The time is now: adult literacy

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Adult Literacy/ Numeracy By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: Adult Literacy/ Numeracy
Last updated: 13/04/2017
Tags: adult literacy, adult reading, adult writing, dyslexia

"I wish I'd done this years ago."

"Ten years ago I thought about getting help, but I was too embarrassed."

These are typical comments from adults who've started having lessons in reading, writing and handwriting. They tell me that they've been ashamed for years and used up all their energy avoiding situations where they'd have to expose their poor literacy skills or atrocious handwriting. They've spent those years feeling frustrated and angry and have ended up in their current jobs just because the work didn't need much in the way of reading and writing. Some of them are talented individuals who could never practise the profession they were born for, simply because the job required too much paperwork.

One day the whole thing gets to be too much for them and they screw up their courage and join a class or hire a private tutor. Suddenly, the impossible becomes possible, sometimes even easy. They realise that they don't have to waste any more time in anger and avoidance. This is when they say, "I should have done this twenty years ago."

I believe we are seeing a new trend in adult education. People who, a generation or so ago, would have gone to their graves unable to read or write well, are stepping forward to get right with themselves. When their reading and writing take off, you can see the joy as the burden of illiteracy falls off their backs. 

I have done literacy and handwriting work with primary school pupils and pensioners and every age in between. I have never seen anyone fail to achieve their objective of reading and writing better or developing beautiful handwriting. In fact, the greatest hurdle with adult students is getting them to believe in themselves. They have had a low opinion of themselves for so long that they find it hard to recognise their own achievement. Becoming literate means breaking the habits of a lifetime.

If you are thinking of improving your literacy, it only takes three steps:

1: Decide that the time is now to take charge of the situation                                                                                            

2: Join a class or contact a tutor                                                                                                                                        

3: Work hard

These steps require effort, but they work and the reward is priceless. When you've made your decision to become fully literate, find out what classes are available in your local area, either your own or neighbouring boroughs. Funding for adult classes changes continually- keep checking! Courses get cut or become too expensive, then new money comes in and suddenly there are free reading and writing classes for adults.

So, if you're reading this and you want to improve your literacy skills or know someone who is struggling and saying, "It's too late" or "I'm a lost cause," tell them, "No. It's never too late."

In fact, the time is now.



Miss Diane Adult Literacy/ Numeracy Tutor (North London)

About The Author

The saying is, "No pain, no gain." My method is just the opposite. I like to make learning as easy and enjoyable as possible for both children and adults. If learning is a struggle, come to me and let me take the heat out of the situation.

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