Workplace Literacy Materials

These are materials for educators, tutors, practitioners and anyone who is interested in workplace literacy. Every item on this list is available, either from the library or online.


Overviews and Fact Sheets

Bare essentials: an introduction to Essential Skills. (online)
Ontario: College Sector Committee for Adult Upgrading, Community Literacy of Ontario, Continuing Education School Board Administrators, Ontario Native Literacy Coalition, 2008. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/bare/bare_essentials.pdf

Connecting literacy, learning & work.
Christine Pinsent-Johnson. Ottawa: OCDSB Continuing Education, 2008. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/christine/connecting/connecting.pdf
» This book tells the story of an adult literacy programs that changed the way it thought about and taught literacy for adults who want to make changes to their work.  Includes research-based discussion, curriculum ideas, some tools, interviews with instructors and student photo stories.

Ecologies of learning: how culture and context impact outcomes of workplace literacy and essential skills. (Online)

Juliet Merrifield. Montreal, Que.: Centre for Literacy, 2012.
www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/sites/default/files/CFL_SI-2012_Research_Paper%20Nov%201_12.pdf
» This paper uses the concept of social ecology as a framework for understanding the various elements that can create or limit opportunities for learning of workplace literacy and essential skills. It shows how learning cultures at work, workplace or government policy, workplace structures, and employer and workers interests interact and influence the outcomes of training. A research brief is also available online. www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/sites/default/files/Research_Brief_ecologies_of_learning.pdf

The economic benefits of improving literacy skills in the workplace.

M.R. Bloom, M. Burrow, B. Lafleur & R. Squires. Ottawa, Conference Board of Canada, 1997.
Also available online at www.en.copian.ca/library/research/economic/economic.pdf

The economic benefits of literacy: evidence and implications for public policy. (Online)
Mike McCracken & T. Scott Murray. London, Ont.: CLLRNet, 2009.
www.dataangel.ca/en/CLLRNet%20fnal%20Benefits%20of%20Literacy.pdf
This report presents a non-technical view of how economists think about literacy and what the available evidence is about the economic value of literacy. It considers literacy a key element of human capital and human capital a driver of economic growth. It looks at the cost and benefits of early and adult literacy initiatives, and explores the role of government, industry, unions, adult educators and individuals in improving literacy skills of Canadians.

Employer investment in workplace learning in Canada. (online)
Mark Goldenberg. Ottawa: Canadian Council on Learning, 2006.
www.cprn.org/documents/45354_en.pdf
» This discussion paper presents an overview of workplace learning in Canada, examines key issues, and outlines some of the ideas that have been proposed to improve employer investment in training and workforce skill development.

Fact sheets about workplace literacy and Essential Skills. (online)
Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators, 2009.
library.en.copian.ca/browse/series?name=CAMA%27s+Workplace+Literacy+and+Essential+Skills+Fact+Sheets
» The fact sheets, targeted to municipal workplaces, are: myths and facts about workplace literacy and essential skills, why municipal workplaces are involved in literacy and essential skills; how municipal workplaces are tackling the issues, challenges and solutions, best practices, what will your return on investment be?

The Haves and Have Nots of Canada’s labour market. (online)
Benjamin Tal, CIBC.
http://research.cibcwm.com/economic_public/download/if_2012-1203.pdf
» This summary paper by Benjamin Tal of CIBC discusses the mismatches between employment skills and worker labour in Canada. Tal notes that this mismatch can be seen in both labour surplus and labour shortage – with some skills possessed by more people than there are jobs, while other skills are found in far fewer people than there are jobs to fill. He presents evidence that retraining of existing workers must be part of any long-term solution to address the skills mismatch and current unemployment numbers.

Highlights of effective workplace learning practices in small and medium-sized enterprises. (Online)
Prepared by the Conference Board of Canada for the Canadian Council on Learning. Ottawa: Canadian Council on Learning, 2008.
www.ccl-cca.ca/pdfs/OtherReports/CBofC-65CaseStudies-SME.pdf
» One page overviews of 65 workplace learning case studies from around the world.

How Essential Skills training benefits business. (Online)
Victoria Read Society, 2009. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/read/skillsplus/skillsplus.pdf
» One page of quick facts on the benefits to business of Essential Skills training.

Industry shared approaches. Becoming state of the art: research brief no. 1. (online)

Toronto, Ont.: Essential Skills Ontario, 2012..
www.essentialskillsontario.ca/sites/www.essentialskillsontario.ca/files/Industry_Shared_Final_0.pdf
» This brief examines the disparity between the skills of the current labour market and industry labour needs, and proposes a combined effort between literacy and essential skills trainers and industry employers. By sharing responsibility and rewards with industry to meet industry demand, service providers in the literacy and essential skills arena would be able to participate more fully in provincial labour development strategy, with a net positive effect on learners.

International workforce literacy review: Canada. (online)
Sue Folinsbee.  New Zealand: Dept. of Labour, 2007. Available at: http://dol.govt.nz/PDFs/upskilling-2007-canada.pdf
» This document looks at background information on the context for Canadian workforce literacy, reviews key policies related to workforce literacy, outlines workforce literacy provision, and describes outcomes of workforce literacy provision in Canada.

Literacy and Essential Skills.(online)
Ottawa: Employment and Social Development Canada, 2013.
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/les/index.shtml
» The Canadian government gateway to definitions, Essential Skills profiles, tools and resources.

Literacy in the workplace (CUPE fact sheets). (online)
Canadian Union of Public Employees, 2008.
www.en.copian.ca/library/research/cupe/factsheets/factsheets.pdf
» A series of five fact sheets from a labour perspective.

Literacy matters: helping newcomers unlock their potential. (online)
Craig Alexander. TD Bank Financial Group, 2009.  Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/litmat09/litmat09.pdf
» This report draws attention to newcomers, who are a primary source of additional workers to the Canadian labour market, and the literacy challenges they face.

Public investment in skills: are Canadian governments doing enough? (online)
Serge Coulombe and Jean-Francois Tremblay. C.D. Howe Institute, 2005.
www.cdhowe.org/pdf/commentary_217.pdf
» Recent research shows that using direct measures of skills produces a clear relationship between investments in human capital and both long-run economic growth and long-run labour productivity. Specifically, a country’s literacy scores rising by one percent relative to the international average is associated with an eventual 2.5 percent relative rise in labour productivity and a 1.5 percent rise in GDP per head. These findings demonstrate that literacy and numeracy test results are connected to economically important, quantifiable outcomes, and raising the skills level of people who have left the school system should not be neglected. Also, in the context of a rapidly aging population, attracting skilled immigrants to Canada will become increasingly important.

Schooling in the workplace: how six of the world’s best vocation education systems prepare young people for jobs and life.
Nancy Hoffman. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2011.
» Schooling in the Workplace explores the vocational education programs in a wide range of countries, focusing in rich and useful detail on six in particular: Australia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland.  It makes the case for integrating school and career preparation to help young people succeed in the workplace and argues that “the smartest and quickest route to a wide variety of occupations for the majority of young people in the successful countries – not a default for failing students – is a vocational program that integrates work and learning”.

Securing prosperity through Canada’s human infrastructure: the state of adult learning and workplace training in Canada. (online)
Ottawa, ON: Canadian Council on Learning, 2009.
www.en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/securing/securing.pdf
» This report from the CCL on the state of adult learning and workplace training in Canada demonstrates that investing in human infrastructure is critical to a strong economy and greater social equity. Makes recommendations for creating conditions that maximize lifelong learning.

Skills for life: essential skills and workplace literacy: final report.
Ottawa: Government of Canada, 2005.
» This report is the outcome of the Skills of Life Conference, held in British Columbia. The conference provided stakeholders with the opportunity to learn about the potential of essential skills training in the workplace; the possibilities of implementing workplace learning; and the relationship between learning and economic development.

Unlocking Canada’s potential: the state of workplace and adult learning in Canada. (online)
Ottawa, ON: Canadian Council on Learning, 2007. Available at: http://www.ccl-cca.ca/pdfs/SOLR/2007/AdultENG19juin11h36FINALv6.pdf
» The CCL’s first report on the state of adult learning and workplace training in Canada.

Workbase (NZ). (online)
Available at: http://www.workbase.org.nz/
» This website of the New Zealand workforce literacy organization includes downloadable practical resources and a portal to current international adult literacy and numeracy information.

Workforce Essential Skills: putting literacy to work.
Karen Geraci and Marisa Mazzulla. Toronto: PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs, 2011.
» This guide examines what workforce Essential Skills programming is, how it can be designed and who benefits from it.  Workforce Essential Skills is a pre-employment adult education approach that extends beyond job search to helping participants develop job skills.  It looks at elements of effective workforce ES programming and outlines an implementation process.

Workplace literacy. (online)
Toronto, ON: ABC Life Literacy Canada, 2011. Available at: http://www.abclifeliteracy.ca/workplace_literacy/home
» The workplace literacy section of the ABC Life Literacy Canada website includes 5 steps for starting a workplace education program and resources to make the case for workplace education. Find workplace literacy facts at http://abclifeliteracy.ca/workplace-literacy-facts

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Research

Addressing Canada’s literacy challenge: a cost/benefit analysis.
T. Scott Murray et al. Ottawa: Data Angel, 2009. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/cost_benefit/cost_benefit.pdf
» This report advances the case for improving literacy among Canadians as the most cost-effective way to boost productivity and maintain employment. The report presents estimates of the cost of raising the literacy skill of the adult population in Canada to Level 3, and provides two sets of estimates of economic benefits that would result from increased literacy. Suggestions are made for dividing responsibilities for different groups of leaders. This would be of interest to those interested in developing or influencing government policy on literacy.

Adult literacy development and economic growth. (Online)

Stephen Reder. Washington, DC: National Institute fr Literacy, 2010.
lincs.ed.gov/publications/pdf/AdultLiteracyDevEcoGrowth.pdf

All signs point to yes: literacy’s impact on workplace health and safety.
Alison Campbell. Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada, 2008. Also available online at: http://www.workplacebasicskills.com/frame/pdfs/AllSignsPointtoYes.pdf
» This report is a literature review on the connection between employee literacy skills and workplace health and safety records.  It is the preliminary step for a research project – “What you don’t know can hurt you”.

The benefits to employers of raising workforce basic skills levels: a review of the literature.
Katerina Ananiadou, Andrew Jenkins and Alison Wolf. London: NRDC, 2003. Also available online at: http://www.nrdc.org.uk/publications_details.asp?ID=42#
» This paper summarizes the literature on the benefits which employers gain from raising the basic skills levels of the workforce.

Bridging employer and employee needs in BC’s Capital Region: Phase 1 literature review and bibliography. (online)
Victoria Read Society, 2009. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/vrs/phase1_biblio/phase1_biblio.pdf
» This literature review, a preliminary step in a workplace literacy project, looked at approaches to workplace literacy, benefits, best practices, how to develop a workplace literacy program, and case studies.

Bridging employer and employee needs in British Columbia’s Capital Region: final report. (online)
Victoria Read Society, 2010. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/vrs/phase2/phase2.pdf
» This report from the Workplace Learning Project, Phase 2, outlines and analyzes a field test of an Organizational needs assessment process with four businesses in the grocery and hospitality sectors.  It includes a list of recommendations made to the participating employers.

Connecting research with policy: the learning paths of low skilled workers. (online)
Maurice Taylor. Ottawa: Partnerships in Learning, 2008. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/interplay/connecting/connecting.pdf
» In this booklet, three key findings related to learning and low-skilled workers are described. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.

A critical analysis of the HRSDC Essential Skills project from an Aboriginal human capital development perspective.
Prepared by Storytellers’ Foundation in partnership with Dr. Adrian Blunt and the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies. Hazelton, BC; Storytellers’ Foundation, 2006.
» This resource reports on a study to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the Essential Skills Research Project (ESRP) as a human capital development strategy to support increased inclusion, participation and advancement of Aboriginal persons in the labour market and local economies. Policy and research recommendations are made.

Embedded teaching and learning of adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL: seven case studies.
Celia Roberts et al.  London: NRDC, 2005. Also available online at: http://www.nrdc.org.uk/publications_details.asp?ID=21
» This research examined how language, literacy and numeracy could be integrated or embedded in a variety of vocational programmes. The purpose of the project was to see how vocational subjects and literacy skills were combined, how educators worked together or how a single teacher presented material, characteristics critical to success, and what implications could be drawn for policy and practice.

Embedding literacy & essential skills in the workplace: final research report.
Diana Twiss & Tracy Defoe, Julia Dodge & Betsy Alkenbrack, Kathryn Lacerte & Ron Rice, Patty Bossort & Pat Hodgson with Mary Ellen Belfiore. Vancouver, BC: Decoda Literacy Solutions, 2013. Also available online at decoda.ca/wp-content/files_flutter/1372191306EmbeddingLESResearchReport.pdf
» This project investigated strategies for developing sustainable, practical workplace literacy initiatives embedded into work environments in the corrections sector, the Aboriginal sector, and the healthcare sector. The presentation of the overall project and its evaluation framework is followed by three action research reports from each sector. Each of the action research reports outlines the situation before the project, the results of a literacy audit in the workplace, and an exploration of the opportunities to integrate the content or embed the practice of literacy and essential skills into the work environment. There is a companion guidebook with lessons learned from the research, available separately.

Embedding literacy and essential skills in workplace learning: breaking the solitudes. (Online)
Jay Derrick.  Montreal: The Centre for Literacy, 2012. Also available online at: http://www.nald.ca/library/research/cfl/embedding_les/embedding_les.pdf
» This literature review looks at four models of how workplace literacy and essential skills education can be connected to the workplace.

Embedding literacy, language and numeracy in post-16 vocational programmes: the impact on learning and achievement.
Helen Casey et al. London: NRDC, 2006. Also available online at: http://www.nrdc.org.uk/download.asp?f=3188&e=pdf
» This paper reports the results of a research project exploring the impact of embedded approaches to literacy, language and numeracy on 79 vocational programs. This large scale study looked at the following five areas of learning: health and social care, hair and beauty therapy, construction, business and engineering. Information will be of interest to program planners, administrators and educators involved in workforce literacy.

From poverty to prosperity: literacy’s impact on Canada’s economic success. (Online)

Scott Murray and Richard Shillington. Ottawa, Ont.: Canadian Literacy and Learning Network, 2011.
www.literacy.ca/content/uploads/2012/09/Poverty-to-Prosperity-full-report.pdf
» The authors of this report analyzed the most recent data to illustrate the impact of literacy skills on both the micro- and macro-economic levels. The report explores whether there is a case to be made for direct links between literacy skill and income level. Data relating to the ability to get a job, job retention and promotion, risk of job loss, length of time unemployed and rates of pay were examined. The report provides a summary of how literacy skill and low income are related, and what these relationships imply for public policy. A fact sheet that summarizes the report is available at www.literacy.ca/content/uploads/2012/09/from-poverty-to-prosperity-fact-sheet-.pdf

Improving literacy at work.
Alison Wolf & Karen Evans. New York: Routledge, 2011.
» Building on detailed research from the UK, this book provides advice on how to develop effective workplace literacy policy and practice and how best to support learners at work.

The interplay between formal and informal learning for low skilled workers: project description and methods. (online)
Maurice Taylor. Ottawa, ON: Partnerships in Learning, 2008.  Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/interplay/cover.htm
» This article describes the objectives and research design of a two-year project to trace the learning paths, trigger events and decisions that lead basic level workers to become engaged in both formal and informal training at the workplace. Appendices include interview questions, worker journal template, and questionnaires.  Case studies are available on the project website http://www.partnershipsinlearning.ca/Formal_informal/Formal_informal.html

Investing in upskilling: gains for individuals, employers and government. (Online)
Scott Murray and Richard Shillington. Ottawa, Ont.: Canadian Literacy and Learning Network, 2012.
www.literacy.ca/content/uploads/2012/09/Investing+Upskilling+full+report.pdf
» Examining costs and savings associated with moving every Canadian with a Literacy Level 1 or 2 (on the international literacy scale) to Level 3, this analysis is based upon statistically matched data from the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey and the 2005 – 2009 Surveys of Labour and Income Dynamics. The methods provide a mechanism to explore the relationships between benefit receipt and literacy skill. Looks at the linkages between benefit programs (Employment Insurance, Workers’ Compensation and Social Assistance) and literacy levels. The British Columbia summary is also available online at www.literacy.ca/content/uploads/2012/09/investing-upskilling-summary-B.C_Layout-1.pdf

Literacy and the labour market: the generation of literacy and its impact on earnings for native born Canadians.
David A. Green and W. Craig Riddell. Ottawa, Ont.: Statistics Canada, 2007. Also available online at: www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-552-m/89-552-m2007018-eng.pdf
» This study examined the literacy skills of Canadian-born citizens, including how the skills were developed and how they are distributed throughout the national population. The authors also examine the effect leaving formal schooling has on literacy skills (it was anticipated that skills would generally decline after schooling had been completed), and the relationship between literacy and income.

Meeting expectations: measuring the impacts of workplace essential skills training: executive summary. (online)
Boris Palameta, David Gyarmati, Norm Leckie, Tharsni Kankesan and Michael Dowie.
Montreal, Que.: The Centre for Literacy, 20130.
www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/sites/default/files/MOS_ExecSummary.pdf
Measures of Success: Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills was a research project designed to develop and test an evaluation model for measuring the long-term outcomes of workplace literacy and essential skills training. The research was designed and implemented by Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC). Eighteen workplaces sites in Manitoba and Nova Scotia were selected for study. The project was managed by The Centre for Literacy and ran from September 2009 to March 2013. The findings indicate that workplace literacy and essential skills programs can produce measurable gains and performance improvements that continue beyond the end of training and extend beyond direct gains in skills and practices. Benefits to both employees and businesses were studied. The findings also suggest that workplace LES training can be effective for groups with less than high school education, immigrants who speak English as a second language, and older workers. This report summary details the research design, findings and implications.

The politics of workplace literacy: a case study.
Sheryl Greenwood Gowen.  New York: Teachers College Press, 1992.
» This study of a functional context program for hospital workers shows that the workers in many cases found the curriculum to be unmotivating and irrelevant. Questions the assumptions underlying the functional context approach.

Profiting from literacy: creating a sustainable workplace literacy program.
Alison Campbell. Ottawa, ON: Conference Board of Canada, 2005.  Also available online at: http://www.workplacebasicskills.com/frame/pdfs/ProfitingFromLiteracy.pdf
» This report summarizes the findings of a two-year research project funded by the National Literacy Secretariat, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. It builds on previous research that demonstrates the benefits of improving the literacy skills of adult learners through their workplaces. Workplace literacy programs are a key approach to enhancing employees’ ability to succeed in their jobs, in their personal lives and in their communities. This report is based on a review of relevant literature, an international survey, regional focus groups, and case study interviews involving employers, unions, training and adult learning practitioners, government representatives and other learning partners (Preface). This report is designed for practitioners and program developers in the area of workplace literacy.

Programs in the workplace: how to increase employer support: final report. (online)
Lynette Plett.  Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social Development, 2007. Available at: http://www.ccsd.ca/pubs/2007/literacy/Workplace_Literacy_Programs.pdf
» This report discusses the lessons learned from Canada and elsewhere regarding successful employer involvement in workplace literacy programs. It also includes an analysis of three provincial case studies of workplace literacy programs and interviews with employers in those provinces.

Public investment in skills: are Canadian governments doing enough? (online)
Serge Coulombe and Jean-Francois Tremblay. C.D. Howe Institute, 2005.
www.cdhowe.org/pdf/commentary_217.pdf
» Recent research shows that using direct measures of skills produces a clear relationship between investments in human capital and both long-run economic growth and long-run labour productivity. Specifically, a country’s literacy scores rising by one percent relative to the international average is associated with an eventual 2.5 percent relative rise in labour productivity and a 1.5 percent rise in GDP per head. These findings demonstrate that literacy and numeracy test results are connected to economically important, quantifiable outcomes, and raising the skills level of people who have left the school system should not be neglected. Also, in the context of a rapidly aging population, attracting skilled immigrants to Canada will become increasingly important.

Reading the future: planning to meet Canada’s future literacy needs: research report. (online)
T. Scott Murray et al.  Ottawa, ON: Canadian Council on Learning, 2008.
www.en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/future/future.pdf
» This report looks at social and economic barriers influencing Canada’s literacy rates and potential barriers to learning.  It synthesizes and analyzes research on literacy projections and the characteristics of adults with low literacy skills.

Reading work: literacies in the new workplace.
Mary Ellen Belfiore, [et al.]. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
» “Reading literacies” bridges theory with practice and is aimed at practitioners who want to further examine the complexities of workplace education. The researchers each spent several months in diverse locations studying and interacting with employees and their analysis places workplace education within the social context of people’s lives.

Setting the course for success: workplace literacy skills training at The Ark. (online)
Maryester Gonzalez. Ottawa: The Conference Board of Canada, 2005. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/cboc/ark/ark.pdf
» Part of the Conference Board of Canada’s workplace education case study series. Examines the Ark/Lunenburg County Association for the Specially Challenged, a Nova Scotia community organization which provides services for people with physical and/or mental disabilities, including mental illness. The Ark provides training in basic life skills, literacy, numeracy, and computer competency.

Sociocultural perspectives on learning through work.
Edited by Tara Fenwick. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2001.
» This issue of “New directions for adult and continuing education” contains articles that examine understandings of work-based learning and working knowledge. Learning is rooted in activity, tools, relationships and communities of practice. The articles look at how learning is interrelated with the systems in which people work in a variety of contexts.

Studio: case studies of best practices in workplace education. (Online)
Fredericton, N.B. : National Adult Literacy Database (NALD), 2013 –
studio.copian.ca/
» A searchable database of case studies of exemplary workplace education in the context of literacy and essential skills.

The transfer of literacy, language and numeracy skills from learning programmes into the workplace: literature review. (online)
Marie Cameron, Rose Hipkins, Josie Lander, and Jenny Whatman. New Zealand: Department of Labour, 2011. Available at: http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/research/transfer-lln-skills/transfer-lln-skills.pdf
» This literature review looks at the concept of learning transfer and outlines factors that support and limit learning transfer in the workplace.

Understanding learning transfer in employment preparation programs for adults with low skills. (online)
Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 61 (1), 1-13, 2009. Maurice Taylor, Gabriel Ayala, Christine Pinsent-Johnson. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/mtaylor/understanding/understanding.pdf
» Summary of a study on how transfer of learning occurred in an employment preparation program for adults with low literacy skills.

Upskilling through foundation skills: a literature review. (online)
Alison Gray. New Zealand: Department of Labour, 2006. Available at: http://www.dol.govt.nz/PDFs/upskilling-through-foundation-skills.pdf
» This review is divided into sections that address the role of government in engaging employers in skill development, addressing barriers to employers to investing in training, links between workforce skills and productivity, other benefits to employers and employees, risks and/or unintended consequences, evaluation of initiatives, role of government, unions and other stakeholders, and industries that have major issues with employees not having literacy, language and numeracy skills.

The value of formal and informal training for workers with low literacy: exploring experiences in Canada and the United Kingdom. (online)
Maurice Taylor, Karen Evans, Alia Mohamed. Ottawa, ON: Partnerships in Learning, 2008. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/interplay/value/cover.htm
» In this report, the range of formal and informal training activities of basic level employees in 7 workplace programs from Canada and 4 programs from England are described. An analysis is made of informal learning as both an activity and a process for workers improving their literacy skills.

What you don’t know can hurt you: literacy’s impact on workplace health and safety.
Alison Campbell. Ottawa, ON: Conference Board of Canada, 2010. Also available at: www.en.copian.ca/library/research/cboc/whatyoudontknow/whatyoudontknow.pdf
» Report of a Canadian research study that examined 10 workplace literacy and learning programs for impacts on workplace health and safety.  The overall conclusion was that businesses and their employees realize health and safety benefits when literacy and/or language skills development is introduced in the workplace.

Workforce literacy in British Columbia: findings and implications of the 2003 International Adult Literacy & Skills Survey: an audience with Dr. Satya Brink. (DVD)
Vancouver: Literacy BC, 2007.
» Using data from the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey, Dr Brink, Director of National Learning Policy Research, HRSDC National Learning Policy Directorate, profiles the skills of workers in different sectors to identify the pressure points that threaten to compromise British Columbia’s productivity and competitiveness.

Workplace literacy & Essential Skills: what works? And why?: literature review. (online)
Maria Salomon.  Montreal, Que.: The Centre for Literacy, 2009. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/cfl/wles/wles.pdf
» This literature review examines work from 2006 to 2009 and surveys research, policy and practice documents from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.  It covers drivers behind workplace literacy and Essential Skills initiatives, the role of government, employers and unions, the outcomes of training, what works in the workplace, and evaluation issues.

Workplace literacy: Canadian literature review and bibliography. (online)
Paul Roberts and Rebecca Gowan. Kanata, Ont.: Canadian Council on Social Development, 2006. Available at: http://www.ccsd.ca/pubs/2007/literacy/Canadian_Literacy_Literature_Review.pdf
» Looks at various perspectives and approaches to workplace literacy by different stakeholders.  Also examines research on the benefits of workplace literacy programs for employers and employees.

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For Employers

Aboriginal workplace learning circles.
Elaine Cairns, Melanie Reinboldt & Sue Phillips. Calgary, AB: Further Education Society, 2012.
» Aboriginal workplace Learning Circles (AWLC) approach essential skills training at an introductory level in a workplace setting.  The curriculum is designed for co-facilitation with cultural knowledge holder and/or elder advisors,  and includes 8 sessions based on an informal delivery model.  Each session includes experiential activities.  Includes the facilitator’s guide, facilitator’s information sheets, and participant handouts.  This curriculum is developed with an Aboriginal focus, celebrating the unique skill set Aboriginal people bring to the workplace.  Includes suggestions for partnering with Aboriginal communities.

The benefits to employers of raising workforce basic skills levels: a review of the literature.
Andrew Jenkins and Alison Wolf.  London, UK: NRDC, 2003. Also available online at: www.nrdc.org.uk/publications_details.asp?ID=42
» This paper summarizes the literature on the benefits to employers from raising the basic skills levels of the workforce.

The business of kindness.
Olivia McIvor. Vancouver: FairWinds Press, 2006.
» Written for business leaders, this book looks at developing a positive, productive workplace environment that promotes employee engagement and retention. Proactive kindness is identified as a determining factor for business success.

Business results through literacy guidebook. (online)
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – Ontario. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/research/cme/business/business.pdf
» Explains how literacy and essential skills affect productivity and offers guidelines to help organizations identify current skills levels and develop actions plans that encourage employees to improve essential skill levels that also improve business results.

Closing the skills gap: mapping a path for small business. (Online)
Prepared by Global Public Affairs for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Ottawa, Ont.: Canadian Chamber of Commerce, 2013.
www.chamber.ca/images/uploads/Reports/2013/130220_SME_Skills_Symposium_Report.pdf
» This is the report of the Symposium on Skills and Small Business held on November 14, 2012 in Toronto. It summarizes upskilling and training issues for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). One focus is on literacy and essential skills. Includes proposed actions to encourage increased training or upgrading, policy recommendations, and best practices in alleviating skills pressures.

Common Ground: English in the workplace: A how-to guide for employers. (online)
Douglas Parsons and Paul Holmes. Edmonton, AB: Nor Quest College, 2010. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/commongrnd/guide/guide.pdf
» This guide offers a step-by-step process for setting up and delivering an English in the Workplace program.  Includes tools for increasing awareness and ways to customize the program.  Training manual and Facilitator’s manual also available.

Employers and HR professionals: Literacy and Essential Skills. (online)
Ottawa: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Available at: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/LES/tools_resources/employers.shtml
» This section of the government website offers tools for employers and businesses.

Essential skills training audit.
Terri Peters. Calgary, AB: Literacy Alberta, 2008.
» The essential skills training audit helps employers, administrators, workplace trainers, adult educators, employees and adult students identify the skills needed to improve productivity and provide greater personal and job satisfaction. It has three parts: one for employees or adult students, one for employers, and one for workplace trainers or adult educators. The checklists cover nine essential skills areas: reading, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, thinking, computer use, and continuous learning.

Essential skills: worth the investment. (online video)
HRSDC, 2012.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDGLck07bWU
» In this 8 minute video, six employers talk about why they have invested in essential skills training for their employees.

Helping families learn is everyone’s business: an employer’s guide to family literacy in the workplace.
Sharon Skage. Edmonton: Centre for Family Literacy, 2010. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/cffl/helping_employer/helping_employer.pdf
» This guide, designed for business and industry, offers information, examples and suggestions to support partnerships between business and family literacy organizations.

Informal learning basics.
Saul Carliner. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press, 2012.
» This resource looks at the principles underlying informal learning, how to promote and facilitate informal learning in an organization, and how to use informal learning to improve performance in an organization.

Literacy and Essential Skills. (Online)
Ottawa: Employment and Social Development Canada, 2013.
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/les/index.shtml
The Canadian government gateway to definitions, Essential Skills profiles, tools and resources. Includes materials for employers, trainers, and learners.

Modus. (Website)
National Adult Literacy Database, 2013-
modus.copian.ca/home
NALD’s searchable and interactive directory of essential skills assessment tools. The website includes a listing of free diagnostic tools as well as links to fee-for-service agencies. It allows you to browse tools by essential skills, location or where the tool is relevant, audience and cost. Designed to assist practitioners and employers, it provides details for each tool. More than a list of tools, though, it includes comments and ratings.

Schooling in the workplace: how six of the world’s best vocation education systems prepare young people for jobs and life.
Nancy Hoffman. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2011.
» Schooling in the Workplace explores the vocational education programs in a wide range of countries, focusing in rich and useful detail on six in particular: Australia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland.  It makes the case for integrating school and career preparation to help young people succeed in the workplace and argues that “the smartest and quickest route to a wide variety of occupations for the majority of young people in the successful countries – not a default for failing students – is a vocational program that integrates work and learning”.

ScorecardforSkills.com. (online)
Available at: http://www.scorecardforskills.com/
» This website has been designed to help employers in the United States measure workplace education effectiveness.

SkillsPlus. (online)
Available at: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/skillsplus/welcome.htm
» BC government initiative for small and mid-sized businesses to enhance foundation skills of employees by integrating essential skills into workplace training.

Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES). (online)
Calgary, AB: Bow Valley College. Available at: http://www.towes.com
» This website explains the commercial TOWES (Test of Workplace Essential Skills) assessments, curricula and training supports for organizations and individuals looking to assess and improve Essential Skills.

Tracy’s tips: what can you do about literacy at your workplace? (online)
Tracy Defoe. The Learning Factor, 2008. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/defoe/tips/tips.pdf
» Thirteen tips for businesses and organizations on workplace literacy.

WorkBC.
www.workbc.ca/Pages/Home.aspx
Maintained by the Government of British Columbia, the WorkBC website collects in one place a wide variety of resources related to workplace, industry, and employment. Includes information on job searching, career information, education and training, statistics, and resources for the workplace.

Work-related informal learning. (Online)
Christine Wihak & Gail Hall. Ontario: Centre for Workplace Skills, 2011. Available at: http://www.workplaceskills.ca/en/workers/work-related-informal-learning.html
» This resource explains informal learning and why it can be difficult to identify.  It looks at different types of informal learning and informal learning situations. Canadian practices supporting and/or assessing work-related informal learning are discussed. Includes Canadian case studies.  This resource provides employers, trainers and educators, labour unions and other professional groups concerned with workplace skills development a starting point to actively incorporate informal learning into the learning toolbox of the Canadian workplace.

Workforce literacy essential skills: pilot project 2009 – 2011.
Ruth Derrick, Liz Robins, Suzanne Pederson, Nancy Watters. Victoria, BC: Literacy Victoria, 2011. Also available online at http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pilot_project_2009_11/pilot_project_2009_11.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_2/pm_manual_section_2.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_3/pm_manual_section_3.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_4/pm_manual_section_4.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_5/pm_manual_section_5.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_6/pm_manual_section_6.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_7/pm_manual_section_7.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_8/pm_manual_section_8.pdf
» This guide to creating a workforce literacy program is divided into sections: Introduction, Program model – lessons learned, Curriculum modules overview – Example of a group learning workshop — Numeracy skills — Resource lists — Program documents. It is the result of a two-year pilot project on delivering a workforce literacy and essential skills program in a community-based adult literacy organization, with corporate, knowledge and community partners, where services are offered at no cost to participants. The purpose is to support individuals at IALSS level 1 and 2 prepare for employment and successfully integrate into the workplace. The program includes support for learners during their probationary periods in the workplace.

A working guide to creating a cross-sectoral workplace Essential Skills training program. (Online)
Michael Berger. Chilliwack, BC: Chilliwack Learning Community Society, 2011.Available at: http://www.chilliwacklearning.com/strategies/wes/index_27_3416759464.pdf
» This manual outlines the process for developing a cross-sectoral workplace Essential Skills training program, using The Chilliwack Cross-Sector training project to illustrate the steps.

Workplace essential skills manual for employers: understanding and implementing Essential Skills training in the workplace. (Online)
Adult Basic Education Association, 2010.Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/abea/wes_manual/wes_manual.pdf

Workplace Informal Learning Matrix (WILM). (online)
Winnipeg, Man.: Centre for Education and Work, 2006. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/matrices/matrices.pdf
» WILM was designed to help individuals and companies assess on the job learning of their workforce.  It consists of a series of specific scales used to measure the Essential Skills required on the job.

Workplace learning circles.
Elaine Cairns, Melanie Reinboldt & Sue Phillips. Calgary, AB: Further Education Society, 2012.
» Workplace Learning Circles (WLC) approach essential skills training at an introductory level for co-workers.  The learning circle is a holistic approach which bring together learners from all backgrounds and literacy levels to share their ideas and skills, guide their own learning, and create new knowledge.  The curriculum is designed for workplace settings and includes 8 sessions based on an informal delivery model.  Each session includes experiential activities.  Includes the facilitator’s guide, facilitator’s information sheets, and participant handouts.

Workplace literacy: a programme manager’s guide.
Aukland, NZ: Workbase, 2006. Also available online at: http://elearning.workbase.org.nz/course/view.php?id=11&username=guest
» “The purpose of The Guide is to provide programme managers with the information they need to make informed decisions about whether to develop workplace literacy programmes, and to provide information to support programme managers who are already delivering workplace literacy programmes.” – Introduction.

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For Teachers and Tutors

*Additional resources are available. Please consult our essential skills resource lists.

An Aboriginal Essential Skills journey : planting the seeds for growth.
Pam Tetarenko et. al. New Westminster, BC: Douglas College, 2010. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/aboriginal_journey/guide/cover.htm and  http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/aboriginal_journey/workbook/workbook.pdf
» This resource contains both the facilitator guide and participant workbook for a workshop on Essential Skills for Aboriginal participants.  It is an attempt to make Essential Skills more relevant to Aboriginal peoples by incorporating an Aboriginal world view (themes, learning styles, contexts and experiences).

Aboriginal workplace learning circles.
Elaine Cairns, Melanie Reinboldt & Sue Phillips. Calgary, AB: Further Education Society, 2012.
» Aboriginal workplace Learning Circles (AWLC) approach essential skills training at an introductory level in a workplace setting.  The curriculum is designed for co-facilitation with cultural knowledge holder and/or elder advisors,  and includes 8 sessions based on an informal delivery model.  Each session includes experiential activities.  Includes the facilitator’s guide, facilitator’s information sheets, and participant handouts.  This curriculum is developed with an Aboriginal focus, celebrating the unique skill set Aboriginal people bring to the workplace.  Includes suggestions for partnering with Aboriginal communities.

Bridging the employment gap: workforce curricula for learners with low level literacy skills. (online)
Orillia, ON: Simcoe/Muskoka Literacy Network, 2008. Available at: http://literacynetwork.ca/resources/bridging-the-employment-gap/
» This series of six manuals was designed to help learners at Essential Skills Level 1 upgrade their literacy, numeracy and other essential skills in an entry-level occupational context.  Five manuals are occupation specific: janitorial, clerical, grounds maintenance, kitchen help and retail.  The remaining manual deals with general work skills.

Canadian Language Benchmarks/Essential Skills in the Workplace (online)
Available at: http://www.itsessential.ca/itsessential/display_page.asp
» This website coordinates Canadian Language Benchmarks with Essential Skills and contains many resources for those working with adult immigrants and newcomers. It includes sample lesson plans, the Language for Work series (for job analysts, trainers, and ESL instructors) and the On the Job series which has ideas for incorporating essential skills into classroom activities.

Common Ground: English in the workplace: facilitator’s manual.
Douglas Parsons and Paul Holmes.  Edmonton, AB: Nor Quest College, 2010. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/commongrnd/fac_manual/fac_manual.pdf
» This manual is designed to provide English in the Workplace Program facilitators with ready-to-use curriculum and training guide that introduces workers from outside Canada to concepts of safety, pronunciation clarity, cultural awareness and other essential workplace skills.

Common Ground: English in the workplace: training manual.
Douglas Parsons and Paul Holmes.  Edmonton, AB: Nor Quest College, 2010. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/commongrnd/train_manual/train_manual.pdf
» This manual focuses on Canadian workplace safety policy, practicing pronunciation, learning about working in a multicultural organization, and expanding idiomatic and industry-specific vocabulary.  Learning is embedded in ten modules, each dealing with a specific aspect of safety. A companion guide for employers and facilitator’s manual also available.

Community works handbook. (online)
Helen Mildon. Ottawa, ON: Ottawa Community Coalition for Literacy, 2008. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/comworks/handbook/cw-handbook.pdf
Community works implementation and process guide.  (online)
Helen Mildon. Ottawa, ON: Ottawa Community Coalition for Literacy, 2008. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/comworks/guide/cw-guide.pdf
» The implementation guide offers advice to literacy groups that want to establish volunteer work in host organizations as a transition to job training or paid work for adult learners.  The handbook is written for adult learners who are doing volunteer placements to strengthen skills and prepare for paid employment.

Conflict resolution toolbox: models & maps for analyzing, diagnosing and resolving conflict.
Gary T. Furlong. Mississauga, Ont.: J. Wiley & Sons Canada, 2005.
» This book offers eight different models for dealing with different conflict situations.  Each model is explained along with when it can be used most effectively and what interventions are most likely to help.  Includes case studies, practical tools, and worksheets.

Connecting literacy, learning & work.
Christine Pinsent-Johnson.  Ottawa, ON: OCDSB Continuing Education, 2008. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/christine/connecting/connecting.pdf
» This book tells the story of an adult literacy program that changed the way it thought about and taught literacy for adults who wanted to make changes to their work.  It describes how learning and assessment activities changed, how instructors took on different roles, and how the class included a more diverse group of students. Includes a research review, a brief discussion of best practices in programs for adults who encounter multiple barriers to employment and details a way of connecting literacy, learning and work.

Conversations for work. Workbook and teacher’s guide and audio.
Ellen Vacco, Paula Jablon. Syracuse, NY: New Readers Press, 2007.
» “Conversations for work helps beginning-level ESL students develop the language skills they need to communicate effectively on the job. Lessons emphasize oral skills and are based on workplace themes such as talking about the job, understanding schedules, using safety gear, and asking for and receiving help”.  The teacher’s guide includes photocopy masters and audio recording as well as suggestions and expansion activities.

Developing embedded literacy, language and numeracy: supporting achievement.
Jan Eldred. Leicester, UK: NIACE, 2005.
» This practical guide looks at the origins of embedded literacy, language and numeracy learning in ESL programs, workplace learning, community-based learning, and family learning. Models of delivery are offered along with practical considerations and examples. Many references are for British organizations and programs, but basic information is useful.

Developing work-related learning materials.
Lynda Fownes. Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan, 2007.
» This guide is for practitioners who want to link instruction with workplace applications. Topics include collecting workplace documents, developing worker focused tasks, developing answer steps as a learning strategy, and obtaining reprint permission.

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.

Embedded learning portal. (online)
London, UK: Skills for Life, 1995-2004. Available at: http://rwp.qia.oxi.net/embeddedlearning/index.cfm
» This comprehensive website contains the online versions of the British Skills for Life Materials for Embedded Learning, the development of literacy with vocational and other skills. Covers an extensive list of employment settings. The site also contains information on Skilled for Health, which uses embedded learning to address people’s needs for a better understanding of their health. Learners’ interactive practice materials for ESOL, Literacy and Numeracy at various skill levels are located on a linked page. Research reports related to embedded learning are included on a separate page.

Embedded literacy by country (NZ Literacy Portal). (online)
Available at: http://www.nzliteracyportal.org.nz/Embedded+Literacy+By+Country/
» This web page provides direct links to embedded literacy curriculum, policy and research papers from Australia, Canada, Europe, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Scotland, and other countries.

Embedding literacy & essential skills: lessons from our research.
Tracy Defoe and Diana Twiss. Vancouver: Decoda Literacy Solutions, 2012. Also available online at decoda.ca/wp-content/files_flutter/1362433569embed_complete_hires_crunch.pdf
» Results of the Embedding Literacy and Essential Skills research project, which investigated strategies for the development of sustainable, practical workplace literacy programs that could be incorporated into a work environment with minimal difficulty. The goal was to find a way to make literacy skills considered a part of every workforce situation, not part of separate training sessions or one-off events.

Employability skills curriculum. 3rd ed.
Jo Acampora. Victoria, BC: ASPECT, 2007.
» A comprehensive adult-based curriculum to enhance employability skills to return to the labour market. This curriculum is designed to help BC’s community-based trainers introduce adults to the cycle of recognizing employability skills, self-assessing, planning skills development activities, developing skills and giving/getting feedback. It provides basic, universal employment and personal management skills in18 modules about subjects including: Self Awareness, Self Esteem, Communication, Goal Setting, Problem-Solving, Conflict Resolution, Feedback and Criticism, Time Management, Learning Styles and Assertiveness.

Employability success!
Karen Farrar. Timmins, ON: Timmins Learning Centre, 2009. Also available online at: www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacynet/tlc_employability/tlc_employability.pdf
» Curriculum to help develop ‘soft’ employability skills such as communication and adaptability.  Also covers thinking and problem solving, demonstrating positive attitudes, being responsible, and learning continuously.

English for restaurant workers. 2nd ed.
Renee Talalla. Seoul, Korea: Compass Publishing, 2008.
» Designed for trainee waiters and waitresses, and for trainers in restaurant and catering, this book uses a picture-based format to illustrate restaurant tasks and common phrases, terms and expressions.

ESI: Essential skills investigation I. (DVD)
Essential Skills Guiding Team of the BC/Yukon AHRDA Region. BC/Yukon: Sto:lo National Human Resources Development, 2007.
» “ESI Agents are on a mission: To solve this deadly puzzle. What really happened to popular local Vancouver sports-caster, William Flynn? … Essential Skills help people to carry out different tasks, give them a starting point for learning other skills, and help them adjust to change. Join in with the investigators as they explore the nine Essential Skills.

ESI: Essential skills investigation II & III. (Kit)
Essential Skills Guiding Team of the BC/Yukon AHRDA Region. BC/Yukon: Sto:lo National Human Resources Development, 2007, 2009.
» These kits teach students about workplace Essential Skills and important life skills with a focus on continuous learning.

Essential skills for literacy practitioners: a guide and three workshops. (online)
Robyn Cook-Ritchie, Karen Geraci, Marisa Mazzulla. London, ON: Literacy Link South Central, 2010. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/es_for_lit_pract/es_for_lit_pract.pdf
» This guide offers basic information for literacy practitioners about the nine Essential Skills and the Essential Skills profiles.  Case studies identify current best practices for integrating Essential Skills into literacy programming.  Also included are facilitation resources for workshops.

Essential Skills in the gaming industry. (online)
» These resources each begin with a facilitator’s guide.  The following workbook is organized into two separate parts:  foundations and job families.  The foundations section is a review of the general underlying Essential Skill outlined in the workbook.  It is organized by topic with each topic including an introduction, examples of the skill in use, and exercises for specific skills. The job family sections contain practice questions organized by level for gaming/casino job families: bank, customer services/administration, food and beverage services, housekeeping and ground, maintenance and facilities, retail, security, slots/electronic gaming/bingo, table games, uniforms and warehouse.  Answers are provided.

» The foundations section is a review of document use skills for work, including: using signs, labels and lists; using forms; using tables; and using graphics.

» The foundations section is a review of skills for working with others, including: demonstrating professionalism, communicating effectively, giving and receiving feedback, and working on a team.

» The foundations section is a review of the general math skills required by most gaming occupations.  This includes: algebra, counting cash, decimals, estimation strategies, fractions, geometry, measurement systems, 24-hour clock, percentages, probability and rates.

» The foundations section is a review of oral communication skills for work, including: communicating with professionalism, listening effectively, using non-verbal communication, speaking with clarity, responding effectively in difficult situations, and contributing to meetings.

» The foundations section is a review of reading skills for work, including: scanning for information, building vocabulary, reading to remember, reading memos, emails and bulletins, and reading casino manuals, handbooks and procedures.

» The foundations section is a review of workplace thinking  skills, including: thinking critically, making decisions, solving problems, and finding information.

» The foundations section is a review of writing skills for work, including: writing notes, writing emails, recording text in daily logs, writing reports, and writing memos and letters.

Essential Skills indicator. (online)
Ottawa, Ont.: HRSDC, 2012-
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/les/tools/assessment/online_indicator.shtml
» This set of short online quizzes provides an indication of skill strengths for numeracy, document use, and reading. For each skill, there are pre-tests and post-tests for Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Essential skills profiles: top 50 entry-level jobs in Canada. (online)

Karen McGregor & Carla Douglas. Kingston, Ont.: Kingston Literacy & Skills, 2011.
www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/kls/top50/top50.pdf
» Training Incorporating Essential Skills (TIES) profiles for the top 50 entry-level jobs nationally, along with the levels 1, 2, and some level 3 Essential Skills that clients need to perform them successfully are provided in this resource, intended for literacy practitioners, case managers, employment counsellors, assessors, employers and clients. Each profile includes, in point form, examples of how each Essential Skill might be used for job tasks in that classification, with the most important skills for the job highlighted.

Essential skills training audit.
Terri Peters. Calgary, AB: Literacy Alberta, 2008.
» The essential skills training audit helps employers, administrators, workplace trainers, adult educators, employees and adult students identify the skills needed to improve productivity and provide greater personal and job satisfaction. It has three parts: one for employees or adult students, one for employers, and one for workplace trainers or adult educators. The checklists cover nine essential skills areas: reading, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, thinking, computer use, and continuous learning.

Essential skills workbooks. Connecting Literacy and Essential Skills through Employment.
Karen Farrar. London, Ont.: Literacy Link South Central, 2011.
Also available online at www.llsc.on.ca/node/99
» This series of seven workbooks is designed for people who want to look for employment while strengthening their Essential Skills. The workbooks require use of a computer with Internet access. Essential Skills activities are embedded within employment-readiness tasks.

Everyday English for hospitality professionals.  (Book + audio CD)
Lawrence J. Zwier with Nigel Caplan. Texas: Compass Publishing, 2007.
» This book and audio CD help future workers in the hotel and restaurant fields develop the English vocabulary they need for interacting with customers and colleagues. The 61 lessons show essential language structures for such common functions as welcoming a guest, dealing with a guest’s luggage, taking a meal order, and finding medical care for a guest. Each two page lesson provides full-colour illustrations and clear captions. The CD provides audio for each lesson in the book.

The facilitators guide: a comprehensive tool to help practitioners. (Book + DVD)
Winnipeg, Man.: Centre for Education and Work, 2005.
» Developed for literacy practitioners, this guide provides information, teaching ideas and resources for teaching literacy to students who have specific jobs in mind. It shows how to use assignments to develop skills required for particular occupations, by integrating information from the Essential Skills Profiles (developed by HRSDC) with stages in Manitoba’s literacy curriculum. The teaching and learning ideas can be used in other settings as well.

Graphs and charts: workwrite series book 6.
Marisa Mazzulla and Karen Geraci. Toronto, ON: Preparatory Training Programs, 2008.
» Book 6 of the workwrite series provides learners with opportunities to practice reading, writing, document use and numeracy skills within a workplace context. It contains an overview of many common graph types used in workplaces today, including how they are created, who uses them and how they display information. Each unit covers a different type of graph.

Guide to workforce literacy.
Toronto: AlphaPlus Centre, 2004.
» This practical guide for literacy programs gives background information on workforce-focused literacy, ideas on program planning, and examples of what some workforce literacy agencies in Ontario have done to support learners towards their employment goals. From the Skills at Work series, this book is for coordinators, instructors, assessors, and other program staff who work with learners with employment goals.

Helping families learn is everyone’s business: a practitioner’s guide to family literacy in the workplace.
Sharon Skage. Edmonton: Centre for Family Literacy, 2010. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/cffl/helping_practitioner/helping_practitioner.pdf
» This guide is intended to assist literacy organizations in partnering with businesses to deliver family literacy programs. It describes awareness building, partnering, planning and implementing a workplace family literacy program. It does not replace family literacy training but offers suggestions for introducing and adapting existing programs to the workplace.

Highlights of effective workplace learning practices in small and medium-sized enterprises. (online)
Prepared by the Conference Board of Canada for the Canadian Council on Learning. Ottawa: Canadian Council on Learning, 2008. Available at: http://www.ccl-cca.ca/pdfs/OtherReports/CBofC-65CaseStudies-SME.pdf
» One page overviews of 65 workplace learning case studies from around the world.

How do your skills measure up? (online)
Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan. Available at: http://www.skillplan.ca/measureup/english/index.asp
» This website provides instructors and learners with a place to test, practice and explore three Essential Skills needed in all types of occupations: reading text, document use, and numeracy.

Improving literacy at work.
Alison Wolf and Karen Evans, et al. NY: Routledge, 2011.
» Building on detailed research from the UK, this book provides advice on how to develop effective workplace literacy policy and practice and how best to support learners at work.

Informal learning basics.
Saul Carliner. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press, 2012.
» This resource looks at the principles underlying informal learning, how to promote and facilitate informal learning in an organization, and how to use informal learning to improve performance in an organization.

Informal learning: rediscovering the natural pathways that inspire innovation and performance.
Jay Cross. San Francisco: Pfeiffer/Wiley, 2007.
» This book provides a working definition of informal learning, identifies the skills and attitudes that make for a successful informal learner, has stories of workplace informal learning in practice, and offers advice on how to support, nurture and leverage informal learning in an organization.

Integrating equity, addressing barriers: innovative learning practices by unions. 2nd ed. (online)
Prepared by the Labour Education Centre. Ottawa: Canadian Council on Learning, 2009. Available at: http://www.ccl-cca.ca/pdfs/WLKC/integratingEquity_EN.pdf
» This report looks at programs organized or developed by unions, including some which are joint union-management programs.

Integrating essential skills in literacy tutor training: final report. (online)
Robyn Cook-Ritchie. Waterloo, ON: Laubach Literacy Ontario, 2010. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/llo/final_report/final_report.pdf
Sample activities using authentic workplace materials: integrating essential skills into tutor training. (online)
Robyn Cook-Ritchie. Waterloo, ON: Laubach Literacy Ontario, 2010. Available at: http://www.nald.ca/library/learning/llo/sample_activities/sample_activities.pdf
» This project summary includes an outline of a course designed to increase the understanding and teaching of essential skills by tutors in community-based literacy programs, Eight sample activities are included in a separate document.

Introduction to an essential skills needs assessment. (Online)
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2012.
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/les/docs/tools/esna/Intro_to_ESNA.pdf
» This tool, for career and employment counsellors, includes a step-by-step process for conducting an information Essential Skills needs assessment. There are Level 1 and Level 2 assessor and client booklets for reading, writing, and numeracy, designed to be used with this guide, available at www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/les/tools/index.shtml .

Learn the workplace: Canadian culture at work. (Online)
Winnipeg, Man. : The Centre for Education and Work, 2012.
www.learntheworkplace.ca/index_en.html
» This online resource is designed to help foreign-trained workers understand the Canadian workplace. It allows immigrant workers to prepare for the unwritten expectations in Canadian workplace culture such as communication, working in teams, management and supervisory approaches, management structures and their impact on reporting and communication styles, learning skills, and social interactions. It contains four modules: workplace expectations, skills and abilities, finding supports, and working with others. Each module contains interactive learning activities, including simulations and games. There is a learner’s website with the learning modules, and a facilitator’s website that includes additional material on working with immigrant learners, how adults learn, teaching tips, and additional lesson plans to supplement the modules (CLB 5+).

Literacy and Essential Skills. (Online)
Ottawa: Employment and Social Development Canada, 2013.
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/les/index.shtml
» The Canadian government gateway to definitions, Essential Skills profiles, tools and resources.

Job Fit: books 1, 2 & facilitator’s guide.
Rona Satov. Toronto: Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario, 2004.
» Job-Fit was developed to assist people who may have learning disabilities to become more effective at finding and keeping a job.

Job savvy: how to be a success at work. 4th ed.
By Laverne L. Ludden. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, 2008.
» This workbook helps people develop critical job survival skills, increase productivity, improve job satisfaction and success and advance their careers. Includes information on workplace communication, recent job skill research and changes in the workforce. For adults who want to be prepared for the current job market.

Job survival: how to adjust to the workplace and keep your job. 3rd ed.
Dixie Lee Wright. Indianapolis, IN: JIST Works, 2010.
» This workbook helps adults learn to adjust to the changing workplace. Contains interactive activities, worksheets and examples to challenge adults to confront the most important job retention issues, set goals, improve work habits and attitudes, improve skills, understand workplace structure, and anticipate change. Intended for all adults who are working or seeking work.

Job well done: ASPECT’s guide to success at work: facilitator’s guide.
Jo Acampora. Victoria, BC: ASPECT, 2004.
» A comprehensive adult based curriculum that focuses on basic skills needed for job retention and advancement in the workplace.

Key vocabulary for a safe workplace. Workbook and Teacher’s Guide.
Harry Ringel. Syracuse, NY: New Readers Press, 2000.
» A highly flexible tool kit designed to help ESL learners understand the essential language of workplace safety.

Language for work: CLB and Essential Skills Lesson Plans for ESL instructors. (online)
Ottawa: Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks, 2009. Available at: http://www.itsessential.ca/itsessential/display_page.asp?page_id=398
» Detailed lesson plans that develop essential skills in practical contexts.

Literacy and Essential Skills awareness guide. (online)
Ontario: LOC, OCCL, LLEO, 2009. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/occl/les-guide/les-guide.pdf
» Written to help employment counsellors determine if their clients may need literacy and Essential Skills training.

Literacy and Essential Skills in Industrial Arts (LESIA) series.
Peterborough, ON: Literacy Ontario Central South, 2010. All curricula are also available online at: http://library.copian.ca/browse/series?name=Literacy+and+Essential+Skills+in+Industrial+Arts

  • Blacksmith and Essential Skills
  • Jewellery making and Essential Skills
  • Mosaics and Essential Skills
  • Stained glass and Essential Skills
  • Welding and Essential Skills

Literacy and Essential Skills tools and resources. (DVD)
Ottawa: HRSDC, 2010. Also available online at: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/essential_skills/general/tools_apps.shtml
» A series of free tools to help address different literacy and essential skills challenges offering support in awareness, assessment, learning and training.

Making choices: teaching writing in the workplace.  (Instructional activities manual and reference manual)
Diane Millar. Edmonton, AB: Grass Roots Press, 2002.
» Dozens of activities for teaching employees how to write effective notes, memos, notices, business letters, accident reports, procedures, and email messages.  In addition, hands-on activities are provided for teaching employees how to complete forms, create charts and flowcharts, plot graphs, and keep logs.

Making essential skills work for you. (online)
Janet Tuer and Lorri Sauvé. Waterloo, Ont.: Laubach Literacy Ontario, 2007.
www.laubach-on.ca/sites/default/files/essentialskills2007d.pdf
» This manual contains a number of learning activities that focus on the essential skills of oral communication, thinking skills, computer skills and writing, levels 1 and 2.

Marketing and selling essential skills : a guide for college & institute practitioners. (Online)
Ottawa, ON: Association of Canadian Community Colleges, 2007. Available at: http://www.accc.ca/ftp/pubs/ESmarketingguide.pdf
» This Guide provides applications, case studies and strategies for effectively marketing and selling Essential Skills solutions to employers. Included are a collection of current Essential Skills resources, lessons learned and 10 key recommendations provided by Essential Skills practitioners working with employers in small, medium and large enterprises across Canada.

Modus. (Website)
National Adult Literacy Database, 2013-
modus.copian.ca/home
» NALD’s searchable and interactive directory of essential skills assessment tools. The website includes a listing of free diagnostic tools as well as links to fee-for-service agencies. It allows you to browse tools by essential skills, location or where the tool is relevant, audience and cost. Designed to assist practitioners and employers, it provides details for each tool. More than a list of tools, though, it includes comments and ratings.

Numeracy: workwrite series book 7.
Marisa Mazzulla and Karen Geraci. Toronto, ON: Preparatory Training Programs, 2008.
» Book 7 of the workwrite series provides an overview of the kinds of numeracy skills used by workers in a variety of occupations. Readers will learn who uses numeracy skills, which contexts they are used in, and why they are used. Instructors can use the different types of activities to ensure learners understand each application.

On-the-job English: teacher’s guide. ESL for job success.
Christy M. Newman. Syracuse, NY: New Reader’s Press, 2000.
» This teacher’s guide contains lessons and teaching tips to accompany the student textbook by the same name. The lessons are designed for high-beginning ESL learners to help them develop language skills and effective communications strategies for the workplace.The library also has the accompanying student book.

Opening doors: how to market your essential skills to employers: a facilitator’s guide for delivering this workshop. (CD-ROM)
Walkerton, Ont.: Quill Learning Network, 2004.
» This comprehensive resource includes all the materials needed to deliver a workshop to adults who have employment goals. This resource is broken into five modules that help adults learn how to articulate and demonstrate to employers the essential skills they have will make them ideal candidates for entry-level positions: Highlighting Your Essential Skills in Employment Portfolios; Matching Your Essential Skills with the Right Job; Branding Your Image: resumes, cover letters and applications; Marketing Your Essential Skills in Person: Interviews and Hiring Tests; Marketing Your Essential Skills in the New Economy. Each module contains notes for the facilitator, suggested activities (individual and group), overheads and handouts.

Oral communication on the job: a practitioner’s guide.
Ginny Chiu, Claire Lloyd; editor, Vanya Wong. Burnaby: SkillPlan, 2010.
» This resource is for practitioners who work with learners who need to improve their oral communication skills. The emphasis in the lessons is on speaking and listening in authentic workplace situations. While the lessons are based on what happens on a construction site, suggestions are given for practicing the same skills in other work settings. As well as developing transferable oral communication skills, it also provides information about working in construction.

Paving the way to lasting employment: a manual and twelve interactive training videos: demonstrating the importance and practice of Essential Skills in the small business environment.
Andrew Binks. Kingston, ON: Kingston Literacy & Skills, 2012. Also available online at: http://www.klandskills.ca/proj/PavingTheWay.pdf
» This manual, which includes links to a series of 12 interactive videos, grew out of a project that focused on the “soft skills” that are a key to holding down a job. Those are the Essential Skills of oral communication, working with others, and thinking skills.
Each video is based on skill areas that would be required in a retail, customer service, or administrative setting.  The video includes clips of the employer responding in three different ways to the employee’s efforts and provides questions to guide discussion of each response. The manual can be used before and after viewing the videos.

Policies & procedures: book 5. Workwrite series. 2nd ed.
Karen Geraci. Toronto: PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs, 2010.
» Book 5 of the Workwrite series provides learners with an awareness of policies and procedures and how to access them as well as opportunities to practice reading skills in longer documents. Because of their length and organization, policies and procedures can be used to develop more complex reading skills in addition to basic skills such as scanning, skimming and reading to locate information.

Problem-posing at work: English for action.
Elsa Roberts Auerbach and Nina Wallerstein. Edmonton, AB: Grass Roots Press, 2004.
Problem-posing at work: popular educator’s guide.
Nina Wallerstein and Elsa Roberts Auerbach. Edmonton: Grass Roots Press, 2004.
» The student book contains 30 lesson that focus on workplace themes and issues relevant to the lives of immigrants and refugees. Inspired by the problem-posing approach of Paulo Freire, this book invites learners to share and analyze their experiences. Text is intended for intermediate to advanced ESL students in community-based, workplace, and union and labour education programs. Teacher’s guide in separate volume is titled “Problem-posing at work: popular educator’s guide”.

Reading at work: workplace reader.
Lynda Fownes, Vanya Wong, Corinne Volpatti. Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan, 2005.
» This reader is designed for workers who want to improve their reading skills and people who are preparing for employment. It identifies reading skills used by workers in a variety of occupations and provides activities to practice these skills.

Reading at work: facilitator’s guide.
Jean Tonski. Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan, 2006.
» This guide is designed to support and supplement the “Reading at work: workplace reader”. Lessons are organized around the chapters in the reader which is a separate resource. Transferable strategies and skills are offered in the lessons.

Reading the world of work: a learner-centred approach to workplace literacy and ESL.
Melina L. Gallo. Malabar, FL: Krieger, 2004.
» Describes how workplace literacy programs can use a creative learner-centred approach to facilitate language learning. Also details ways educators can help workers learn to negotiate the workplace environment and use their communication skills outside work.

Reading work: literacies in the new workplace.
Mary Ellen Belfiore et al.  Mahwah, New Jersey : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
» “Reading literacies” bridges theory with practice and is aimed at practitioners who want to further examine the complexities of workplace education. The researchers each spent several months in diverse locations studying and interacting with employees and their analysis places workplace education within the social context of people’s lives.

Recognizing life’s work: helping learners connect their Essential Skills from home to work: a practitioner’s resource kit.
Walkerton, ON: QUILL Learning Network, 2010. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/recognizing/helping_learners/cover.htm
» This practitioner toolkit aligns selected leisure and home activities against the Essential Skills framework. The aim was to demonstrate to learners that many of the skills they use in daily life can be transferred to certain occupations. Learning materials and other information are included to help build on skills and make the link to relevant jobs.

The SCALES directory of literacy and essential skills resources for career practitioners. (Online)
Toronto, Ont.: Connect Strategic Alliances, 2012.
www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/connect/directory/directory.pdf
» Developed for employment counsellors, this directory of available Essential Skills tools and resources is organized into 7 sections: Who Am I; What do I want to do or be?; How do I reach my goals?; Getting started: action planning; LES resources for use with employers; LES resources for career practitioners; Funded projects, reports, & other ES information. For each resources there is information on how to access it, the cost (if any), and when to use it.

The SCALES tool kit. (Online)
Toronto, Ont.: Connect Strategic Alliances, 2012.
collegeconnect.on.ca/the-scales-tool-kit/
» The SCALES project created a tool kit for career practitioners to integrate Literacy and Essential Skills into their practice. The tools make an explicit link between Essential Skills and workplace expectations. Assessments and skills indicators are free to download, and include tools to use with clients and employers. The tools include: the SCALES Essential Skills checklist tool, the SCALES Essential Skills card sort tool, the SCALES Essential Skills job posting tool, the SCALES resume statement tool, the SCALES Essential Skills adaptation tool, the SCALES computer use tool kit, the SCALES accessing Essential Skills profiles tip sheet.

Signposts: workforce literacy and essential skills instructional guidelines.
Aleksandra Popovic, project manager. Toronto: PTP of Toronto, 2008.
» These curriculum guidelines provide instructional ideas and informal assessment activities that allow instructor to program for learners bound for entry level jobs across employment sectors. The signposts examine reading, document use, writing, and numeracy skills. Signposts is part of a larger workforce literacy system known as CAMERA – Communications and Math Employment Readiness Assessment.

Skills at work series.
Toronto: AlphaPlus Centre, 2004.
•    Guide to workforce literacy. Also available online at: http://www.resources.alpharoute.org/pdfs/Guide_to_WF_Literacy.pdf
» This practical guide for literacy programs gives background information on workforce-focused literacy, ideas on program planning, and examples of what some workforce literacy agencies in Ontario have done to support learners towards their employment goals. From the Skills at Work series, this book is for coordinators, instructors, assessors, and other program staff who work with learners with employment goals.
•    Workbook 1: assess your skills. Also available online at: http://www.resources.alpharoute.org/pdfs/Workbook1.pdf
» This workbook, part of the Skills at Work Series, helps readers collect information about their employment goals and about the world of work. They identify skills they need to work on to reach their goals. They will learn some ways to find, save and use information about jobs.
•    Workbook 2: a day on the job. Also available online at: http://www.resources.alpharoute.org/pdfs/Workbook2.pdf
» In Workbook 2 of the “Skills at Work Series,” readers find out about employers’ expectations about reading, writing, and math on the job. The focus is on the tasks to do every day in different kinds of jobs.
•    Practitioner guide to workbooks 1 and 2. Also available online at: http://www.resources.alpharoute.org/pdfs/Practitioner_Guide.pdf
» This workbook gives tutors and instructors information and guidelines on how to use the workbooks and how to match the materials to the rest of their literacy programming.

SkillPlan. (online)
Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan. Available at: http://www.skillplan.ca/
» The website of the BC Construction Industry Skills Improvement Council whose mission is to develop strategies to improvement the essential skills of people working in unionized construction in BC and the Yukon.

Skills for jobs: a resource tool for tutors of low-level literacy. (online)
Chya Bergman, Carolyn Wilson. Edmonton, AB: NorQuest College, 2008.
•    Job talk. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/norquest/job_talk/job_talk.pdf
•    Job literacy. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/norquest/job_literacy/job_literacy.pdf
•    Job numeracy. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/norquest/job_numeracy/job_numeracy.pdf

Spotlight on change: an essential skills upgrading program for women over 40.
Marianne Paul and Lindsay Kennedy. Waterloo-Wellington, ON: Project READ Literacy Network, 2010.
» The program outlined in this curriculum helps each participant better understand herself, including her skills, goals and community as they relate to finding work. A training program for women seeking employment. Designed to help participants increase Essential Skills and confidence so they can build employability skills. Written for facilitators, outlines learning progressions, and includes women-centred activities and hands-on worksheets for participants. Field tested in Ontario and British Columbia.

Summer in Smallywood: Essential Skills learning series. (website)
Burlington, Ont. : The Centre for Skills Development & Training, 2011.
summerinsmallywood.ca/
» Summer in Smallywood is a free-to-play, online Flash game funded by the Government of Canada’s Office of Literacy and Essential Skills. It is designed to help young adults (ages 15 – 30) enhance their ability to succeed at work by developing skills in Working with Others, Thinking and Oral Communication. The website includes downloadable facilitator resources, including a facilitator’s guide, self-assessment materials, and additional activities.

Taking action: a guide: integrating essential skills training into the workplace. (online)
Ottawa: HRSDC, 2009. Available at: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/LES/tools_resources/tools_audience/taking_action_introduction.shtml
» This guide for employers and practitioners outlines a seven stage process for developing essential skills training for the workplace.  Tools and tips are provided for each stage.

Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES). (online)
Calgary, Alberta: Bow Valley College. Available at: http://www.towes.com
» This website explains the commercial TOWES (Test of Workplace Essential Skills) assessments, curricula and training supports for organizations and individuals looking to assess and improve Essential Skills.

Thinking strategies for numeracy: a practitioner’s guide.
Vanya Wong, Julia Lew, Claire Lloyd. Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan, 2008.
» This resource looks at teaching the thinking strategies that translate a work problem into a set of mathematical operations needed to complete a task. It is the step that comes before calculations. Specific mathematics skills are not covered. After teaching the problem-solving strategy, practice is given in using lists and tables, entry forms, graphs and maps, mimetic documents and documents with reading material.

Transfer of learning pocketbook.
Paul Donovan and John Townsend. Alresford, Hants, U.K.: Management Pocketbooks, 2011.
» This book identifies 17 factors that determine whether or not new learning will be transferred and used to improve job performance. The book sets out each of the 17 factors in turn before giving the reader 70 specific action tips, grouped into five sections that follow the five stages of the training process.

Work-related informal learning. (Online)
Christine Wihak & Gail Hall.  Ontario: Centre for Workplace Skills, 2011. Available at: http://www.workplaceskills.ca/en/workers/work-related-informal-learning.html
» This resource explains informal learning and why it can be difficult to identify.  It looks at different types of informal learning and informal learning situations. Canadian practices supporting and/or assessing work-related informal learning are discussed. Includes Canadian case studies.  This resource provides employers, trainers and educators, labour unions and other professional groups concerned with workplace skills development a starting point to actively incorporate informal learning into the learning toolbox of the Canadian workplace.

Workforce Essential Skills: putting literacy to work.
Karen Geraci and Marisa Mazzulla. Toronto: PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs, 2011.
» This guide examines what workforce Essential Skills programming is, how it can be designed and who benefits from it.  Workforce Essential Skills is a pre-employment adult education approach that extends beyond job search to helping participants develop job skills.  It looks at elements of effective workforce ES programming and outlines an implementation process.

Workforce literacy essential skills: pilot project 2009 – 2011.
Ruth Derrick, Liz Robins, Suzanne Pederson, Nancy Watters. Victoria, BC: Literacy Victoria, 2011. Also available online at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pilot_project_2009_11/pilot_project_2009_11.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_2/pm_manual_section_2.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_3/pm_manual_section_3.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_4/pm_manual_section_4.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_5/pm_manual_section_5.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_6/pm_manual_section_6.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_7/pm_manual_section_7.pdf
http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/literacy_victoria/wles/pm_manual_section_8/pm_manual_section_8.pdf
» This guide to creating a workforce literacy program is divided into sections: Introduction, Program model – lessons learned, Curriculum modules overview – Example of a group learning workshop — Numeracy skills — Resource lists — Program documents. It is the result of a two-year pilot project on delivering a workforce literacy and essential skills program in a community-based adult literacy organization, with corporate, knowledge and community partners, where services are offered at no cost to participants. The purpose is to support individuals at IALSS level 1 and 2 prepare for employment and successfully integrate into the workplace. The program includes support for learners during their probationary periods in the workplace.

A working guide to creating a cross-sectoral workplace Essential Skills training program. (Online)
Michael Berger. Chilliwack, BC: Chilliwack Learning Community Society, 2011. Available at: http://www.chilliwacklearning.com/strategies/wes/index_27_3416759464.pdf
» This manual outlines the process for developing a cross-sectoral workplace Essential Skills training program, using The Chilliwack Cross-Sector training project to illustrate the steps.

Working together, working well: activities to develop teamwork skills at work or in the classroom.
Lorri Sauve and Jane Tuer. Kitchener, ON: Project READ Literacy Network, 2005.
» Using topics taken from the Employability Skills Toolkit developed by the Conference Board of Canada, this manual contains learning activities for different aspects of working with others. It is intended to be used in the workplace or in adult basic education classes.

Workplace communications: workwrite series book 4.
Karen Geraci. Toronto, ON: Preparatory Training Programs, 2008.
» Book 4 of the workwrite series covers the many ways people within a workplace communicate with one another. It 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.

Workplace learning circles.
Elaine Cairns, Melanie Reinboldt & Sue Phillips.  Calgary, AB: Further Education Society, 2012.
» Workplace Learning Circles (WLC) approach essential skills training at an introductory level for co-workers.  The learning circle is a holistic approach which bring together learners from all backgrounds and literacy levels to share their ideas and skills, guide their own learning, and create new knowledge.  The curriculum is designed for workplace settings and includes 8 sessions based on an informal delivery model.  Each session includes experiential activities.  Includes the facilitator’s guide, facilitator’s information sheets, and participant handouts.

Workplace Literacy Central. (Website)
Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada, 2010- Available at: http://www2.conferenceboard.ca/workplaceliteracy/default.asp
» Includes Canadian case studies highlight how to start, keep and evaluate a workplace literacy and basics skills program.

Workplace Literacy Special Initiative. (CD-ROMs)

  • Literacy Link of Eastern Ontario, 2005.
  • Assessment tools in the workplace
  • Call centre curriculum
  • Hospitality curriculum
  • Retail curriculum
  • Skilled trades helpers and labourers curriculum
  • Supported job search
  • Food processing curriculum
  • Food Counter Attendants curriculum
  • Health Care curriculum
  • Landscaping & grounds maintenance curriculum
  • Experimental model for project development partnerships

» A series of detailed curricula to assist adult learners in preparing for pre-employment testing in specific skilled trades plus a CD on supported job searching and a CD detailing a project development partnership model.

The write direction: a new teacher’s practical guide to teaching writing and its application to the workplace.
Fred S. Wolff & Lynn Garber Kalna. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2010.
» This guide looks at how to teach writing and the connection between classroom writing and writing for the business world. Designed for beginning Grade 4 – 12 teachers, the information linking writing skills to workplace writing can also be valuable for adult literacy teachers.

Writing at work.
Sue Grecki, Sheila Whincup; Lynda Fownes, editor. Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan, 2003.
» This resource is designed to give instructors examples of workplace writing tasks that are practical and meaningful to learners. Organized by writing formats, it covers the writing tasks typical for the majority of working Canadians. An appendix of authentic documents for learning activities is provided.

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For Learners

Are you ready to mind your own business?
Narda Kathaleen Iulg. Southampton, ON: Ningwakwe Learning Press. 2010.
» This workbook asks the questions that will help anyone who dreams of owning their own business. It will help focus thinking in the right direction. The manual is designed to help prepare people so that they know what is involved in opening and running a business.

Being safe at work. (online)
Developed by Literacy Partners of Manitoba, in partnership with SAFE Work Manitoba, 2011. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library//learning/lpm/safe_at_work/safe_at_work.pdf
» A clear language guide to workplace safety.  Information on legislation refers to Manitoba.

Building workplace essential skills: workbook: parts I, II & III.
Paul Anderson et al. Calgary, AB: Bow Valley College, 2000.
» These workbooks contain a variety of learning activities designed to build workplace literacy and numeracy skills required for effective performance in front-line occupations.

Careers in the skilled trades: a resource for Aboriginal people.
Jennifer David. Owen Sound, Ont.: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2008.
» This handbook is designed as a guide through the information and steps needed to make an informed decision about apprenticeships. It looks at the possible jobs available in skilled trades, how to train for the jobs, and what to expect as part of an apprenticeship program. It is primarily aimed at Aboriginal people in Ontario who are not in school.

Community works handbook. (online)
Helen Mildon, Chris Harwood, ed. Ottawa: Ottawa Community Coalition for Literacy, 2008. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/comworks/handbook/cw-handbook.pdf
» The handbook is written for adult learners who are doing volunteer placements to strengthen skills and prepare for paid employment.

Connecting literacy and employment through Essential Skills.
Karen Farrar & Tracy Buchkowsky. London, ON: Literacy Link South Central, 2011. Also available online at: http://www.llsc.on.ca/news/connecting-literacy-and-employment-through-essential-skills

  • Essential skills to identify the job searcher: workbook one
  • Essential skills to identify the job: workbook two
  • Essential skills to research your occupation: workbook three
  • Essential skills to search for jobs: workbook four
  • Essential skills to market yourself with a resume and cover letter: workbook five
  • Essential skills to market yourself at the interview: workbook six
  • Essential skills to maintain employability: workbook seven

» This series of workbooks is designed for people who want to look for employment while strengthening their Essential Skills.

English for restaurant workers. 2nd ed.
Renee Talalla. Seoul, Korea: Compass Publishing, 2008.
» Designed for trainee waiters and waitresses, and for trainers in restaurant and catering, this book uses a picture-based format to illustrate restaurant tasks and common phrases, terms and expressions.

English for work activities: a picture process dictionary (high beginning-intermediate).
Lynn Stafford-Yilmaz and Lawrence J. Zwier. Syracuse, NY: New Readers Press, 2004.
» This book, designed for high beginning to low intermediate learners, is organized into 50 chapters. Each chapter describes a specific process, highlighting vocabulary and workplace concepts. Colour illustrations throughout.

Essential Skills indicator. (online)
Ottawa, Ont.: HRSDC, 2012-
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/les/tools/assessment/online_indicator.shtml
This set of short online quizzes provides an indication of skill strengths for numeracy, document use, and reading. For each skill, there are pre-tests and post-tests for Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Essential Skills passport. (online)
Gatineau, Quebec: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2009. Available at: http://www.en.copian.ca/library/learning/hrsdc/essential_skills/passport/passport.pdf
» A tool for personal career development that tracks Essential Skills, identifying strengths and areas for improvement.  Intended to be reviewed and updated regularly.

Essential Skills equalizer. (online)
Available at: https://www.emploisetc.gc.ca/equalizer/
» This tool is a fun way to learn about Essential Skills and what skill levels are needed for a variety of occupations.

Everyday English for hospitality professionals.  (Book + audio CD)
Lawrence J. Zwier with Nigel Caplan. Texas: Compass Publishing, 2007.
» This book and audio CD help future workers in the hotel and restaurant fields develop the English vocabulary they need for interacting with customers and colleagues. The 61 lessons show essential language structures for such common functions as welcoming a guest, dealing with a guest’s luggage, taking a meal order, and finding medical care for a guest. Each two page lesson provides full-colour illustrations and clear captions. The CD provides audio for each lesson in the book.

Finding your way at work: beyond reading and writing.
Sarah Bukhari. Toronto: Ontario Literacy Coalition, 2006.
» This book is written for adult learners in group settings, using Ontario’s Literacy and Basic Skills levels 2, 3 and 4 as its guide. It examines employability skills while at the same time providing literacy skill practice. It is meant to address the gap between materials that develop literacy skills and materials that assume literacy skills in order to develop employability skills. There are materials in each unit for instructors and learners.

How do your skills measure up? (online)
Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan. Available at: http://www.skillplan.ca/measureup/english/index.asp
» This website provides instructors and learners with a place to test, practice and explore three Essential Skills needed in all types of occupations: reading text, document use, and numeracy.

ITA Essential Skills: want to succeed in the trades?: build your essential skills. (Website)
Richmond, BC: Industry Training Authority, 2011.
ita.essentialskillsgroup.com/index.php
This webpage was created to help people prepare for the first two levels of technical training during an apprenticeship. It contains information on the essential skills needed in different trades, an online free self-assessment tool, and a personal learning plan based on with links to free online learning resources. The assessment is different for each trade and automatically adjusts to skill level. Results of the assessment are confidential.

Job Fit: books 1, 2 & facilitator’s guide.
Rona Satov. Toronto: Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario, 2004.
» Job-Fit was developed to assist people who may have learning disabilities to become more effective at finding and keeping a job.

Literacy and Essential Skills. (Online)
Ottawa: Employment and Social Development Canada, 2013.
www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/les/index.shtml
The Canadian government gateway to definitions, Essential Skills profiles, tools and resources.

Making it work: a workbook on conflict and communication for adult literacy learners.
Anne Moore. Guelph, ON: Garlic Press, 2006.
» A workbook for adult literacy learners working with a teacher, tutor or learning partner. This practical tool discusses conflict management and communication techniques in various guises, using worksheets and discussion questions learners can use alone or in groups. Contains a complaints policy template called “Learning in Peace”, which promotes equity and safety in literacy programs. Also includes a chapter on workplace rights covering everything from discrimination and harassment to privacy, employment standards, disability rights and health and safety issues. Written at an LBS Level 3/4 (basic to intermediate).

Numeracy rules worksheets to practice trades applications.
Sue Grecki. Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan, 2005.
» The worksheets, pocket guide and rulers in this kit are designed for construction trades workers. The worksheets review typical uses of numeracy tasks. They cover topics and calculations specific to plumbers, pipe fitters, operating and other engineers. The pocket guide includes formulas for perimeter, area and volume; decimals of a foot equivalent, etc. The rulers help in learning Imperial and metric measurement.

On-the-job English: student book. ESL for job success.
By Christie M. Newman. Syracuse, NY: New Reader’s Press, 2000.  The library also has the accompanying teacher’s guide.
» Developed to help high-beginning ESL learners develop the language skills and effective communication strategies they need to succeed in the workplace. On-the-job English focuses on functional language needed for such common workplace tasks as giving and understanding instructions, participating in work discussions, reading and understanding safety rules, and discussing problems on the job.

Paving the way to lasting employment: a manual and twelve interactive training videos: demonstrating the importance and practice of Essential Skills in the small business environment.
Andrew Binks. Kingston, ON: Kingston Literacy & Skills, 2012. Available at: http://www.klandskills.ca/proj/PavingTheWay.pdf
» This manual, which includes links to a series of 12 interactive videos, grew out of a project that focused on the “soft skills” that are a key to holding down a job. Those are the Essential Skills of oral communication, working with others, and thinking skills.
Each video is based on skill areas that would be required in a retail, customer service, or administrative setting.  The video includes clips of the employer responding in three different ways to the employee’s efforts and provides questions to guide discussion of each response. The manual can be used before and after viewing the videos.

Reading at work: workplace reader.
By Lynda Fownes, Vanya Wong and Corinne Volpatti. Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan, 2005.
» This reader is designed for workers who want to improve their reading skills and people who are preparing for employment. It identifies reading skills used by workers in a variety of occupations and provides activities to practice these skills. There is an accompanying facilitator’s guide.

Science for the trades: an illustrated guide to basic applications in the construction industry.
Sue Grecki. Burnaby, BC: SkillPlan, 2003.
» This publication links theory and practice, demonstrating practical uses of scientific knowledge. It uses construction industry content, but the model of integrating essential skills with work-related applications can be applied to other work situations.

Skills at work series.
Toronto: AlphaPlus Centre, 2004. Also available online.
•    Workbook 1: assess your skills. Available at: http://www.resources.alpharoute.org/pdfs/Workbook1.pdf
» This workbook, part of the Skills at Work Series, helps readers collect information about their employment goals and about the world of work. They identify skills they need to work on to reach their goals. They will learn some ways to find, save and use information about jobs.
•    Workbook 2: a day on the job. Available at: http://www.resources.alpharoute.org/pdfs/Workbook2.pdf
» In Workbook 2 of the “Skills at Work Series,” readers find out about employers’ expectations about reading, writing, and math on the job. The focus is on the tasks to do every day in different kinds of jobs.

Summer in Smallywood: Essential Skills learning series. (website)
Burlington, Ont. : The Centre for Skills Development & Training, 2011.
summerinsmallywood.ca/
» Summer in Smallywood is a free-to-play, online Flash game funded by the Government of Canada’s Office of Literacy and Essential Skills. It is designed to help young adults (ages 15 – 30) enhance their ability to succeed at work by developing skills in Working with Others, Thinking and Oral Communication. The website includes downloadable facilitator resources, including a facilitator’s guide, self-assessment materials, and additional activities.

Winning in your workplace for Aboriginal employees: employees guide to success at work: reference for the Rez’ed of us.
Ningwakwe (E. Priscilla) George. Owen Sound, Ont.: Ningwakwe Learning Press, 2008.
» “The primary audience for this book is Aboriginal Peoples, particularly those who have come through literacy or adult basic education programs. The content should interest students that are either transitioning into the workplace or seeking career guidance. The book explains some Aboriginal teachings as they apply to new work situations.” – Introduction.

WorkBC. (Online)

www.workbc.ca/Pages/Home.aspx
» Maintained by the Government of British Columbia, the WorkBC website collects in one place a wide variety of resources related to workplace, industry, and employment. Includes information on job searching, career information, education and training, statistics, and resources for the workplace.

You’re hired… now what?: an immigrant’s guide to success in the Canadian workplace.
Lynda Goldman. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2010.
» This book is written “for any immigrant who wants to succeed in a professional Canadian environment. The topics are relevant to anyone who is new to the Canadian workplace, with a special focus on the issues that can arise from cultural differences.” – back cover.

You’re hired… now what?: an immigrant’s guide to success in the Canadian workplace: workbook.
Beverley Payne, Terry Webb. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2010.
» This workbook accompanies “You’re hired…now what?”and its chapters follow the themes and key points from the book. It also introduces additional concepts and is designed to offer opportunities to apply new knowledge about the Canadian workplace through activities and interaction.

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Last updated: August 2013