Literacy Matters: Making Essential Skills Work

The NWT Literacy Council in partnership with WWestnet (the Western Canada Workplace Essential Skills Training Network) hosted an essential skills workshop in Yellowknife. It was a followup to the Literacy Matters Workshop held in January 2008.

Forty five people attended the workshop on November 17th and 18th. Most of the participants were adult educators or literacy practitioners.

photo of Pat Salt with Essential Skills Workshop participantsPat Salt, the facilitator from Calgary, has been involved in a variety of projects that involve essential skills. She is well-known is this field and has a wealth of information to share on essential skills and embedded literacy.

Pat started the workshop by giving people a global perspective on what essential skills are and why they are important. She then used authentic workplace materials to lead us through a series of activities to show how adult educators and trainers can integrate essential skills into their programs.

Pat used experiential learning to engage the participants in the workshop. Participants took on the role of learner as she lead us through a series of learning activities. We explored document use, cloze procedure, skimming and scanning and graphic organizers as a way to embed essential skills into curriculum and training.

photo of Essential Skills Workshop participantsParticipants really enjoyed the workshop and found the material very relevant to their work. One participants said, "I would recommend this workshop to adult educators." Another participant said, "Relevant to my work. Would be great for all ALBE instructors."

The NWT Literacy Council would like to thank Pat Salt for coming to Yellowknife to share her expertise and ideas and we would also like to thank Melissa Gardner from WWestnet for helping to organize the event.