Monday, January 28, 2008

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

Not long ago I mentioned I would be posting a series of training/adult learning articles. Today is the first in the series.

One of the most challenging barriers to learning facing trainers, is LL&N - Language, Literacy and Numeracy. Over the next few days, I will be taking a closer look at the problems, implications and solutions, for both the learner and the trainer.

Communication is a process that is always occurring, whether it is in your job, in the training room or doing your assessment. Communication is the process by which we relate with those around us, through speaking, listening, reading, writing and body language.

In the workplace all job tasks require some level of language, literacy and numeracy skills whether it is simply following written or verbal work procedures or communicating with peers. LL&N skills are essential aspects of work performance and need to be explicitly addressed in training and assessment. For example, if you are training a group of workers in safety procedures and they cannot read the information you have given them, will they be learning the safety procedures effectively?

Whether you are training, assessing or doing both, it is essential that you accurately identify those with LL&N needs so that you can adjust your training and/or assessment to ensure that no one is disadvantaged.

There are a number of reasons why participants may have limited skills in language, literacy and numeracy:

* They may have missed out on basic skills/education.
* They may have come from a non-English speaking background.
* They may have a specific learning disability.
* They may have an intellectual disability.

Individuals may belong to more than one of the above groups so it is important that you treat each participant as an individual. Participants should be judged against the performance criteria of the standard you are training or assessing against and NOT on their LL&N alone.

Next - Identifying the LL&N needs of participants

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