Demystifying the Complexity Levels
One of the more difficult things to master when it comes to ES can be trying to figure out how the ES complexity levels match up to the LBS levels. There is no formal articulation at this time; however, you can be sure that experienced practitioners and curriculum writers are busy developing tools that will make it easier to create comparisons. Many experienced ES practitioners agree that complexity levels are the most difficult aspect when it comes to integrating ES practices.
The Essential Skills complexity levels are a tool used to rate the difficulty of a particular task. With some exceptions, the Essential Skills are divided into five levels of complexity. It is not the Essential Skill itself or the learner that is rated, but the demands that the required task makes upon the person to complete it. Consider the following examples:
Reading material that is in the form of sentences or paragraphs.
A complexity level 1 task under the Essential Skill of Reading Text requires that a person “read relatively short texts to locate a single piece of information.
e.g., A guest service attendant scans a reservation confirmation for the name of the registered guest.
A Reading Text complexity level 3 task requires that a person choose and integrate information from various sources or from several parts of a single text.
e.g., A baker reads about taste and flavour trends, blending techniques, decorating tips, and industry highlights, and uses the information to enhance his/her baking knowledge.
Note that the Essential Skill does not change; however, the second task presents increasing challenges that require more complex application of the skill.
To expand on this, review the following table. Note how the ES complexity levels relate to the increasing tasks demands, as presented in the Level Descriptions Manual summary statements for Read with Understanding for Various Purposes table.
* Adapted from the summary statements as listed in The Levels Descriptions Manual
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