Aspiring Teachers Are Graduating Without Basic Literacy Skills and Failing a Simple Test

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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.

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.

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.

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