Action-Learning Manuals for Adult Literacy

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  • Publication
    Literacy & Learning in Families and Communities
    (1996) Dixon, Joan; Cohen, Joanie
    This manual introduces practitioners to basic concepts and strategies for action research in their communities to identify local themes and develop culturally relevant literacy programs. This Manual is designed for practitioners working in community-based organizations. The specific focus is literacy, but it is relevant for anyone involved in nonformal education, women and development, family and community health, early childhood education, community development, or other community and family-centered projects. It can also be adapted for programs that want to improve communication and understanding between families and organizations such as schools, health clinics or other service institutions. The purpose of the manual is to provide guidance to practitioners who want to develop a literacy program based on local information, interests and realities. The manual promotes a three-pronged Action-Learning Process for program development. The process includes researching the local situation (inquiry), developing reading and writing skills for daily life situations (learning), and organizing family and community groups to participate in the process (organizing). The manual also introduces seven family and community literacy activities and describes how they can be used as tools to implement this three-pronged approach. 1) As inquiry tools the activities help you observe, ask questions and collect information about family and community literacy in a systematic way. 2) As learning tools, the activities can be used to develop reading and writing skills and to raise awareness about literacy and local knowledge. 3) As organizing tools, the activities can help you organize and promote literacy and learning in family-based and community-based settings. The manual is divided into two parts. Section One: The Action Learning Process, explains the three-pronged approach and introduces the strategies for action-learning: inquiry, learning and organizing. It explains the basic components of doing small scale research, developing participatory learning plans and organizing home-based and community-based literacy activities. Section Two: The Action-Learning Activities, describes each of the seven action-learning activities and provides information about their purpose, procedure and applications.
  • Publication
    Gender Perspectives in Literacy
    (1996) Acharya, Sushan; Cohen, Joanie
    A manual which explores how gender issues affect literacy programs and women’s and girls’ education. The information is based on the author’s work with women’s groups in Nepal and Latin America. Literacy programs designed specifically with women in mind can provide women with the guidance and support necessary to help them gain self-confidence and self-dignity. With creativity and commitment, facilitators in literacy classes can expand their program beyond basic reading and writing skills, using activities that will help both men and women improve women's status in the community, their access to community resources, and their overall health and well-being. This manual is designed to provided a self-training process for literacy practitioners who need to understand gender issues. It will help you analyze how customs and assumptions about women in their society may affect their individual development and their ability to contribute to the well-being of their families and communities. While following through this manual, you will have an opportunity to critically examine your local program and materials to see how they reflect the values regarding women's contribution in society. The activities will help you examine the roles that men and women play in your community, and ways to discuss this with both women and men. From what you learn in this manual, you will be able to redesign a program or produce new literacy materials that focus on women's issues and the roles that men and women play in the family and community. This manual is intended for practitioners who are interested in starting or enhancing an adult literacy program. The activities are designed for practitioners who want to better understand and incorporate gender issues into their curriculum. The activities in the manual are structured to help you first teach yourself and then design learning activities for literacy learners. Section One discusses the connections between literacy, gender and development and how men and women experience literacy differently. Section Two introduces key gender concepts with examples from literacy materials from around the world and suggestions for how to initiate discussions of gender issues in literacy classes. It covers concepts of sexual division of labor, patriarchy, gender subordination, male bias, oppression and gender equality. It also provides guidelines for analyzing local materials and stimulating learner writing. Section Three helps you analyze how men and women are socialized differently for their roles in society, and provides exercises for you and your learners to explore your own socialization process and location in society. While going through the different steps of this manual you will be analyzing communities and and literacy materials from a gender perspective. In this section, you will use the activities to first teach yourself and then to prepare learning activities for your literacy class.
  • Publication
    Role Play
    (1996) Sultan, Mainus
    A manual which introduces creative strategies for the use of role play to stimulate discussion, analysis and writing activities that are based on the daily lives of literacy learners. The information is based on the author’s experience working with literacy groups in Bangladesh and in the U.S. The purpose of this manual is to help practitioners use role play as a tool for creating learner-generated activities in a literacy class, or in a facilitator training program. This manual provides a framework to help you understand the concept of role play and how it can be part of an adult literacy program. Included is a detailed discussion of the process of role play implementation. The step-by-step presentation is intended to help you generate your own ideas for role play, as well as to encourage the learners to conceive of, and implement, their own role play. This manual is intended for literacy and nonformal education practitioners, and for facilitators, and supervisors. The manual can serve as a starting point for using role play in a literacy class or in a facilitator training. Read the contents and consider how this material applies to your situation. Work through the different activities. Upon completion of the activities, either write a brief report or record the learner-generated ideas and the role play process.
  • Publication
    Producing Newsletters for New Literates
    (1996) Sultan, Mainus
    This manual provides detailed information on one method for creating local literacy materials. It is based on the author's experience producing newsletters and learner-generated materials in Bangladesh. This manual is designed to help you create a newsletter with and for the new literates served by your literacy program. Step-by-step guidelines explain the process of publishing a newsletter including how to organize facilitators, learners and new literates to collect local news stories, how to edit, do a layout, and publish a local newsletter. The manual is designed for literacy and nonformal education practitioners who want to provide graduates of their literacy classes with interesting and relevant reading materials. Newsletter production requires creative planning. This manual is meant to be a framework to guide you through process of creating a newsletter. Begin by reading through the manual and think about how you can apply the to your work situation. The activities will make more sense after you have tried them out. The manual is divided into five activities, each of which provides you with guidelines for developing your newsletter. The five activities are: planning assessment, writing, putting it together, and distribution and feedback.
  • Publication
    Whole Language: An Integrated Approach to Reading and Writing
    (1996) Dixon, Joan; Tuladhar, Sumon
    A manual which introduces the basic concepts for teaching reading and writing skills by creating literacy activities and learning materials in collaboration with learners. Portions of the manual were developed and tested with practitioners in Indonesia and Nepal. The series offers the practitioner a wide variety of activities to choose from to meet the diverse needs of community literacy groups. The manuals are designed to complement each other, but can also be used independently. Two of the manuals, Whole Language: An Integrated Approach to Reading and Writing, and Literacy and Learning in Families and Communities, provide the core concepts for literacy learning. The other five manuals provide creative ideas and techniques for implementing those concepts. It is not imperative that Whole Language and Family Literacy be read before a practitioner attempts to implement ideas found in the Role Play Manual, for example, but it might be helpful. The Whole Language manual introduces basic concepts and strategies for teaching reading and writing skills by involving learners in the creation of lesson activities and learning materials. The Literacy and Learning manual introduces basic concepts and strategies that develop locally relevant literacy activities and materials through researching issues and resources in the family and community. The other manuals in the series provide additional information and guidelines for implementing effective local literacy programs. This Action Learning Manual is designed for people who want to help or are already helping adults and out-of-school children learn how to use reading and writing skills in everyday life. Part of the information you will need is contained in this manual. The rest of the information you will have to discover by doing the activities and collecting information about your local situation. The manual provides background information and activities to guide you as you learn by doing. Section I introduces you to the underlying principles of three approaches to reading and writing. Section II provides information and step-by-step guidelines for implementing twelve whole language strategies. By completing the activities in the manual, you will develop the skill to organize a class and create materials that are based on the needs, interests and resources of learners in the community or program where you work.