People with literacy issues can find it hard to admit to reading and writing problems. And therefore are not the first to seek help.
We are often asked, why do you promote yourselves on social media when the people you are trying to help probably are not reading the material anyway?
The answer is simple. The people who start the ball rolling for better reading, writing and numeracy skills are family members, mother, father, aunty, uncle, or somebody else within the whanau. The next most likely person to start the ball rolling to help somebody with literacy issues is a work colleague, like a manager or immediate superior who interacts daily with the individual with the literacy issue—people who have a genuine interest in people succeeding. We have managers or colleagues of apprentices phoning asking for help for one of their apprentices. The most common comment is, “they are never going to be able to pass their exams with their writing and spelling ability they have at the moment.”
Just a phone call is all it can take and, of course, the willingness of the student to interact with one of our coaches. And why would you not want to succeed in your career as an apprentice plumber, builder, cabinetmaker or another job?
Why do people with literacy issues not seek help?
Some do, like two men in their fifties, recently phoned us. Both had similar stories that recent life events made them realise they needed to do better reading and writing. Both said they could read but not very well and wanted to improve their situations. They were frequent visitors to their local libraries and got value from the libraries. They did not get value from the books, magazines, and other documentation and decided it was time to seek help to increase the value of the library for them.
These two men are a rarity and need to be congratulated for taking the action improvement line for themselves.
People with literacy issues do not seek help for many reasons. Embarrassment is one, and not being willing to let people know of their problem is another. And on odd occasions, people are proud that they struggle with reading and writing, preferring reliance on other people to help them.
Reasons why not is the norm.
When the literacy issues are broached with the individual, the reasons not to take positive action come to the fore.
ABC Life Literacy Canada’s “Why Aren’t They Calling?” study identified the following as the most significant concerns people had about enrolling in a literacy program. There were 21 main reasons that potential students had not to enrolled for literacy assistance. We touch on a few of the main reasons below that the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust has found and include ways to overcome these problems:
- Money problems in general – everything is free with the Rural Youth and Adult Literacy Trust (RYALT).
- Conflict with paid employment – generally, our coaches can work with a suitable time for the student.
- Program too far away – a student can undertake training online or by phone from the comfort of their own home. So, no travel is required.Not able to work at the student pace – our coaches work at the student pace. We understand that this is an issue for students. We believe that learning is best done at the student’s own pace to build confidence within the student and a desire to keep moving forward.
- Worried/nervous – RYALT works on one student to one coach learning. Our coaches care and understand a student’s nervousness and work to overcome this aspect and build confidence.
If you are looking for literacy help for someone showing resistance. You can talk to us.