Building foundation skills: a mid-year refresher

No matter where you may be at with building your learners foundation skills – there’s always scope for some strategy refreshment. Sometimes we reach the half-way point in a year and reflect on what went well and what might need a tweak.

If you want to top-up or refresh tips and strategies to build your learners’ foundation skills so they can perform the workplace task with confidence, then this post might provide just what you are looking for.

Which foundation skills are covered here?

Building foundation skills involves a range of strategies. These tips and strategies can make a difference to learners who are revising their skills, or learning new foundation skills in any context, including in the workplace.

This blog provides a combination of general and targeted trainer and learner resources, as well as suggested relevant professional development opportunities in the second half of 2017.

An article to read and print

This downloadable resource contains generic strategies to build a foundation skills approach to adult training and education. There are five tips which we believe are worth considering, they cover:

  1. Looking to the future in your industry, what changes are happening?
  2. Referring to the ACSF and CSfW to clarify the skill level and identify specific foundation skills strategies
  3. Knowing the difference between up-skilling learners to use a new or higher level foundation skill, and supporting foundation skill development
  4. Exposing and explaining the foundation skill
  5. Stretching the instruction and practice phases (where possible)

Videos: by trainers for trainers

If you are short on time and want a quick update, then you might find what you want here. These videos are short and focused, each with a different foundation skills aspect covered. Although some of them discuss approaches for adults who may be at the early stages of developing their skills – the approaches mentioned are relevant to many adult learners and provide helpful reminders that there is a range of strategies to consider..

Local video resources worth another look

What works for LLN Video Library

There are 33 videos in the What Works for LLN video library grouped into the following three series:

  1. Introduction to LLN (9 videos)
  2. Practical LLN tips for trainers and assessors (16 videos)
  3. Introduction to workplace literacy and numeracy (8 videos)

International video resources

The Irish National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) has a Tutor’s Corner

The Tutor’s corner includes tips to read, apps to suggest, downloadable worksheets, and Teaching Tips videos. The videos cover these foundation skills: Reading, Writing, Spelling, Numeracy and there is a video to support trainers with English as a second language learners. Enjoy the Irish accents.

The Canadian Government identifies nine ‘essential skills’
Developing adult learners’ foundation skills to work in the current and future workplace is also a concern in Canada. Skills Competencies Canada (SCC) endorses the increased skills demand. Here’s what they have to say…

“The level of essential skills required in the skilled trades and technology careers is as high or higher than it is for many other jobs … Essential Skills are linked to better performance, which then leads to better quality work, productivity, and retention.”

VET and adult education and training in Australia refers to Foundation Skills. The 5 core LLN skills identified in the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF), and the 10 Employability skills identified in the Core Skills for Work (CSfW)  – 15 foundation skills altogether. Canadian adult training and education refers to Essential Skills (9). There are many similarities.

The resources tab leads to:

  1. A written and visual (video) explanation of each of the essential skills. The videos are workplace based and show workers performing the tasks, using the equipment, and feature the different ways the skill is used.
  2. Trainer resources. Most are instruction examples from different vocational areas that link the learner questions to the essential skill that will be used.

The videos focus on how the role requires the skill/s. and may be useful to

  1. remind trainers of the foundation skills within a role
  2. show learners who may wonder why their training has a focus on foundation skills.

Look ahead: professional development opportunities in the second half of 2017

Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) national conference

13 and 14 September 2017.  Read more on the ACAL website.

The ACAL annual conference includes international and local presenters. The focus is on developing adult literacy – there are many sessions with a ‘how to’ approach revealed. You will hear the latest research, and gather tips and strategies to build learners foundation skills

Velg Training’s National VET Conference for 2017

14 and 15 September 2017.  Read more on the Velg Training website.

Last year, Velg Training introduced a Foundation Skills stream to its National VET Conference program  The focus on Foundation skills will continued this year.

We – Ann and Chemène – will be presenting again. Look out for more about Foundation Skills from us, and other key presenters. For more information, click the image.

We – Ann and Chemène – will be presenting a webinar on 19 July- Where does LLN fit into the Assessment Validation Process? For more information, click the image.

We encourage you to refresh, or affirm the foundation skills strategies to develop your learner’s foundation skills. Perhaps we will meet you via the webinar, or at the Velg Training National VET Conference.

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