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Scope & Sequence

The Scope and Sequence of Skills attempts to define the competencies adult basic education (ABE) and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) learners in Minnesota need to achieve to progress through the functional levels as defined by the National Reporting System. The competencies in the Scope and Sequence of Skills are correlated to the competencies tested by CASAS and TABE in reading, life skills, math, and listening. The ESL competencies are also closely matched to the competencies of the BEST test.

There are three parts to the Scope and Sequence of Skills: Student Report, Competency Overview, and Competency Outline. The levels are named by the functional level descriptors used in State reporting.


The Scope and Sequence of Skills has three purposes. First is to provide information to the instructor on what a learner needs to progress to the next functional level. For some instructors, a brief one- or two-page document with basic competency information is enough information. This goal is met by the Competency Overview. For other instructors, a more descriptive document better meets their needs. The Competency Outline covers this need. An additional purpose was to have some way to communicate to learners what they would be learning or what they had learned. The Student Report was developed to meet this purpose. The third purpose was to provide information about a learner's competency to an employment counselor or employer. The Student Report could also meet this need.


The Competency Overview parallels the Competency Outline. The Overview lists only the competencies for a particular level. The competencies are organized according to the title given to the CASAS competency areas with the additional category of grammar and writing added. The Outline goes into detail about each competency. It provides specific information about what could be covered for that particular competency and what is tested on the CASAS and TABE. At the top of each Overview or Outline is the corresponding CASAS and TABE score range for that level.


The Student Report is a brief listing of some of the areas the learner will be working on during that particular level. This document could be used to give an instructor a quick glance at what is in a level. It could also be given to the learner as a progress check or report card, or it could be used as a course outline. This document could be given to an employment counselor as a listing of what skills a learner has attained.


The skills and competencies could be taught in any context appropriate to the learner or learners being served. Also additional competencies not specifically tested for the CASAS or TABE may be appropriate based on the needs of the individual learner and/or the individual instructional situation.

An additional resource included in this document is a list of instructional resources that may be used or that have been found in the past, by ABE and ESL instructors, to be appropriate materials. This is not a definitive or prescribed list; its purpose is only to provide information to the instructor. Another resource for reference is a copy of the National Reporting System Functional Levels.



Marshall Adult Education
SMSU Social Science Bldg
1501 State Street.
Marshall, MN 56258


Pat Thomas, retired Manager

Scope and Sequence Writer
Paula Freiermuth 

Additional Partners
West Adult Basic Education
Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council
Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services

The Scope and Sequence of Skills for the Adult Basic Education and English-as-a-Second-Language Learner was made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education, Adult Basic Education Unit.


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