SUPPORTING LITERACY AND NUMERACY ACROSS THE CURRICULUM
Produce an essay that reflects on the study you have undertaken and presents a clear and critical evaluation of appropriate theory and practice.
Demonstrate an awareness of the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Core Curriculum and background to the Skills for Life Agenda.
Identify a range of innovative and creative ways of engaging learners with literacy and numeracy
Demonstrate understanding of the socio-economic and personal factors that can create barriers to learning, especially related to literacy and numeracy
In 1999 Sir Claus Moser published a groundbreaking report A Fresh Start which identified ...view middle of the document...
Literacy skills for speakers of other languages are essential not only to their employment but also to social integration. The Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees in the UK at City University College (2007) states that inadequate English language and communication skills were considered the most important obstacles for employers when considering applications from refugees and asylum seekers who otherwise have appropriate skills and experience.
The Adult ESOL core curriculum aims to provide a basis from which to devise and assess learning for this target group. Learners will of course be at different levels – some may already speak and write other languages and can use transferable skills from their own language such as lexis, phonology and knowledge of grammar, others may br illiterate in their other language. As with other adult literacy learners, in order to support them effectively, it is essential that colleges ensure that potential learners receive diagnostic and initial assessment, guidance and support from specialist or tutorial staff as necessary and that an individual learning plan is devised which is shared across teachers in all subject areas.
I believe that proficiency in literacy and numeracy should not just be seen as learning a set of skills such as spelling and handwriting, multiplication and addition, which can be taught and practised - but more about gaining the skills which are critical to social integration and that allow individuals to manage their personal circumstances independently.
However, while it may be recognised as an advantage, it must be remembered that improving literacy and numeracy skills is not often the main concern of adults targeted by the Skills for Life policy.
For example, a Home Office report (1997) about offenders under probation supervision recommended that literacy intervention became an integral part of the individual’s rehabilitation process. However, most probation officers interviewed for the report sited repeat offending, addiction, debt, homelessness and domestic problems as the critical issues affecting offenders in their care and that time to address literacy skills came much later and was then only associated with gaining employment.
Practical issues such as locality of venue, childcare provision, low-income and disability all have an impact on an individual’s motivation to engage in learning. Other barriers such as language, culture, or mental health problems will also deter adults from continuing with their education even when they have the skills at a level “necessary to function and progress”.
If adults have failed to acquire appropriate literacy and numeracy skills at school they often face further barriers to accessing learning as adults. A disability or specific learning difficulty may have had an impact on language learning and skill development and therefore on the adult’s ability to gain independence or employment. Physical disabilities, sensory...