Can you imagine not being able to help your child with their homework? For many people in our society, reading their mail or filling out a form is a seemingly impossible task.
14% of adults (one in seven) in our community have low levels of literacy, according to the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey. Many of the tasks you might take for granted like reading medicine labels, writing lists, interpreting maps, reading instruction manuals and other things that we encounter in our lives are a challenge.
If you know of a family member, friend or neighbour that could benefit from assistance, there’s a multitude of resources that can help improve their proficiency (as you might imagine). Here are some of them:
Eligible adult migrants and humanitarian entrants to Australia can access up to 510 hours of free English lessons.
Part of the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, this site provides a range of adult literacy resources, training material and Professional Development resources for industry trainers/assessors.
This occurs from 29 August – 4 September and celebrates the progress Australian schools are making in raising the literacy and numeracy levels of students.
This site provides language, literacy and numeracy training to help people improve their speaking, reading, writing or basic maths skills. The program aims to improve chances of getting and keeping a job, as well as making everyday life easier.
Bringing attention to literacy challenges is quite often met with shame and embarrassment. What’s important to bear in mind is that people who acquire literacy skills later in life are adults; they think like adults and require resources and support tailored to them specifically. We’ve sourced a range of resources suited to adults learning to read and write, here are some of them:
Yes We can Read by Libby Coleman
Gatehouse Books is a great source of literacy support books. ‘Yes we can read’ is a fantastic ‘go-to’ book because it guides the coach through the entire program. Suited towards any learners between the ages of 8 and 80, it’s a phonics-based program helping people develop reading for meaning.
The book teaches you how to help with teaching individual phonic sounds, blending sounds, building words and sentences together and reading fluently.
Teach anyone to read by Lillie Pope
If you’re not trained as a teacher and not an expert in the field, teaching an adult to read might seem like an overwhelming ask. Pope’s books is as ‘no-nonsense’ as she claims. The techniques described in Pop’s book have been used successfully for more than 50 years and by thousands of instructors, helping thousands of students to read.
Liz and Joe go on holiday by Jennie Cole
This book is part of a series that feature the Liz and Joe characters. Aimed at new readers, it’s targeted at those learning English as a second language (ESOL), In short story format, the books are illustrated with colour photos and in a comic books style format. The objective of these titles is to gradually increase your vocabulary with regards to daily life. Other titles in the series include Joe’s Surprise, Liz and Joe Have a Day out and Liz Gets a Gas Bill.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Level 3 by Robert Louis Stevenson
Pearson English Readers have a great reputation as a ‘go-to book’ when working with adults. Like most readers they work in a graded system and they cover a range of titles, including Young Adult or Adult titles, making them suitable for adult literacy support.
Crow Girl Rises by Kate Cann
Crow Girl Rises is published by Barrington Stoke, a publishing company established by a mother-daughter team aimed at helping children and teens suffering with dyslexia. Innovations such as dyslexia-friendly font, tinted paper and short, engaging achievable books from an amazing range of authors have helped them win a number of publishing awards. This title is aimed at the Teen/Young Adult reader and deals with the teenage themes of love, parties and friendship (with a halloween theme).