Everyone has different ways to learn. For some, creating mental images, or visualising a setting, character, or event, helps with understanding a passage in a text which is being read. Photos or graphics (diagrams, etc) are excellent resources for aiding visual memory. “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
Taking down notes during learning sessions is one of the most effective strategies to improve one’s literacy and numeracy. Learners are highly advised to practice highlighting important passages via writing, underlining, or even encircling. This helps retain the information being learned. After reading something important it’s a good idea to write a summary of what has been read.
Thinking Before and While Reading
To improve reading comprehension, it’s helpful to have a clear idea of what information is being sought from the actual text. This sharpens the ability to focus on a text and also to know when to skim it.
When any doubt arises about what the text is about, or when the content is unclear, it is crucial to stop and think about what has just been read. The text may require a re-read, or perhaps checking another source of information (e.g. the Internet) to clarify the content of the text.
Actively thinking while reading will improve critical thinking skills. Questioning a text while reading (i.e. what, why, where, etc), will enhance the ability to not only think critically but also to remember what has been read.
Goal setting helps improve literacy and numeracy. Setting a goal before reading a text, working on a numeracy problem, or learning a new skill, will help sharpen the focus on the task at hand, and support growth in literacy and numeracy. Deliberate Acts of Learning (DALS) involve having a purpose to the learning activity – knowing the goal.
Constant practice will improve numeracy and literacy skills. Practicing visualising, note taking, thinking while and before reading, and goal setting, are strategies in the literacy and numeracy toolkit.
With every new learning activity it’s important to make every effort to understand and retain the information. Purposeful Practice (PP) requires an alert mind and attitude and a dedicated effort. So it is with building literacy and numeracy skills.
With any knew knowledge or skill it’s important to evaluate what has been learnt. Reflection and evaluation provide an opportunity to reinforce and consolidate new learning, and to consider where the new learning sits and fits alongside things already known, and things still needing to be learnt. Intentional Reflection (IR) is an evaluation of progress with new knowledge and/or skills including improvements with literacy and numeracy.
Start Your Career at VSTET
We hope this blog gave you helpful tips on how to improve literacy and numeracy skills. If you’re looking into improving your skills and starting your career, you can enrol in VET programmes at a Dunedin Trades Academy. Here at VSTET, we offer vocational training that meet government accreditation standards. We look forward to being part of your career journey as a young individual.