Friday, August 10, 2012


Formal non-formal and informal learning: The case of literacy, essential skills and language learning in Canada

I have had this written for a while and kept forgetting to post it. A while back I snagged a copy of this research by Sarah Elaine Eaton, Ph.D. and found it an interesting read.

First off some background on the author Dr. Eaton's PhD is from the University of Calgary in Educational Leadership and a Master of Arts in Spanish. Now we all know my ears perk up when I can identify with someone and with her I identify with the Spanish! She has about 12 years of experience teaching Spanish to adults and young adults. She also gave a workshop in Mexico called “Bilingual Education: Sharing ideas, understanding context: Experiences from Alberta.” Given all that (and some more I skipped over) I was looking forward to reading what her study had found.

Right off the back she explains that this is not an exhaustive study. Rather, this is a study that highlights specific examples for the simple purpose of understanding literacy and language learning.

1 All learning is useful
2 learning happens everywhere
3 Interdisciplinary

First she briefly reviews the different types of learning (KVARK) as well as the different contexts in which learning occurs (formal, non-formal, and informal).

Assuming that literacy is the first step for more advanced language acquisition Dr. Eaton chooses to start there. First she delves into the topic of what is literacy?
adopting the system the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada uses.

Since literacy is defined Dr. Eaton goes on to gives specific examples of acquiring literacy through the different contexts and how they differ from one another as well as looking at it specifically concerning foreign language literacy.

I wouldn´t say the results were surprising, but it was nice to have my beliefs reinforced through reading.

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