Essential skill: Document use

Essential skill: Document use

Essential skill: Document use

Date posted: September 23, 2013

The 4th annual Essential Skills Day will be celebrated on September 27, 2013. It’s a day to raise awareness about the importance of workplace literacy and essential skills training. Today’s post focuses on the essential skill of document use – the reading, interpreting and writing of a variety of information displays using words, numbers, icons and other visual characteristics.

Canadian forms made easy.
Joan Allaby. Ottawa, Ont.: Laubach Literacy of Canada, 2007.
» This workbook looks at understanding and filling out different types of forms.

Document use at work.
Julian Evetts, Lynda Fownes. Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan, 2004.
» Designed for practitioners in adult basic education, workforce education and training situations, this resource examines the various types of documents used at work and analyzes the skills needed to interpret these documents. Teaching tips and sample documents are included.

Filling it in: working with forms for Aboriginal students.

Christianna Jones and Kate Thompson. Owen Sound, Ont.: Ningwakwe Press, 2009.
» This book is designed for Aboriginal adults and teens who want to learn about filling out forms. The workbook contains paper-based and internet forms that touch on work, personal and school life. A glossary of terms commonly used on forms is included. A practitioners’ section at the back looks at how the forms in the workbook conform to LBS levels 1-3 and Essential skills.

Language for work: CLB and Essential Skills lesson plans for ESL instructors. (online)
Ottawa, Ont.: Canadian Language Benchmarks/Essential Skills in the Workplace, 2009.
» This Web page contains 25 lessons on Essential Skills including lessons on document use. The document use lessons include: placing orders, ending the workday: a duties checklist, having a medical examination: filling in forms and answering questions, accident reports, reading your pay cheque, refusing dangerous work: reading flowcharts.

Organizing information; Schedules; Information forms: Volume 1, Books 1, 2, and 3. Workwrite. 4th ed.
Karen Geraci and Aleksandra Popovic. Toronto, Ont.: Preparatory Training Programs, 2010.
» The Workwrite series provides learners with opportunities to practice workplace essential skills. This volume is a compilation of Books 1, 2 and 3. Book 1 examines the uses of labels, lists and directories. Book 2 looks at the use of a variety of schedule formats. Book 3 deals with forms to document problems, questionnaires, checklists and third-party forms. Lesson plans include background information, documents for use as learning materials, and learning activities.

Workplace communications: book 4. Workwrite.
Karen Geraci. Toronto: Preparatory Training Programs, 2008.
» This book addresses the use of notices/postings, memoranda, agendas, minutes, fax cover sheets, email, work orders, letters, and corporate communication. It contains a wide variety of types and styles and introduces learners to the broad range of documents used to communicate information and ideas.

To find more resources, browse our Document Use list.

To borrow any or all of these books, email

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