The Nova Scotia Literacy Practitioner Training and Certification Program


Click to Go to:

Training Schedule 2017

How to register for the training

Practitioner Training Staff

General Information

Description of Modules and Practicum

Frequently Asked Questions









Our Practitioner Training Program Can Open Doors For You!



“The Practitioner Training Program is well structured to allow participants to identify ways to improve their teaching delivery while being aware of each learner’s needs and unique learning style.”  ~ Cavita Persad

“My approach to teaching has certainly changed as a result of the Practitioner Training program. I now incorporate a lot of new techniques I learned in the program.
~ Cavita Persad

Cavita Persad is an English language facilitator at Alderney Gate Library’s literacy program in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Her learners are mostly immigrants that have just arrived in Canada. The Dartmouth Learning Network was a major influence in her decision to enroll in Literacy Nova Scotia’s Practitioner Training Program. “After researching the PT program, I became curious about the many teaching techniques and strategies that I had not been aware of.”

As a result of completing PT, Cavita is able to address each learner’s unique and individual way of understanding. “I've learned to set some time aside during class time to listen to the small things they many come to me with, like their challenges in understanding the bus schedule, or how to dress warmly enough for the constantly changing temperatures. My learners feel appreciated because we share this "catch up" time just to touch base and check in with everyone. By doing this, they bond with each other and feel more confident about speaking up in the classroom if there is something they don't understand.”

Read more of Cavita's story




"The Practitioner Training Program has allowed me to reflect on my own teaching practices and the needs my students, and it's helped all of us learn."  ~ Read Mark Devereux's Testimonial

“The Practitioner Training Program is practical, flexible, and enjoyable!”  ~ Read Allison Parsons' Testimonial


Training Schedule 2017

Month

Module

April 2017
Assignment due on
April 19


Literacy, Adult Learners and YOU! | Apr 2 – 28


The Beginning Reader: Basics | Apr 2 – 28


Teaching Math: Basic Principles | Apr 2 – 28


What’s Your Message? Relating to the Adult Learner
April 8th at Dartmouth North Community Centre

May 2017
Assignment due on
May 17


Techniques for Teaching Reading, Writing, and Spelling | Apr 30 – May 26


Teaching Math: Keeping It Real | Apr 30 – May 26

June 2017
Assignment due on
June 14


Integrating Information Technology (IT) Skills Into Your Teaching | May 28 – Jun 23


Communications: Learners in Transition | May 28 – Jun 23


Learning Challenges | May 28 – Jun 23


Back to the Top

How do I register for this training?

Registration Form for NSSAL Participants
The tuition is free of charge for participants who are LNS members and are from the Nova Scotia School of Adult Learning (NSSAL). Funding provided by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

Registration Form for Non-NSSAL Participants (Tuition Payers)
Individuals not associated with any learning organization within NSSAL will be charged a non-refundable tuition on a cost-recovery basis.

Practitioner Training Tuition Schedule:

Certification: $742.50 (includes 6 modules, practicum, orientation)

Individual modules: $165 each

Your tuition payment is due when you register. Tuition is not refundable.
* * * * * *

Registration for the program is accepted anytime. Modules will be offered based on demand and funding. We will accommodate up to 20 participants per module.

Priority will be given to practitioners (paid or unpaid, class or one-to-one) working directly with learners in the following manner:

  1. You are affiliated with a learning organization (NSSAL) and the organization/network confirms your registration.

  2. You are affiliated with the learning organization (NSSAL) and you register independently from the organization.

  3. You are affiliated with a learning organization not funded by NSSAL. Tuition will be charged on a cost-recovery basis.

Please note: Auditing of courses is not permitted (ie. those who do not intend to submit an assignment should not register).

Back to the Top

Practitioner Training Staff


Marie David
Registrar
marie.david@nscc.ca

Brenda Lavandier
Facilitator
nspractitioner@gmail.com

Elaine Frampton
IT Coordinator
frampton.elaine@gmail.com


Back to the Top

General Information

What does “literacy practitioner” mean?
“Literacy practitioner” refers to both paid instructors and volunteer tutors. Literacy practitioners work with adult literacy learners in groups and/or one-to-one.

Is this training program for tutors or instructors or both?
This training program is for both volunteer tutors and paid instructors; it is for all literacy practitioners. The teaching strategies, best practices, and curriculum referred to in the modules are meant for both tutors and instructors. The examples given sometimes refer to teaching groups of learners, and sometimes to teaching a single learner in a one-to-one situation, but all can be adapted from one situation to the other.

Is this training program for new practitioners only?
This is a foundational training for practitioners in their first year of working with adult literacy learners, but seasoned practitioners are welcome to participate. Those who work with adult learners in some other capacity, such as coordinators, support staff, board members, and administrators may find some of the modules useful to their work as well. Participants in the modules have a wide range of experience at teaching or tutoring. Some come from teaching English as a second language; others come from the K-12 system; others have no experience in teaching, but bring their own love of learning and a desire to help. Those with more experience may provide practical help to less experienced practitioners; new practitioners bring experience in other areas of life, and their ideas and questions will help more experienced practitioners re-examine their practice.

Does this course cover everything I need to be a good literacy practitioner?
No. This is a foundational training only. It gets you started working with adult learners, but good practitioners are life-long learners, and as you work in the literacy field, there will be many opportunities for further training—workshops, on-line courses, books and presentations of various kinds.

How long does the program take?
You may take the modules as quickly as they are available, if you wish, and complete the program in six months or less, or you may take breaks between modules and take up to two years to complete the program.

How much time does a module take?
The online modules (all modules, except What’s Your Message? which is delivered face-to-face) require about eight hours each to complete, spread over four weeks. This includes linking to websites, reading, taking part in online discussions with other participants, doing online and offline activities, and completing assignments. However, there is a wealth of material in each module, and it would be possible to spend much more time tracking them all down. We expect each participant to suit the module to the experience, interest, and time available that each brings to the course. If you are spending more than eight hours, and you are enjoying it, carry on. If you are spending more than eight hours and feeling overwhelmed, or resentful, pull back. Make sure you get the assignment done, and fill the remaining eight hours with the activities and discussions you find most useful and interesting. Each module includes one assignment; credit for the module is granted when the assignment is successfully completed.

Goals of the program
As you work through the modules of the training program, we hope you will:

  • recognize and value the strengths you already have to bring to your work with adult learners, and take the opportunities provided to develop more strengths in other areas

  • make connections with other literacy practitioners in your area and around the province

  • broaden your knowledge of the Nova Scotia School of Adult Learning

  • learn specific teaching techniques and strategies for working with learners

  • come to see the many separate aspects of being a literacy practitioner, and understand how they weave together to make an organic whole

  • experience a model of teaching and assessment that you can transfer to your work with adult literacy learners

Format of the program
There are ten modules in the program, plus a short practicum. One of them, What’s Your Message?: Relating to the Adult Learner is delivered in a workshop format, approximately five hours long. The other nine modules are delivered online, with a facilitator. Each of them requires about eight hours to complete, spread over four weeks. This includes linking to sites on the internet, reading, taking part in online discussions with other participants, doing online activities, and completing assignments. Each module includes one assignment; when the assignment is successfully completed, credit for the module is granted.

Program Requirements

  • You may choose to do all ten modules.
  • You may choose to do only the requirements for certification.
  • You may do a module at a time when you have time.

It is strongly recommended that all practitioners, especially if they are new to the field, start by taking the module called Literacy, Adult Learners and YOU! Other modules may be taken in any order. To receive certification, practitioners must successfully complete a practicum plus six modules, as follows:

  1. ALL of these three modules:
    • Literacy, Adult Learners and YOU!
    • What’s Your Message? Relating to the Adult Learner
    • Integrating Information Technology (IT) Skills Into Your Teaching

  2. ONE of these three communications modules:
    • The Beginning Reader: Basics
    • Techniques for Teaching Reading, Writing and Spelling
    • Communications: Learners in Transition

  3. ONE of these math modules:
    • Teaching Math: Basic Principles
    • Teaching Math: Keeping It Real

  4. ONE other module:
    • Learning Challenges
    • Supporting English as an Additional Language Adult Literacy Learners (EAL ALLs)
    • One communications or math module


Back to the Top

Description of Modules and Practicum

Orientation: Getting Started Online
The on-line orientation will introduce you to the website for the program; orientation activities will ensure that you can navigate the site and read and post messages to the facilitator and other participants. Your facilitator and computer technician will be available by phone if necessary. The orientation activities may take less than hour if you are very comfortable with email and other software, or a couple of hours if you have more to learn.

Literacy, Adult Learners and YOU!
Who are the adults who come back to school to do the basics? You’ll meet some in print, in video and in person. You’ll broaden your knowledge of the Nova Scotia School of Adult Learning, and the programs and resources it offers, as well as taking a look at adult literacy through the lens of Literacy Nova Scotia. Finally, you’ll think about yourself as a practitioner. What do you have to offer? What do you need to develop? What are the joys and satisfactions that come with working with learners in the adult learning program? Is this the place for you?

What’s Your Message? Relating to the Adult Learner
This module is a one-day workshop, delivered at various places in Nova Scotia. It puts you in the same room with your facilitator and other practitioners taking the course. Relationships with learners are carried on in complex situations—often in public, each of you with assumptions and expectations, and both of you pressured by time and the need to cover content. You will spend the day looking at some common scenarios that happen between adult learners and instructors and tutors. You will learn some techniques you can use to make your relationships with learners less difficult, so you can do what you really came for—teaching and learning. We’ll let you know when and where it is offered, so you can pick the one you want to attend.

Integrating Information Technology (IT) Skills Into Your Teaching
There is more variety now in teaching reading and math because of the resources you’ll find on the internet, and because of new computer programs designed to help learners with the subjects. Learners also use and want to learn to use the internet and everyday software to keep up with friends, to look for information, to share photos, to write, to organize a family tree, etc. You may be very new to this technology or an old hand, but you’ll find a richness of resources in this module, and a chance to think about some of the issues that come with the technology.

The Beginning Reader: Basics
In this module, videos of tutors and instructors working with beginning readers are used to illustrate some of the principles of teaching the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking, with an emphasis on using those skills in a real-life situation. Some specific teaching techniques are introduced. This module is recommended for practitioners working with learners in Levels I and II.
Along with the online resources, you will need a copy of the following for this module:
Text Book – Teaching Reading to Adults, A Balanced Approach by Pat Campbell; ISBN - 978-1-894593-18-2
DVD – Teaching Reading to Adults: Word Recognition Strategies by Pat Campbell; ISBN - 978-1-894593-53-3
These resources can be borrowed from a local literacy network, an NSCC library or a public library in your area. They can also be ordered through Grass Roots Press.

Techniques for Teaching Reading, Writing and Spelling
How do we teach these basic skills? How do we “mark” learner writing? How can we improve skills and self confidence at the same time? Some very specific techniques and strategies are introduced in this module to get you started, or to supplement the work you already do. This module is recommended for practitioners working with learners in Levels I and II.
Along with the online resources, you will need a copy of the following for this module:
Text Book – Teaching Reading to Adults, A Balanced Approach by Pat Campbell; ISBN - 978-1-894593-18-2
DVD - Teaching Reading to Adults: Comprehensive Strategies by Pat Campbell; ISBN - 978-1-894593-54-0
These resources can be borrowed from a local literacy network, an NSCC library or a public library in your area. They can also be ordered through Grass Roots Press.

Communications: Learners in Transition
The learner who is making a transition to further education or training needs to take all the communications skills s/he has learned and apply them to ever more academic, more abstract, more complex reading material and writing assignments. The skills are the same, but suddenly the newspaper story becomes a biology text book and the language experience story becomes a five paragraph essay with a very strict form! This module is recommended for practitioners working with learners in Levels II and III who are planning to go on to higher levels of the adult learning program, or to other training, or to take the GED.

Teaching Math: Basic Principles
What’s current in teaching basic math to adult learners? How can I help learners develop the ability to do mental math? How can I help them remember facts and processes automatically? How can I deal with learner resistance? This module uses content from Levels I – III and the GED to illustrate some techniques and strategies for teaching, using manipulatives, games, models, diagrams, and print and internet resources.

Teaching Math: Keeping It Real
Topics in this module include developing number sense, using real life applications of math, finding and sharing links to interactive online sites for learners, marking for confidence and test preparation. It uses content from Levels I – III and the GED to illustrate some techniques and strategies for teaching.

Learning Challenges
Learners in the Adult Learning Program face many challenges—learning difficulties, experiences of violence or trauma, physical and mental health issues, lack of money, family responsibilities… Our focus in this module is on how practitioners can teach so that learners can deal with the challenges and achieve their educational goals. We will see that we don’t need a different kind of teaching program or a different set of strategies to deal with each kind of challenge. Rather, teaching practices that support learners to overcome one challenge have a lot in common with strategies to support their efforts to overcome other challenges.

Supporting English as an Additional Language Adult Literacy Learners (EAL ALLs)
How do we teach learners with low literacy skills who are also learning English? This module introduces some of the basic needs of EAL ALLs, best practices, how to do needs assessments, how to plan lessons using appropriate techniques and approaches, how to observe and give feedback to learners, and how to adjust future instruction to meet the needs of EAL ALLs.

The Practicum (Floating Assignment)
It is expected that after the first module Literacy, Adult Learners and YOU!, participants in the program will be working with a learner or a group of learners. Many of the modules include an assignment or activity that asks participants to try something out with a learner. At any time after taking Literacy, Adult Learners and YOU!, a participant in the program may complete the “floating assignment,” which consists of planning a session with a learner, carrying it out, and reflecting on the experience, with the help of a mentor who is an experienced practitioner. This assignment will complete the practicum. The certificate will not be awarded until the practicum is completed.


Back to the Top

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I’m not sure my computer skills are good enough to take an online course?
The orientation Getting Started Online is made for you. It will introduce you to the site you will work on for each module. Besides a written manual and some independent work, a facilitator and a technician will offer to walk you through it by phone or in person, and make sure you know how to manage the site, how to post messages to the course facilitator and other participants, and how to keep track of the material.

How long does the program take?
You may take the modules as quickly as they are available, if you wish, and complete the program in six months or less, or you may take breaks between modules and take up to two years to complete the program.

Can I take more than six modules?
Yes. You will receive certification as soon as you complete the requirements of the program, but you may go on to take more modules as you wish.

What about non-teaching staff?
Coordinators, supervisors, other administrators, receptionists, board members and so on will benefit from the following modules, and could take them as a matter of professional development: Literacy, Adult Learners and YOU!, What’s Your Message and Learning Challenges.


Back to the Top