It is Hard to Learn New Skills as an Adult
As adults, we are always learning new skills. We take up new hobbies, learn languages, and up our workplace skills. Sometimes, we learn fast but, more often, it takes time, energy and focus. As adults with children, jobs, and countless responsibilities, finding space in our lives to learn something new can be a huge challenge.
Learning to read or write as an adult is no different. Whether we are improving our literacy skills or learning from scratch, it takes time, effort and perseverance.
At Literacy Unlimited, we meet adults every year who take on this challenge. Their commitment to learning is inspiring. They find time in their busy weeks to meet with one of our amazing volunteer tutors and work on improving their reading and writing skills.
Continue reading to see how some of the adult learners at Literacy Unlimited achieved their goals by Sticking With It.
Goal #1: Finish A Book
In 2022, for Adult Learners’ Week, Literacy Quebec sent one of our learners, Evonne, a Learner Kit. It arrived by mail and contained a book. The book was called Peace By Chocolate: a true story about the Hadhad family who fled war-torn Syria in 2016 to start a new life in Nova Scotia. This was going to be a challenging read!
Over the past six months, Evonne read a chapter of the book each week and spent time discussing it with her Literacy Unlimited volunteer tutor. She finished the book last month. Evonne and her tutor both loved the story of hope and community.
To celebrate her success, and for Adult Learners’ Week 2023, we gathered together at our centre and watched the movie based on the book. Evonne introduced the story to the group. We ate popcorn, shared a box of chocolates from the Peace By Chocolate store in Nova Scotia (available in Librairie Clio Bookstore), and reflected on this heart-warming story. You can find out more at https://peacebychocolate.ca/
Goal #2: Pass My Driving Test
We all remember passing our driving test. For many of us, it was our first taste of freedom and independence. Do you remember the written test?
For people who find reading difficult, studying for the written driving test and then taking the test on an SAAQ computer screen is incredibly challenging.
One of our learners has been working on passing the test for several years. Each month, she has booked her appointment, paid the fees and sat the test. When she didn’t pass, she was not discouraged. She worked with her tutor on the vocabulary she needed to pass. She learned how to answer multiple choice questions. She kept going back.
This year, she sat the test and passed.
Goal #3: Become a Canadian Citizen
For many people, arriving in Canada is the beginning of a very new life. They quickly adapt to life here, they find work, start to study, and enrol their children in school.
After establishing a life here, some people decide to settle. The process of applying for Canadian Citizenship begins. It is a long process. There are forms to complete, documents to collect, emails and letters to write. Then there is a test to pass. The Canadian Citizenship test is extensive. To pass, you must learn a whole lot about Canadian Geography, History, Politics, the Legal System and Values.
For one of our learners who struggles with reading, sessions with his tutor were vital. They studied together. Little by little, he learned what he needed to know. The tutor learned a little, too!
This past year, Canada gained a new citizen and this Literacy Unlimited adult learner was able to call Canada, home.
Goal #4: Learn to Use a Computer
We all learned how important technology has become during the pandemic. We met our families on Zoom. We booked vaccine appointments on ClicSanté. We ordered groceries online. We worked remotely from home. Our children even went to online classes.
For adult learners at Literacy Unlimited, it was the same. However, when you struggle with reading, learning new digital skills online is particularly difficult. One of our learners, took on the challenge together with his tutor.
At first they connected by phone. Then they connected by Zoom. Then they figured out email. They learned how to hold their tutoring sessions online, together. In the past year, they upped their skills and learned how to use a document camera in their sessions.
Technology is always changing. LU learners, like this one, are keeping up.
Goal #5: Enrol in Adult Education
Literacy Unlimited is a big advocate for life-long learning. It is such a privilege to live in a place where we can up our skills, take up new hobbies, and learn new skills. Adult Education centres are a great place to do this. However, returning to school can be very daunting for many people.
Like many of our learners, Melanie had mixed experiences at High School. She also struggles with reading and writing. However, enrolling in an Adult Education french course was her goal.
Over the years, working with a Literacy Unlimited volunteer tutor, she has improved her reading skills. But most importantly she developed confidence in her ability to learn. Last year, during the pandemic, she enrolled on a French Course at Place Cartier Adult Education Centre. She loves the teachers, the class, and the learning environment.
Interested in Improving Your Reading Skills at LU?
To talk with our program director about our services, just call our office: 514-694-0007 or click here and sign up online.
Interested in Becoming a Volunteer Tutor at LU?
Sign up here and one of our team will contact you to tell you more.