I am a trained speech therapist and have been working as a literacy (and maths) teacher for 33 years at the ASBL “Le Piment”, which is an Adult and Continuing Education Centre.
I am passionate about games. I created my own literacy course from scratch in which I included a lot of games.
Knowing that repetition is useful and necessary but often very boring, I use different games to work on the same subject (solitary word, crosswords, definitions, intruder, look for the error, place words in a grid ...).
Initially this method can be unfamiliar but as time goes by, the fun aspect becomes more natural and repetition proves to be reassuring and, above all, rewarding.
I learned about Epale through the French Community of Belgium which contacted us to ask us to share our experience and practices in adult education during this period of confinement.
COVID-19 has disrupted our working lives and forced us to stay at home and work remotely.
During this period, we have had to reinvent how we do things.
Not being an expert in new technologies, I wondered how I would keep in contact with the learners so that they would not lose what they had learned (it is a beginner literacy group). I decided to send the students my games by email and I created a special email address to keep track of this new adventure. It was also a way of making the learners work with their families; killing two birds with one stone.
The first challenge was that not all the learners have an email address and if they do, some do not know how to use it properly despite the introductory computer course that was put on for them. Each time an exercise was solved, I would send another one with the corrections and a personalised note. However, it was not long before the parents’ training had to compete with the children’s schooling. The network data had to be used for the children's online courses and the project quickly ran out of steam. It was clear that learners were not obliged to respond – they only had to reply when they wanted to and if they could.
In the light of this, I think we need to rethink the computer course. I have reworked my course so that it is available in a digital version and I plan in the future to send exercises by email to the computer course, as practice makes perfect and the time needed for practise varies depending on age and one’s affinity for new technologies.
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