It’s important that the basic skills needs of learners are identified early and appropriate support provided. Teachers can support learners’numeracy and IT skills in the context of their language learning.
Language is essential to the learning of numeracy. It provides a means for learners to express their understanding, negotiate meanings, to develop their thinking further and to share their findings with others. (1) Teachers can embed numeracy in the context of language learning in the resources to use with learners and that learners can use for themselves (2). There are many useful resources offered online for teachers working in the post-16 learning and skills sector in England such as the website excellencegateway.org.uk. Under the numeracy section there is a wide range of example activities and links to materials that cover the Adult Numeracy Core Curriculum.
These are some activities that can be used to develop and improve the learners’ numeracy skills in the context of language learning:
•Recipes - Weighing ingredients in metric using grams and kilograms, litres and millilitres; using proportion and ratio. An inspiring example is offered by the BBC website raw numbers (3) •Shopping to a tight budget – Adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and converting money; use of decimal points e.g. converting pence in pounds; calculate discount using percentages (for example, exercise 4- unit 12-Natural English intermediate student’s book) (4) •Telling time – 24 and 12 hr clock, timetables
•Health – Measuring weight using kilograms, calculating calories in a meal •Fractions and percentages in newspapers articles, on the web and information leaflets e.g. NHS, Job Centre, etc. •Ages – comparatives and subtractions: finding out people’s ages from date of birth, etc. •Dates –...