LBS Practitioner Training

Professional development support for Literacy and Basic Skills educators in Ontario

ESKARGO and OALCF Implementation Strategy Resource

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With the new Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF), LBS agencies across the province are implementing a more task-based approach to literacy programming. Over twenty online documents, tools and resources have been developed for the literacy field to support OALCF implementation, and programs are working to incorporate the new concepts and strategies. The change is intended to help adult learners achieve their personal goals more quickly by providing training that links directly to tasks adult can expect to encounter in the context of employment, apprenticeship training, postsecondary school training, adult credit or at home and in the community. While a lot information is available for practitioners about the new curriculum, (i.e., all the OALCF resources and documents on the eopg website), there is not a lot of information about how to get started in the selection of tasks and how to bridge the gap between selecting a task and knowing what to teach. Specifically, practitioners have been asking for some help on the following:

  • how to link initial assessment with the selection of goal-related tasks for learners
  • how to select appropriate tasks for learners to work on
  • how to sequence tasks appropriately
  • how to identify the embedded knowledge, skills and attitudes in particular tasks
  • how to select content and identify the starting point for instruction and learning
  • how to track foundational skill development in a task-based model
  • how to introduce learners to a task-based approach

In 2012, with funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, CESBA developed the OALCF Implementation Strategy Resource (ISR) and the Embedded Skills, Knowledge and Attitudes Reference Guide for Ontario (ESKARGO) to help address these issues.

In 2013, with project funding from MTCU, The Metro Toronto Movement for Literacy (MTML) created digitized versions of the ISR and ESKARGO resources so that learners and practitioners can download the documents and work with them electronically. Digitized collections were also made for the Francophone, Deaf and Native Streams.


OALCF Implementation Strategy Resource

The OALCF Implementation Strategy Resource contains an Introduction and PRACTITIONER NOTES plus four major resources with Tip Sheets to help practitioners use these resources to best advantage:


Initial Skills Assessment with ANSWER KEY and checklist that provides indicators based on the results of a skill-based assessment for reading, writing and numeracy that point to recommended training in specific OALCF competencies, task groups and levels. The Initial Skills Assessment Tip Sheet provides some helpful suggestions.

Should learners wish to work with the Initial Skills Assessment documents electronically, you can download a digitized version from The ISR Digitized Collection


A Welcome Package for learners. Essentially a workbook with information and learner activities, the Welcome Package is offered at three OALCF levels of difficulty. It is intended to introduce incoming learners to key OALCF concepts and terminology and help support the learner's smooth entry into LBS. These welcome packages share a common Table of Contents to allow for group instruction with activities at varying levels of complexity.

To allow learners to work with the Welcome Packages electronically, download the digitized versions from The ISR Digitized Collection

French ISR Digitized Collection

A fourth Welcome Package is available for working with emergent readers. In this package, you will find a slightly different Table of Contents and pages with more white space, more illustrations, less text, and activities that call for minimal writing and more conversation and discussion. The Welcome Package for Emergent Readers is also effective in introducing new learners to the OALCF key concepts and language.


Task-based, goal-path specific Self-Assessment Packages for learners that bring together all the goal-related tasks from the OALCF Curriculum Framework sample tasks the Supplemental Tasks and the Milestones by goal path in a self-assessment format.

To have learners work on the self-assessment documents electronically, download the digitized version from The ISR Digitized Collection

French ISR Digitized Collection


Task-Tracking Sheets are working documents created for every competency, task group and level and are intended to support the tracking of learner skill-development towards successful task performance.

To work with the Task-Tracking Sheets electronically, download the digitized version from The ISR Digitized Collection

French ISR Digitized Collection


A fifth resource, the Embedded Skills, Knowledge and Attitudes Reference Guide for Ontario ESKARGO is also part of the OALCF Implementation Strategy though it is a standalone document, not included in the binder. The ESKARGO contains lists of skills and knowledge found in tasks that are situated within each particular competency, task group and level, plus an ESKARGO Attitudes Rubric to help learners determine the extent to which attitude plays a role in successful task performance.

Most programs have already begun to implement the OALCF, but for those that still have some gaps and challenges, the Implementation Strategy Resource can provide what any program needs to work effectively with the OALCF. The resource does not have to be adopted in its entirety in order for it to work. Each resource has value in and of itself and can be easily incorporated into any other implementation approach.

Download individual ESKARGO Pages of embedded skills and knowledge by competency, task-group and level or the ESKARGO as one complete document.

A digitized version of the Attitudes Rubric can be found in The ISR Digitized Collection. Look in the section forTask-Tracking Sheets.

Download individual ESKARGO Pages in FRENCH.

Acknowledgements for the development of the ESKARGO and OALCF Implementation Strategy Resource.



To further support LBS Practitioners in OALCF implementation and the use of the ESKARGO and ISR Resources, MTML created six short online training videos. These are housed on the MTML website and include the following:

  • An Introduction
  • ESKARGO and the Attitudes Rubric
  • ISR Initial Assessment and Checklist
  • ISR Welcome Packages
  • ISR Self-Assessments by Goal Path and the Learners in Groups
  • ISR Task-Tracking Sheets.

LBS Managers may find these videos useful for practitioners as a follow-up to this year's provincial training, or for professional development purposes during in-service training.



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