Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong learning Sector
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Review how to provide opportunities for learners to practice their literacy, language, numeracy and ICT skills
Providing opportunities for learners to practice the skills they need often means hiding them on normal learning activities as many students are resistant to Maths, Literacy and information Communication Technology (ICT) classes. The idea of functional skills was developed by Government to “provide essential knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable people to function confidently, effectively and independently in life and at work” (Gravells, 2012).
Functional skills are seen as crucial to alleviate employers’ worries that future employees are not gaining an understanding of the basics. “Functional skills are practical skills in English, Maths and Information Communication Technology (ICT)” (direct gov); functional skills are available in a large number of educational and training establishments and in the work place. Ideally when teaching functional skills the tutor needs to be competent and confident in the functional skill they will be teaching, as you can’t have mis-spelt words in a hand out, difficulty doing calculations you are showing the students or not to be able to use a computer. If this is the case then further training may be required for both the tutor and the student to move forward.
Functional skills in education should be, where possible, engaging especially if past experience is minimal or not a favourable one. The tutor may use ICT to complement their teaching of the other functional skills, such as power point presentations, interactive lesson that getting the student up using the interactive white boards. Many educational institutions have an online learning area where class notes, homework or power points are uploaded and can be accessed by the students form home, providing time for recap or further work.
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