Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Human Resources: Training: Barriers to learning - Language, Literacy and Numeracy: Identifying needs

Part two in a series focusing on training/adult learning in the workplace.

Before you start training you will need to identify the LL&N needs of participants to make sure your training will meet their needs.

If a participant in your training program has difficulties with certain LL&N skills, these need to be addressed during the training program and assistance given while the task or information is being learned. This will ensure that the participant is equipped with the necessary skills and information to perform effectively in the workplace.

You will need to identify:

* What tasks participants perform in their jobs.
* What LL&N skills are involved in these tasks.
* Whether participants can do these tasks effectively.

You will need to think about how well participants can:

* Speak and be understood.
* Understand what others say.
* Read and understand what is read.
* Write.
* Use maths in their job.

There are a number of ways that you can identify the LL&N needs of participants. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Conduct a pre-training questionnaire which includes questions on:

* educational background.
* country of origin/length of time in the country (if appropriate)
* specific needs, for example, documents written in Braille.
* previous training completed.
* why they are participating in current course (to provide an example of their writing)

2. Interview (confidential) participants in person or by phone. Ask questions about the type of reading, writing and speaking they currently do in that job:

* What types of reading do you need to do?* What types of writing do you need to do?

* What kind of speaking or reporting do you need to do?

* How do you manage these tasks?

* What language do you speak at home?

3. Ask a workplace supervisor about any special needs that participants may have.

4. Seek support from a language, literacy and numeracy expert.

When you have identified the needs of participants, make sure the material you use:

*Is at a suitable level for the participants.

* Offers them enough practice in the skills they need to develop.

The language, literacy and numeracy demands of the training should not be greater than those required in the workplace

The last part of LL&L will appear Thursday, Jan 31 (Sydney Time)

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Human Resources: Training: Barriers to learning - Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Copyright: Mike Hitchen 2004-2008. All rights reserved.