Thursday, January 31, 2008

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

The last in the series of articles on LL&N looks at how to address LL&N needs.

If you have participants with specific LL&N needs you may need to modify your training to meet those needs.

* Use visuals to support written texts.

When you are writing anything for the participants you need to be sure that they will understand what you have written and will be able to learn from it. You should first identify:

* How much writing they are required to do.

* How well they can write.

* How much you will require them to write.

* How you will structure the information so that it is easy to follow.

Strategies that may help participants who have difficulty writing may include:

* Giving participants only essential writing tasks.

* Considering group exercises so that the responsibility for writing rests with more than one person.

* Providing models of completed written tasks.

* Making sure that documents and forms are written and formatted in plain English.

* Use clear headings.

* Highlight key words or phrases.

* Explain technical terms.

Speaking and listening skills are of primary importance in training. As a trainer you need to present information that can be easily understood by all participants.Strategies include:

* Present information in small chunks.

* Speak clearly and not too quickly.

* Give instructions clearly and in a logical sequence.

* Give lots of practical examples.

* Encourage participants to ask questions.

* Ask questions to ensure participants are understood.

* Avoid using slang or jargon.

* Link the information to something they already know.

Numeracy involves being able to do the mathematics that are necessary in one's job such as taking measurements and doing calculations.If you have participants who have difficulties with numeracy tasks you can:

* Get them to identify, in words, what the problem is and how they might solve it.

* Show participants how to do the calculations step by step.

* Help participants work out what maths/calculations/measurements are required.

* Encourage the use of calculators and demonstrate how to use them.

Language, literacy and numeracy in assessmentLL&N are important factors to consider when conducting assessments. In assessments LL&N are involved in two ways.

* LL&N tasks are part of workplace competency standards that make up a job role/function. For example, completing forms, reports etc.

* LL&N tasks are required to perform the assessment. Participants will have to read questionnaires, answer questions and listen to instructions.

When assessing participants it is essential that you do not make the assessment tasks more demanding in terms of language, literacy and numeracy than the job itself.

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

Copyright: Mike Hitchen 2004-2008. All rights reserved