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Evaluate a range of ways to embed functional skills, in your specialist area.

My subject area of employability, resonates with DCSFs assertion that applying and contextualising learning has always been part of good teaching...( DCSF, 2009, p8); as the very nature of an employability course requires learners to learn about work and work environments. Within my teaching, I would adopt the mindset that integrating literacy, language, numeracy and ICT into your sessions is part of your professional role as a teacher. (Gravells and Simpson 2010, p59). Some examples of how I would do this for the different functional skills and subsequent elements as presented by Gravells and Simpson (2010) follow. For literacy: Within the reading element, learners would be required to read about different careers; for the writing and spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax elements, the learners would write a personal statement for an application form. For the functional skill, language: within the speaking element, I would ask learners to design and deliver a presentation about themselves; for the listening element, I would ask learners to provide feedback to their peers; for role play, learners could undertake mock job/study interviews; and to develop their interview skills, Id ask them to interview someone within the career/sector they are interested in. The main challenge I envisage is for learners to not become weary of them reflecting on their literacy functional skills, as most of the activities Ill ask them to engage in will involve literacy skills. I can also integrate numeracy into the teaching of employability by: including calculations through asking learners to forecast salaries for different occupations using current and previous salary ranges; interpretations can be embedded through learners analysing labour market information; getting learners to evaluate different entry routes for occupational areas and what this will mean for them, will address the evaluation element; measurement can be addressed by learners creating a life-line and mapping their achievements, goals and career on to it. Embedding numeracy skills in this way may be more challenging than literacy because learners are less likely to expect to be using numeracy skills within an employability course. I would need to design activities at various numeracy levels to enable all the learners in the class to engage confidently.

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PTTLS Assignment 8 Functional Skills March 2011 Aminder K Nijjar

Finally, ICT can be embedded within my teaching by: setting learners activities which require online research into sector of work, thereby enabling them to engage in online learning; I would set up a learner forum online and set an group project which would entail learners participating in E-learning; for word processing, learners would word process their CV and covering letter; to incorporate the VLE element, I would place course documents and resources on the College VLE; and to ensure learners know how to use email, I would ask them to create and send to me, an email they would send to an employer which accompanied their CV and covering letter. The main challenge of embedding ICT is learner access to ICT and the equipment working, including in lessons. These examples illustrate Wilsons (2008) belief that all activities in a lesson have the potential for learners to develop and demonstrate their functional skills. Embedding functional skills into my employability course could bring numerous challenges. Some of these challenges could be: learners becoming weary of reference to functional skills in their various courses; including functional skills at different levels in order for all learners to benefit; learners feeling functional skills are irrelevant because they may have already have level 2 qualifications in maths and English or indeed not want to learn about this but instead focus on the topic of the course for which they enrolled; and learners having restricted access to ICT. I would endeavour to address these (and other) concerns in positive ways. Word count 612 words References DCSF (2009) Functional Skills: A Guide, Sheffield, Department for Children, Schools and Families Gravells, A. and Simpson, S. (2010) Planning and Enabling Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Second Edition: Exeter, Learning Matters Ltd Wilson, L. (2008) Practical Teaching: A guide to PTLLS & CTLLS, Hampshire: Cengage Learning EMEA

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PTTLS Assignment 8 Functional Skills March 2011 Aminder K Nijjar