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Literacy and numeracy for youth hospitality learners: Heather Dyksma

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Last updated 31 January 2013 12:09 by NZTecAdmin

View comments from Heather Dyksma, Hospitality Tutor at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT), taken at the Symposium in Hamilton, July 2011.

Key content

Engaging learners and embedding literacy and numeracy in a Youth Guarantees programme


They are keen to get busy, practical learners, so they really want to do something that's practical hands on; and they come to Polytech because of our... because it's hands on practical learning. Having said that, in our Youth Guarantees programme and in this particular one, we have a lot of... a huge amount of theory actually, and embedding numeracy and literacy. It's not disguised – it's not like peas hiding in a risotto. No, it's really out there, we don't try and hide it from them. Students are asked questions at an initial interview about... what they think will be different about coming to Polytech compared to school. So, "Why do you think this will be different? What was it that you didn't like about school? Why are you choosing to leave? What do you think will be different here?" – and give them some real understanding of the amount of maths and English that they'll still be doing. And I say to them, "This is your chance to learn more maths and English"; and let them know that it's still going to be part of their ongoing education, that they're not leaving it behind – it's part of what they do.

What's different is, for each individual student is, they're smart, you know, they're smart kids, and quick, very quick learners. So the problem isn't that things are too hard – it's really sometimes that things are too slow. And it's keeping it well paced, interesting, brief short bursts, and of learning not-laboured; and then moving onto the next thing. So for me, planning and knowing who the student is, and good planning, means that a lesson can keep moving and moving along. And this is the case because they're used to everything at the push of a button – they want it quick, their minds are used to things moving quickly – and they do master a skill quite fast.

My aim is that they believe what I already know about them, and so they come to believe it for themselves. When they believe it for themselves it makes it a lot easier to make good choices – and it's all about making positive choice for themselves. And that's the choice to get up, be at 'tech on time, be involved. And the students... what we do is we let them know if there's any behaviour that's not acceptable that we definitely separate the behaviour from the person. So the student starts to get an understanding that their behaviour needs to change and that they're okay. That we have... because of the way their course runs, we give them a chance to have successes early; and we start off so they get small successes early, and build on those and make them progressively more difficult. Because it's not about dumbing it all down so that it's easy and then they walk away. It's really saying, "Here's a challenge – you've mastered it. And right, let's do the next one that's right in front of you. And this is going to be... this is going to be a bit hard – you can do it".



22 January 2016 10:01
Thank you for your video it has helped and gave a little more insight into what i can do to assist our learners. Relating to the hopitality sector which learning progressions do you use?

Kind regards
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