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Teaching Mother-tongue Literacy for Adults

20 day course outline

Course outcomes
By the end of the course each educator will be able to:
  1. recruit and teach a class of adult literacy learners;
  2. use a curriculum, teaching methodology and materials which are appropriate for adult education to bring learners to first language literacy at Levels 1 and 2;
  3. move learners as swiftly as possible through the programme, using assessment and placement tests to place learners on a graded learning path so that prior learning is recognised, and using internal tests to monitor learner progress;
  4. enable interested learners to enrol for and pass available ABET* Level 1 and 2 examinations;
  5. use local expertise and resources to enhance the literacy curriculum and to integrate it with local issues, so that learners are enabled to participate more fully in workplace or community development activities, and to engage in incomegenerating activities.

Course content

  1. Adult literacy teaching and adult basic education in South Africa: an overview
  2. Adult learning theories, with an emphasis on Language Experience learning
  3. A first language literacy learners’ curriculum and its background: enhancing thiscurriculum to meet learners’ needs and interests
  4. Assessment of learners’ prior learning to place learners in Levels
  5. Placement testing to group learners into ability groups within a Level
  6. Literacy teaching skills and classroom management
  7. Setting up a class
  8. Class administration
  9. Resources and materials: developing your own and choosing other material
  10. A closer look at ABET literacy Level 1 and 2: outcomes, examination processes


The course approach

In training literacy educators Operation Upgrade uses a discursive, problem posing approach which enables course participants to analyse information, integrate it with ABET: adult basic education and training Operation Upgrade of South Africa their own experience and values, and discover solutions to problems. It is a learnercentred approach.

The course contains the essential theoretical base to the work of an adult basic education educator for Levels 1 and 2, linking literacy work with development needs and initiatives. It moves quickly to the development of practical skills for teaching literacy.

Each participant will have the opportunity to practise every method and technique mentioned during the course, from how to help learners develop finger dexterity when holding a pencil for the first time, to how to help them to answer a written comprehension question at the levels required for ABET 1 and 2.


The approach is highly participative and there is plenty of practice and group work in the course as its emphasis is on practical skills for teaching literacy for adults. Educators are given extensive notes to use during the course as well as a full educator kit.

Operation Upgrade of South Africa
Numeracy Educator Training (10 days):

Course Outline


Course outcomes
By the end of the course each educator will be able to

  1. use assessment and placement tests to place learners on a graded learning pathfor numeracy
  2. teach basic numeracy concepts and skills
  3. use a curriculum, teaching methodology and materials which are appropriate foradult education to bring learners to first language numeracy Level 1;
  4. move learners as swiftly as possible through the programme, so that priorlearning is recognised, and use internal tests to monitor learner progress;
  5. enable interested learners to enrol for and pass the ABET Level 1 numeracy examination;
  6. make use of learners’ plans and needs to provide a context for numeracy learning so that learners are able to apply numeracy skills in everyday life.

Course content

  1. The Level 1 numeracy outcomes;
  2. The numeracy curriculum for learners: Numeracy and everyday life; numeracy as an empowerment tool; counting and estimating; the four basic calculation skills of adding, subtracting of numbers up to a thousand, multiplying and dividing; 100’s, 10’s and units; rands and cents; word number puzzles from real life; halves, quarters and thirds; calculating 10 percent, 20%, 50% of a whole number; how VAT works; reading a payslip; howwe use time, telling the time in clock-face and digital modes; using a calendar; reading and using a cash receipt
  3. Numeracy teaching techniques;
  4. The different ways people calculate and how to build them into the programme;
  5. Problem-solving in numeracy ;
  6. Resources and materials; developing your own numeracy exercises and using other materials;
  7. Practical application of numeracy;
  8. Assessment of numeracy progress during and at the end of the programme.


The course approach

Operation Upgrade believes that numeracy educators should use a problem-posing approach with learners. The problems should be real-life problems which need numeracy for solution. If the adult learners come a little way towards understanding the need for a particular numeracy skill, this is a good start. The skill is then demonstrated, discussed, and practice is given. The skill as a whole is presented in steps, so that learners develop a sound knowledge of each aspect of numeracy work.

Operation Upgrade of South Africa Operation Upgrade stresses the need for educators to set each numeracy concept and skill in a practical, everyday context. Educators are shown how to develop word sums, and set challenges which relate numeracy to life. As far as possible, numeracy work should be enjoyable. The educators learn to use a range of methods to encourage and stimulate numeracy learning, such as puzzles, games, competitions, role plays, group and pair exercises. Some educators and learners have different mathematical conventions and numeracy techniques for reaching the correct answers: Operation Upgrade educators are encouraged to accept any route that learners take to get the right answer provided they can describe how they did it. On the other hand Operation Upgrade believes strongly in the development of mental arithmetic skills. Educators learn how to teach the multiplication tables so that learners remember them, and the learner curriculum includes frequent mental arithmetic practice.

Educators are encouraged not to show learners how to use a calculator until the basic number manipulation skills have been learned thoroughly. Numeracy concepts are best learned in one’s home language. Operation Upgrade therefore encourages educators to begin numeracy work near the end of Level 1 literacy, and conduct it in mother-tongue. The Level 1 numeracy learner workbook is in isiZulu. Only the names of the numbers are in English.

Educators then opt for the isiZulu level 1 numeracy examination for their learners, and the pass rate is much better for these learners than in the English Level 1 numeracy examination.

Operation Upgrade of South Africa
English Language Teaching for Adults:

10 day course outline

Course outcomes

By the end of the course educators will be able to:

  1. assess potential learners and grade them into Level 1, 2 and 3 English classes
  2. analyse the learning needs of their classes and individual learners
  3. facilitate English learning which meets learners’ needs and national standards
  4. use a wide variety of participative learning methods to ensure that learners develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills at the right levels
  5. design learning experiences for their learners 
  6. give guidance and support for their learners
  7. provide administration for their English classes
  8. register learners for examinations
  9. administer the oral and class-work assessments for Level 3


Course content

  1. English language teaching and adult basic education in South Africa: an overview
  2. The learner, the educator and the teaching/learning context
  3. Language awareness
  4. The curriculum for each ABET level
  5. Classroom management
  6. Teaching skills for beginner conversational English
  7. Teaching skills for reading, writing, speaking and listening to English
  8. Resources and materials
  9. A closer look at ABET Levels 1 and 2


The course approach

Operation Upgrade had the assistance of the British Council in the development of this course. A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) consultant provided some of the most modern and up-to-date methods and activities, which were combined with adult basic education methods to provide an effective learner curriculum and educator course. The course approach is highly participative and there is plenty of practice and group work in the course. Practical skills for teaching English for adults form the major part

 

HIV and AIDS and literacy learning

The educators in training on the HIV and AIDS course make a list of the AIDS topics they want to cover in literacy lessons.  Then in groups they plan lessons on the basis outlined above.  After the course they make their own lesson plans that incorporate some of the HIV/AIDS topics.

EMSENI Community Centre

We have set up a community centre in KwaNibela, called Emseni Community Centre. (“Emseni” means Place of Kindness.) We have built two large rondavels there, one to accommodate our staff and visitors, and one for storage.

The UNESCO Confucius Prize

“The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy was awarded to Operation Upgrade of South Africa, for the “KwaNibela Project”, and continues the Organisation’s 40-year history of commitment and change.  Website Hosted by Pro Hosting Internet Services