by Terri Peters
Terri Peters has been in the field of adult literacy and learning for the past 20 years. She is currently a learner experience designer and consultant. She loves to develop fun ways to facilitate learning that keeps adults engaged and motivated. Her areas of expertise include adult literacy and learning, workplace essential skills, plain language, and learning facilitation design.
Terri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No matter the EAL level, many adult learners need to prepare for the Canadian workforce. Let’s give them a leg up by incorporating some workforce language and culture into lessons.
It can be as easy as including forms of courtesy in the workplace in speaking activities. Or it could be coaching learners in what types of conversations and topics are appropriate at work, such as how to interrupt politely, how to ask for help, or the language pragmatics of making friends at work. Many EAL literacy activities used in classrooms for social or language growth can be applied to workplace contexts, too.
But the best strategy might be to address immediate and relevant concerns of learners who are already in the workforce. They often have questions about Canadian workplace culture and may have experienced confusing (to them) workplace scenarios that can be used as the basis for activities and lessons.
If your learners aren’t personally working at the moment, they probably have friends or family members who are and who come home with interesting workplace tales to tell. These can become a gold mine of workplace literacy topics.
You’ll find many ideas for activities and lessons in the resources below. They combine Canadian workplace language and culture. Some are specifically written for low level EAL learners and others have plain language content which can be adapted for lower literacy.
The list also includes some videos and audiobooks you can use in the classroom and learners can review on their own time.
- A Part-Time Job
- A Problem at Work
- Pooja Finds a Job
- Marie’s Path to a New Job
- A Woman’s Right at Work
- Pooja’s New Beginning
- Pronunciation clarity
- Intercultural awareness
- Conversation management
- Time Management
- Stress Management