Common Skills for Literacy Practitioners
Regardless of the sector or stream, literacy practitioners hold many skills in common. The Adult Literacy Educator Skills List prepared by Ontario Literacy Coalitionis the culmination of three years' extensive research and consultation within the literacy community. While it was written more than a decade ago, the skills are still valid and essential to literacy practitioners.
This section is excerpted from the general skills in OLC's Adult Literacy Educator Skills. List.
- Knowledge and Understanding
- Theories of adult learning and teaching. Theories of literacy learning and teaching.
- Factors that affect learning and contribute to successful learning
- Motivation of learners
- Relevance and impact of previous learning experiences
- Common barriers to learning (e.g., self-esteem, anxiety, stress) and strategies to overcome them
- Life circumstances (e.g., age, mental and physical health, family responsibilities, and economic issues)
- Principles and methods of collaborative learner-centred education which emphasizes collaboration between learners, and between learners and instructors in all aspects of the learning process. Roles of instructors, tutors, volunteers, coordinators and learners.
- Developmental stages of adults related to adult learning and literacy learning.
- An understanding of social groups (e.g., employed, unemployed, immigrant, refugee, seniors) and cultural groups (e.g., deaf, native, francophone, visible minorities) in their settings (e.g., urban, rural, poverty). An ability to reflect on differences and commonalities. Sensitivity to cross-cultural issues and ways to foster understanding and respect.
- Special needs and how they are manifested. Strategies for helping adults with special needs in literacy settings.
- Differences between ESL literacy and first language literacy. Ways to accommodate limited oral skills, limited vocabulary, non-Roman script, variety of literacy levels in first language.