Last monday (03-06-2019) I had my final test session in Amersfoort. Just like in the previous sessions I was attending a language class for people who are learning Dutch. For today’s session I created a first version of the infographic and modified example letter that I used in the small experiment. The example letter can be found on the website of Stichting Lezen en Schrijven. While creating the infographic I applied principles of Stichting Lezen en Schrijven. I used two factsheets that are published on their website. The factsheet contain writing tips for low-literate people and facts about the digital skills low-literate people have. I showed the infographic to the teachers of the language classes and immediately received some useful feedback which I will apply and explain in my final thesis. We discussed how the infographic can be used and whether it would be a good idea to print the infographic as a poster and hang the posters in the school.
The class then started with a short lesson about distances; how thick is a coin of 1 euro? how long is the teacher? how far is Damascus? With Google Maps we looked at how far from Amersfoort every one lived before they came to the Netherlands. All participants came from a place that is at least 3000 kilometers from Amersfoort 😮! Mariëlle continued the class with some general exercises about the letters ‘P’ and ‘B’. It was remarkable to see that the participants had difficulty distinguishing these letters during listening exercises. What can be self-evident for someone who has been living in the Netherlands all his life can be very difficult for someone who just started learning the language.
While most of the participants were starting with their weekly assignments I had the chance to do a small experiment and to have an interview with one of the participants. With help of the infographic the participants was asked to translate the example letter. In a step by step procedure I explained in the infographic what was required to translate a letter with the Google Translate app. The participant was subsequently asked to answer some questions that could be found in the example letter.
- Where is the letter about?
- When is the meeting?
- Where is the meeting?
- Before when do you need to register?
The questions could be answered very well and the letter’s goal was reached. The important information was understood by the participant. After the experiment I asked what could be improved and what was still unclear about the infographic. The interview was quite hard since the participant is in the initial phase of learning Dutch and does not speak English. Although I received some useful feedback from the interview and the observations I did during the test. With these feedback and the feedback of the teachers in mind I created a final version of the infographic.
The whole process will be described more extensively in my final thesis which I will publish here as well as soon as it is finished. I will make sure that the school (and probably more schools) will receive some posters of the infographic. I want to thank Mariëlle and the participants of the class for having me and helping me with my project. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. Hopefully the infographic will help people that have difficulty in understanding letters.