Friday, 18 October 2013

Some thoughts from the International PLAIN conference


How can I use the ideas I heard at the recent Vancouver International PLAIN conference?  http://www.plain2013.org/

Can I adapt any ideas for writing for people with low literacy skills?

Yes!

Plenary session.
How do our readers really think, understand, and decide                                                        - despite what they know.
Some concepts from Mark Hochhauser, PHD

1. Decision making - use "law of least effort." All readers will take the least demanding route.
2. Word knowledge is critical for good comprehension. However, people with low literacy have not made the shift from word recognition to language comprehension. People with low literacy will read word-for-word, without being able to necessarily comprehend the message.
3. Some Health Problems can affect cognition, and therefore reading, comprehension and interpretation of written materials. For example, 
     - inpatient experience of being an inpatient of ICU, or 
     - chemotherapy treatment.

Report on International Assessment of Adult competencies.
A summary of new data in Canada, and internationally from Noel Baldwin, Policy Coordinator for Post Secondary Education  at Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences (PIAAC) complete data was released just a few days before the conference. Specific data was discussed for Canada, so watch this space for updates on Australian data. What will it mean for the development of documents in Easy English?

The new data looked at 3 keys areas - Prose Literacy, Numerical Literacy and Problem based Technology Literacy.

My paper with Mark Starford included the new data for Australia and US.
44% or 7.3 million Adult Australians has non functional literacy.
52 % of Adult US citizens has non functional literacy

More details of the Australian data and the international report coming ASAP!

Cathy
Cathy@accesseasyenglish.com.au
0466 579 855

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