Apprentices with Level 2 Essential Skills will struggle with technical training. They need clearly laid out learning materials and are not very good at explaining what they are having difficulty with. They may require individual tutoring.
In the previous blog, we had a look at how Level 3 apprentices can be more successful in technical training if instructors provide them with some strategies. Now we will look at some strategies for Level 2 apprentices.
Apprentices at this level of Essential Skills tend to be slow readers and generally aren’t well organized. Show them a few techniques for organizing their notes and reading material, such as using stickies and highlighters to mark important information and sections in their notes.
These apprentices have difficulty deciding what information is and isn’t important. Strategies that teach them how to find the main idea are beneficial. For example, teach them to read a paragraph from a textbook and then write a sentence to summarize the main idea of that paragraph.
They need practice using organizational features such as headings, indexes and tables of content to help them find information.
Apprentices at this level are overwhelmed by information from a PowerPoint presentation, the instructor’s notes on the whiteboard and readings from textbooks. Point out which source of information to study first, or show them how to integrate information from these sources. For example, tell them to read class notes for an overview of the topic, then textbook readings for more detailed information.
Apprentices at this level can manage one or two steps of calculation with minimal translation. Translation requires apprentices to understand that terminology such as “half of” means dividing by 2 or multiplying by a half. Instructors can break complex numeracy applications requiring several steps of calculation, or some translation, into a series of smaller tasks.
These apprentices do not understand that using more than one method for a calculation can lead to the same result. For example, weight can be calculated using pounds per cubic foot or pounds per lineal foot. When teaching a concept with more than one method of calculation, instructors can demonstrate both ways and provide a summary sheet with both ways for reference.
Provide apprentices with a worksheet to practice a new concept. The worksheet should have examples and clearly written steps that apprentices can follow to remind them how to complete the calculations.
Apprentices with Level 2 Essential Skills need learning materials that have a clear structure. Instructors can help them by showing the steps for completing a task, breaking the task into more manageable, smaller tasks, and showing them how to organize and find information. Including some of these approaches in technical training will help these apprentices to grasp concepts.