Financial Literacy and ESOL

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1 Financial Literacy and ESOL

2 Financial Literacy and ESOL There are more and more resources available for delivering LLN in the context of finance but most of them are focused on working with learners whose first language is English and who have at least a basic awareness of the financial systems in England. Although numeracy is often perceived as the main skill required for dealing with finances in fact literacy and language skills are at least as important and in many cases are required before users reach the point of carrying out numerical calculations. When working with ESOL learners some have excellent numeracy skills and have been highly proficient in managing their finances in their home countries. Such learners need to understand both the language of finance and the ways finance works in the UK. Some may also need numeracy skills and will need the relevant language skills for that too. This is an exploration of some of the resources available together with some suggestions of ways of using them with ESOL learners. Some resources include session plans and references to the literacy and numeracy curricula. In these it is feasible to check the references in the ESOL curriculum to see how well they match and identify the sub skills and suggested activities. These can then be integrated into the session plans. Clearly the timescales will need to be adapted Financial Literacy Activities for: Entry Level 2 Learners This pack produced by BSA Wales contains outline modules and resources mapped to the literacy and numeracy curricula. These are not session plans but suggested introduction, development and consolidation activities on a series of themes. (see graphic).

3 The resources including the cards described in the plan above are printed in the book and are available also on the accompanying CD-ROM. There are plenty of opportunities for adapting these to the needs of a range of ESOL learners. This is an excellent resource for ESOL learners and has the bonus that it is also available in Welsh. A Load of Dosh In spring 2005 the Government launched the Child Trust Fund to encourage families to save towards their children's futures. In this film children and parents from Leicester and Gainsborough speak about their attitudes to money, what it means to them, and about the challenges of managing the budget for today, and saving for the future. This is a useful resource for speaking and listening skills, probably mostly for learners working at E3 and above. There are plenty of examples of native speakers demonstrating everyday speech patterns, accents and idioms. Not all of the speech is grammatically correct which could be a useful point to discuss. Some financial jargon used by ordinary people rather than financial service professionals is used. There are contributions from both adults and children and each individual clip is fairly short which means tutors could pause and discuss both the language and content of contributions on a point by point basis or more able learners could listen to a longer section.

4 It would be useful to have a transcript so that learners could also see the text. Though no transcript is available with the DVD it would be feasible to produce fairly quickly and easily transcriptions of some of the shorter contributions. At the moment there are no activities developed to accompany this but there are plenty of possibilities including using the views expressed as a trigger for further discussions on the subject of money. Moneytalk CD-ROM Take a walk down Moneytalk street and help learners to deal with everyday financial issues. This CD ROM was developed for people with basic skills at Entry 2/Entry 3 in the Adult Literacy or ESOL Core Curricula and covers topics from the basic levels of the Adult Financial Capability Framework. Various characters are faced with everyday financial issues in a bank, an electrical superstore and a market. The focus is very much on literacy and language development and throughout the programme learners can listen to different voices. There is a quiz in each section using multiple choice questions with short answers. The questions can be read to the learner but unfortunately this section of audio is provided by a speech synthesiser with the usual lack of expression or intonation. The dictionary includes simple but clear definitions of financial terms, examples of the term in use and reference to where it is used in the activities. The dictionary also has the option to have the words read aloud using the speech synthesiser. There are a number of PDF files on the disk which it is worth examining as they include details of how the activities are mapped to the literacy curriculum and the Adult Financial Capability Framework. Though the references are to the literacy curriculum the resource is clearly of use to ESOL learners The PDF files include transcripts of all the situations so learners can use both listening and reading skills If you have plenty of ICT equipment learners could work on this programme individually. Alternatively if computer access is limited but you have access to a projector you could use this programme with groups. In many ways there are advantages to this as you can use the resource to stimulate discussion and exploration of different people s experiences. The activities on this programme could give you a framework for developing similar activities in different contexts relevant to your learners. You could for example develop activities based in an estate agents or in a mobile phone shop. Money-go-round CD-ROM This is designed to give students the confidence to manage their money effectively. Learners can work individually, completing tasks and testing themselves with the moneyspinner quiz however it could also be used with a group particularly if there is access to an interactive whiteboard. Work is based on a range of themes (see graphic). These themes are also covered in the quiz.

5 Within each topic there are more specific activities which are categorized according to whether they are at basic developing or extending levels of the Adult Financial Capability Framework. There are certainly many useful activities here aimed at literacy and numeracy learners at E3/L1. Activities are mapped to the literacy and numeracy curricula and to the adult financial capability framework but there are definitely opportunities to develop more work with ESOL learners. It s worth looking in the tutor area as there are a number of suggestions of ways that this resource can be used. The Money-go-round topics, a pdf file is particularly useful as it includes details of the mapping. There is a table showing those skills from the literacy curriculum which are covered in the activities and which can then be used to explore the links in the ESOL curriculum. There are some suggested listening activities, one speaking and most of the language based work is based on reading. If you use the resource with a group rather than as an individual learning resource it would be possible to develop much more speaking and listening work. For example in the section concerned with using a bank, learners need to listen to a bank official explaining the features of a particular account. There are some comprehension questions accompanying this but further questions relating to the language features of the speech could be developed either in a one to one or group context. This situation could also be usefully used as a starting point for further work based on asking for and receiving information, role plays etc.

6 Obviously learners using this independently need to be confident and comfortable with using ICT materials. Using the resource with a group is also useful in these situations as a way of introducing such learners to both the content and the medium. Moneypower CD-ROM This resource is intended to help learners to tackle difficult money issues in an interactive and engaging way. MoneyPower sends them on missions to help them understand day-to-day financial topics. Whereas Money-go-round explores financial topics generically this CD-ROM provides scenarios in which learners have to use their skills to achieve particular outcomes. Mission activities are mapped to the core curricula and adult financial capability framework and are mainly aimed at learners working towards level 2 though there are some activities for those working towards level 1. This is consequently quite a challenging resource for many ESOL learners as it stands. There are a number of tools that the learner needs to use to achieve the missions including tools giving guidance on reading, listening effectively and writing letters and there are activities designed to help learners use the tools effectively. Once learners have developed the ability to use these tools they could be useful when working on topics or missions other than those provided. There is also guidance on how to produce further missions which could be set at a level more accessible to the learners; they can then still use the mission tools to support them and as their skills develop could progress to some of the more challenging units. This could be useful particularly for learners who enjoy using ICT. Confident Consumer This is a much more interesting resource than it appears at first. The folder contains several suggested models for developing consumer awareness from a lesson plan for a minute session to an outline of a 30 hour course. There are numerous mapping tables and sample record sheets and it is easy to assume that that is all there is. However there is also a CD with a range of activities based on the needs of 6 young people. Activities include a range of relevant situations including opening a bank account, using a catalogue and consumers and the environment and include plenty of audio material. There is a good range of British regional accents. A couple of sections that look useful include the section in opening a bank account where an application form is displayed. Users need to click on some of the headings and a written and audio explanation of the term appears. Another set of activities which could be used in various ways are the storyboarders; three different scenarios where learners see a series of pictures of a speaker with speech in a speech bubble and either have to choose an appropriate response from a choice of four or can write and record their own responses.

7 Though clearly the CD is intended for individual learners to use if there is access to an interactive whiteboard there are plenty of opportunities for developing group activities. Though it is designed particularly for young people and no particular account has been taken of the needs of ESOL learners there are sections which could easily and usefully be adapted for ESOL learners. Activities are mapped to the literacy and numeracy curricula as well as the Adult Financial Capability Framework so it is feasible to explore the ESOL curriculum for additional activities which could be created to develop the relevant sub skills. Money scenes photos to support financial literacy programmes This resource consists of photographs of situations and actions in a variety of places where financial transactions of some sort take place. In addition there are some suggested activities mapped to the core curricula and the Adult Financial Capability Framework. All the suggested activities are at Entry levels 1 3. There are references to the ESOL curriculum including speaking activities.

8 These resources do not need to be limited to Entry Level learners but could also be used to stimulate discussions with higher level learners e.g. discuss costs and relative merits of shopping at the market and the supermarket. One of the beauties of this resource is that it is not only useful in itself but provides a trigger for the development of further resources. It would be useful to expand the collection and to create further sequences of pictures from other situations e.g. Paying bills Opening a bank account Going to the bank Using an ATM Choosing a mobile phone Such resources could be created by tutors but learners themselves could develop their own sequences of pictures or storyboards either using photographs or drawings. Many learners enjoy the idea that they are creating something which is not only useful for them to do but also creates a resource which could benefit others. There are clearly many opportunities for developing language work in planning such a sequence. For example learners could plan a storyboard for using an ATM with instructions using the imperative and appropriate sequencing markers. (Sc/E2.3e or Sc/E3.4e) Colossal Cards Help your students get to grips with non-cash payments using these giant payment cards. This is a really useful resource as the cards can be used in so many ways. They are particularly useful for learners new to the country to show examples of the types of financial materials in common usage. The accompanying booklet contains includes a range of suggested activities, tables that give an indication of mapping opportunities related to the suggested activities and photocopiable activity sheets including blank cheques, paying in slips, statements and forms. However in addition to the activities described in the accompanying booklet there are numerous ways in which these could be used in an ESOL context e.g. role play transactions using various ways of paying. It is also useful and enjoyable adding to the resources by producing your own colossal versions of other materials like sample receipts, printouts from ATMs or Child Trust Fund vouchers. If you enjoy creating materials this pack can be extended and expanded as new products appear. Financial products resource pack It is often useful to have access to real materials; leaflets, forms etc. This folder is a useful accompaniment to Colossal Cards and contains five packs covering basic bank accounts, home and motor insurance, savings accounts (ISAs), credit cards and mortgages. Within each pack there are a variety of documents some real leaflets and others based on fictional service providers. For example the basic bank account section includes a real leaflet about these accounts produced by the FSA, a real leaflet about proving your identity produced by the British Bankers Association and a series of forms, leaflets and letters typical of the type a bank might produce but based on a fictional bank Felix and Sherwood. Each section includes

9 teacher s notes giving further information about each resource and tables showing the AFCaF, literacy and numeracy curricula objectives for each resource. Tutors will need to devise their own activities and so can pitch the language work at a level appropriate for the needs of their learners. As an example some learners could look at the forms and identify the words related to personal information (Rw/E2.1a) and could complete those sections (Ww/E2.1a) while others could work on completing the full form (Wt/E3.4b) Literacy and numeracy in a financial context modular programmes Help learners to consolidate their Level 1 literacy and numeracy skills in a financial context. There is clearly an assumption that learners will have the requisite speaking and listening skills but this may need expansion. Some of the literacy activities are also useful for ESOL learners but tutors may want to build in more structured opportunities for speaking and listening work. The resource is clearly aimed at learners who already have some Level 1 literacy and numeracy skills. The plans form a useful starting point for tutors but would need some adaptation to take account of ESOL learners. Here is an example of one activity from Module 5 literacy which focuses on writing a business letter to a business organization. Possible adaptations are suggested below. Examples Aims of session Activity Curriculum reference Resources To focus on sentence construction Discuss: What is a sentence? Name the parts of a sentence. Use a sentence that you might find within financial literature, i.e. guarantees. List these on a flipchart. Write a sentence and ask the group to label the parts. Note anyone who does not offer ideas. Use interactive whiteboard or presentation software. Tutor should check plans and drafts highlighting grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. Encourage the use of dictionaries. Give out a worksheet on sentence construction or use a computer exercise with a matching exercise. Ws/L1.2 Flipchart Coloured pens Literature about guarantees Worksheets on sentences There are some exercises about sentences in Making the most of your money, pp. 52, 67, 80, 121

10 Introduce conjunctions either as a separate activity or incorporated into the above. Adaptations could include work on tenses. Identify the tenses used in the document. Complete a gap filling exercise inserting verb in correct tense. identify countable and uncountable nouns in the text and check on agreement with the verb used Some of the activities may need to be extended to allow for the additional work needed on specific language features. There are however other activities where learners knowledge and skills from other languages may reduce the time required. For example learners who are competent writers in other languages may need to spend less time on planning strategies as they can draw on their experience from planning writing in other languages. The numeracy sections assume that learners need to develop numeracy skills but it may be worth looking at the language required to achieve these modules Literacy and numeracy in a financial context short programmes This pack includes session plans for 10 x 3 hour sessions. Some with literacy and some with a numeracy focus. (see graphic)

11 There are mapped literacy, numeracy and financial objectives so again ESOL tutors can explore the links with the ESOL curriculum and sub skills required. Whereas the material in the modular programmes is all mapped to level 1, these sessions cover skills at a range of levels from Entry 2 to Level 2 so you can explore and identify the sessions at a level relevant to your learners. Alternatively if you don t use the whole session plan there are some useful suggestions of activities on particular themes that could be incorporated into other lessons. Supporting the adult literacy and numeracy core curricula tutor support resource This book covers all the skills knowledge and understanding listed in the literacy and numeracy curricula from Entry 1 to Level 2 and for each reference provides examples of activities that develop the skill in a financial context and in some cases suggested resources. Unfortunately there are no references to the ESOL curriculum and this is particularly frustrating in relation to the speaking and listening requirements. The suggestions for reading and writing activities are more useful and it does give some ideas that can form a starting point for ESOL tutors. From Entry 3 to Level 2 the table includes links to the Adult Financial Capability Framework and many more suggested resources.

12 Making the most of your money This pack includes a variety of worksheets and activities mapped to the literacy and numeracy curricula on a range of topics There are a variety of suggested activities covering both literacy and numeracy from Entry 3 upwards. The activities and materials are good and could be adapted to develop more language work if required.

13 Financial literacy and family learning tutor resources These resources are primarily intended for family learning but there are elements which could be adapted and used with ESOL learners. There are plans for six sessions mapped to the curricula covering baby budgeting, buying goods and services, an introduction to the Child Trust Fund, managing money, saving and talking about money. Some are more easily adaptable for ESOL learners than others. For example the savings section includes a money proverbs activity where learners match definitions with such proverbs as Money talks and All that glitters is not gold and a bingo activity where learners match definitions to financial terms. In addition to these there is a growing supply of resources designed for developing financial skills. More and more are being produced with the focus on financial skills and knowledge possibly with some numeracy work but with little emphasis on the language and literacy skills required. Some are challenging in their language and literacy requirements but can be a useful starting point for tutors. Many people assume that as long as individuals have the relevant numeracy skills then they will be able to cope with managing their finances but this ignores the fact that dealing with financial matters successfully requires good speaking and listening skills in order to be able to cope with face to face and telephone interactions with financial service providers and in addition requires excellent reading and writing skills to be able to read, understand and respond to complex and life changing materials. Individuals with limited language and literacy skills need support to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge to make real choices about their finances.

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