Michael talks about literacy and numeracy (2:17)

Do you have any theoretical components?  How do you deal with those?

We do and with the theory side of things, we do it as a group and by doing it as a group, it sort of gets everybody involved, because when you’re trying – if you give someone a book and they can’t read and write, it’s very tough.  So what I do, I actually get a whiteboard and our classroom is with tarps pulled up over trees. Sometimes it’s pouring down rain and I’ve got this little fold-out whiteboard so everyone gets their book and we – I’ll write up the first question on the whiteboard, I’ll read it out to the guys and then we’ll discuss it, we’ll discuss that question.  And when the guys start getting the answers, they’re starting to get the ideas, I’ll write them in.  Then what they do, they basically copy what I’ve written but as they copy it, they’d ask me, “What’s that one there?”.  “That’s a W”.  “And what’s that one?”.  So you’re kind of doing a bit of literacy training with them, maybe not strictly as you would if you were... but they are still getting the idea of writing and they’re still getting the idea of sitting down and doing a little bit of stuff on paper. 

We also do stuff like trying to get them to fill out reports the best they can, things like the Incident Reports and I mean they might – on the Incident Report they might be able to put there the date, the time the incident happened, who it happened to.  They may not be able to fill in any details. At the bottom they can sign their name so when they give that to their supervisor, the supervisor can look at it and say, “Rightio, I don’t know what this person is really talking about” but he knows he needs to go and talk to them and they can give a verbal account of what happened.  The supervisor looks and goes, “Jeez, this guy needs a little bit of help with his literacy” and he can actually try and organise that.  

Or the guy might not want to sit in the classroom, he might be a 55 year old guy, who doesn’t want to sit down, but as long as he knows to put the time, the date, his name and a few little details and sign it and give it to somebody, then he can actually give a verbal account.  So he may never ever sit – be able to sit down a proper written report but he might not need to you know, so yeah, it’s hard to explain here.