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Non text literacy

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This workshop presents the main outlines of the LEIS (Literacy & Equality in Irish Society) project, whose main objective is to use creative approaches that do not resort to writing in order to address equality issues in literacy. Over a two-year period (2004-2006), the project gathered, for the first time, professionals from the Republic of Ireland and from Northern Ireland determined to promote dialogue around the quality issue.

These encounters allowed learners to share their experience of discriminatory situations in their respective countries, racked by severe political and religious divisions. All in all, more than one hundred trainers and learners were involved in this project which was funded by the European Union programme for peace and reconciliation and by the British and Irish governments.

During the project development, it appeared that trainers needed support. Consequently, a guide was drawn up on training methods based on creative approaches not using writing. The guide reviews five creative methods : image theatre, storytelling, “gamelan” (musical instrument from south-east Asia enabling the development of a person’s competences on the basis of equal relationships), theatre and visual arts.

The guide defines the characteristics and proposes a series of practical exercises to be implemented with the learners. The CD-Rom that goes with the guide contains a wide selection of resources to be used by the trainers. It also proposes assessments and comments of trainers having experienced these methods.

he second part of the workshop describes a creative experience of "education with art" carried out by the University de Castel Sant’Angelo (UCSA), one of the bodies of the Unione Nazionale Lotta contro l’analfabetismo (UNLA).