESKARGO Initial Skills Assessment with answer key The Embedded Skills, Knowledge and Attitudes Reference Guide for Ontario or more commonly known ESKARGO was developed by the CESBA (The Ontario Association of Adult and Continuing Education School Board Administrators) to help LBS practitioners in using the OALCF. There are a number of tools and forms associated with ESKARGO. One of the most popular is the Initial Skills Assessment. The Reference Guide, assessment and other tips and forms are available for free download from CESBA’s Literacy and Basic Skills section.
  • Diagnostic Adult Literacy Assessment for Beginning Readers (DALA) DALA is often used by LBS assessors as an initial assessment tool for reading. It is a user-friendly assessment, specifically designed to assess the literacy skills of very beginning readers. The primary purposes of DALA are to inform instruction and measure progress. The ten subtests provide diagnostic information that allows you to identify areas of strength and weakness. It is available from Grass Roots Press.
  • Canadian Adult Reading Assessment (CARA) CARA provides placement and diagnostic information and identifies reading patterns, enabling you to choose effective teaching strategies. Available from Grass Roots Press.
  • Breakthrough to Math is a four-level program designed specifically to help students overcome learning obstacles and develop math confidence. In this series, concepts are broken down into very basic steps by focusing on one skill at a time to make math easier to understand. The series is available from Laubach Literacy Ontario Bookstore. The BTM Placement Inventory is downloadable free from New Readers Press.
  • Read Forward is a low-stakes assessment of reading skills for adults, helpful in identifying both the reading skills adult learners have gained and the skills they can build. It is made up of 30 reading tests: there are 6 different levels of reading skills and each level has 5 tests. These paper-and-pencil tests each take one hour or less to write. The reading skills levels are the same levels developed for the Alberta Reading Benchmarks which in turn are loosely referenced to the first three levels of IALS and informed by the IALS theoretical framework. Tests, including a locator test, are downloadable from
  • Laubach Way to Reading Placement Tool – The Laubach Way to Reading series is a four-level method to teach adults to read. It is ideal for adult learners who have little or no reading skills and require a uniform, step-by-step approach to reading. The series is available from Laubach Literacy Ontario Bookstore and the placement tool is downloadable for free from New Readers Press.
  • Math Sense is a series that provides instruction and practice for the range of math skills that adults need to succeed in life, at work, and on high school equivalency tests. Each of the books in the Math Sense series has a Skill Preview after its Introduction to initially assess the skills the student needs to study. Problem Solver Pages present strategies that will help find the best way to approach different types of problems. A half-length GED simulated test can be found at the end of each book. Simulated HiSET and TASC practice tests are available for FREE download from New Readers Press. Math Sense is available at Laubach Literacy Bookstore.
  • GED For learners who are considering taking the GED exam, assessors often use pre-GED or sample GED tests. There are a number of these available through online sites (search GED Canada) or as part of books that may be purchased from Laubach Literacy Ontario Bookstore (search GED).
  • Workwise: Reading at Work is part of a six-book series to help adult students succeed before, during, and after the job search. It covers reading for a purpose, reading techniques, vocabulary building, and pre-employment assessment. Learners will practice reading emails, memos, charts, labels. instructions, diagrams, and more. They will take a pre-employment assessment. Students can use the provided Reading Skills Rating Chart to track their progress and improvement after each lesson. Available from Grass Roots Press.
  • CABS: Common Assessment of Basic Skills: Initial Assessment in 5 Levels (3rd edition) by Judith Fox Lee and Rose Strohmaier. Literacy Link Eastern Ontario, 2000. This resource is articulated to the Essential Skills.
  • Teacher of Adults: Literacy Educator Certificate Program’s (found under program search on explores: the importance of placing assessment and evaluation into a learner-centred, goal-directed, authentic context; the role of assessment from Intake to Exit; and a variety of assessment tools and methods.
  • QUILL Learning Network’s Task-Based Activities for LBS portal contains a large collection of activities aligned to the OALCF and organized by stream, goal path and level. This fully searchable database, available in English and French and designed for the Anglophone, Deaf, Native and Francophone streams, provides task-based activities to help practitioners support students in achieving their goals. The tasks have been submitted by the literacy field and they are available in both Microsoft Word and PDF formats.
  • Learning with Swagger Assessment Tool measures the learners’ skills relative to the OALCF competencies of Manage Learning and Engage with Others. To use this tool you must have been working in the literacy field for at least one year and must have taken the “Learning with Swagger Assessment Tool” training either online or face-to-face. For more information, contact
  • Community Literacy of Ontario was pleased to host and record a two-part webinar series in March 2012 which can be found at The webinar looks at the Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF) and Assessment and explores:
    • What is assessment?
    • What are the effectiveness measures under the LBS Performance Management System?
    • Defining the categories of assessment under OALCF
    • Overview of OALCF milestones
    • Overview of culminating tasks
  • Community Literacy of Ontario’s OALCF Resource List grew out of an online resource fair hosted by Community Literacy of Ontario (CLO) in February 2012. The resources suggested by participants have been divided into three categories: assessment tools, learner plans and instructional resources.
  • The Student Self-Assessment Capacity Building Series produced by The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat to support leadership and instructional effectiveness in Ontario schools. Although this 8-page pamphlet is directed at schools and children the value of student self-assessment is even greater for adults, as it is only their belief in the value of their LBS training that keeps them involved.
  • The document, Assessment for Learning – Self Assessment – Teacher Notes, by The Association of Achievement and Improvement through Assessment, explores and provides tools to “Assess FOR Learning.” It discusses a way of informing and involving the learners in assessing for increased learning. Published on Scribd by Alan Forster. Free download or read online.
  • The Essential Skills Group has two websites that provide information on careers and training along with online Essential Skills assessments with printable results.
  • Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) has a wealth of material about Essential Skills, work habits and careers. OSP has tools and resources to assess, build, document and track learners’ Essential Skills and learn how to transfer them to further education, training, the workplace and everyday life. The OSP Skills Zone has games, interactive resources, training modules, etc. where you and learners can have some fun and learn more about the Ontario Skills Passport (OSP) and Essential Skills.

Note: For MTCU, Employment Ontario and OALCF documents, go to

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