The current elective unit TAELLN411 Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills may become a core unit in the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
To work as a trainer in the VET sector a trainer must hold, as a minimum, the TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment from the TAE10 Training and Education Training Package or be able to demonstrate equivalent competency. Many trainers will soon need to hold, or demonstrate equivalent competency for, the unit TAELLN411 Address adult language, literacy and numeracy skills – Supersedes TAELLN401A.
Here’s a sweet snapshot of the course: Language can be said to cover all the modes and skills involved in listening, speaking, reading and writing. It involves words, phrases and sentences, the grammatical structures, whether spoken or written, including the use of idioms, slang or jargon. Language is the primary way we communicate with each other. Whether a group or individual uses a lot of slang or has a teasing, joking culture or relies on more polite and formal communications is all part of a particular language culture of their profession, trade, industry, community or social.
Languages are constantly evolving with our desire to communicate effectively. We are all constantly and often unconsciously learning new words and ways of communicating with different groups of people throughout our lives. Literacy is essentially language in use. It is about reading and writing as well as the skills of speaking and listening including awareness of the types of tone and connotations associated with communicating in different work, social or cultural contexts. Like language, literacy is constantly changing over time as we develop new ways to communicate and debate or explain information. The ‘new’ literacies involved in technological communications whether by email or text messages mentioned above or the skills involved in accessing, applying and using information or services offered on the internet highlight the changing nature of the literacy skills we need to operate in a technological world. We all need to be extending and developing our literacy skills as in order to adapt to new situations in a rapidly changing world.
‘Numeracy’ refers to the application of mathematical skills in real situations related to a person’s life, work and participation in their community. It involves interpreting mathematically related concepts and language, such as the graphs used in newspapers, or on TV during an election broadcast. It also includes the ability to keep up with new demands in the workplace. For example, the skills involved with calculating GST in the trades and in business rely on understanding the meaning of ‘%’ and the ability to calculate a simple percentage in the head. According to Australian research this is beyond over 50% of our adult population.
Numeracy also incorporates spatial skills, including reading and interpreting two dimensional plans and relating them to the three dimensional reality. It includes reading street directories and grid references; weighing and measuring; interpreting tables and standards; calculating and interpreting rates; recording data; calculating in the head; using calculators or other computational technologies. Numeracy includes the ability to make reasonable estimations and a feeling for ‘way out’ results when measuring or calculating.
It also incorporates using formulae (particularly those related to your workplace) and in some cases even the ability to transpose formulae. Confidence and ‘ownership’ of the mathematical skills are an important part of being numerate. This is one respect in which school mathematics education has let down many potential VET learners.
LLN in VET
Whether we are aware of it or not, LLN skills development is important for all study, formal and informal, at all levels including traineeships and apprenticeships, certificate and diploma programs, degree and post graduate programs. How teachers and their students develop these skills is an important factor in determining the quality of any vocational program.
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