Accessibility is one of the most important aspects of any program. Therefore, possible language and cultural gaps have to be taken into account while developing an action plan. The present program takes place in a predominantly Latino neighborhood, and participants have a different level of proficiency in English. The paper reveals some strategies to be employed to address this issue.
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It has been acknowledged that accessibility is one of the central aspects of an effective program. Of course, the language and cultural gap can negatively affect this aspect as participants will simply fail to understand the program’s outcomes as well as the training itself (Monette, Sullivan & DeJong, 2013). Researchers point out that it is important to address this issue to facilitate the program’s effectiveness (Lennie & Tacchi, 2013). The program in question is developed for workers who live in a predominantly Latino neighborhood. Thus, it is important to make sure this peculiarity will be taken into account, and to ensure this it is possible to use certain strategies.
Strategies to Be Employed
First of all, it can be a good idea to start an English course which will focus on general knowledge as well as specific vocabulary necessary for participation in the program. The language course will be held alongside the main training. Of course, this will require additional funds. It is also necessary to add that the number of workers who have issues with English is rather low (only 20%) so language training can be not cost-effective. Nonetheless, it is also important to remember that the field is quite new and workers are often reluctant to participate in such programs. Hence, additional training will make workers more motivated as participation in the program will be associated with extra opportunities for each worker who will be able to improve his/her English. It is likely to increase the effectiveness of the program.
It can also be beneficial to create groups within participants who will have to work on certain projects (completing quizzes, tests) or take part in discussions. This step will be taken, at least, two weeks after the start of the program. This time is necessary to identify struggling workers and those who are more successful. This will enable workers who have problems with English to obtain assistance from people whose expertise in the language is higher. This can also create a better (more cooperative) atmosphere among participants of the program.
Finally, it is possible to assign mentors who do not have difficulties with English to help those whose proficiency in English is not sufficient. This step will be taken during the second stage of the program (after the first month). These mentors will have additional benefits (including extra payment and promotion) as their effort should be awarded. Mentored participants will be able to get more from the program as there will be no misunderstanding.
To sum up, the program has to be facilitated by several measures aimed at increasing English proficiency among participants. These measures include an English course (with a focus on the necessary vocabulary), creating groups of participants, and assigning mentors. These steps will ensure that all participants get the necessary training. This plan will also make workers more motivated to take part in the program as it will be associated with several benefits (including additional training, promotion, and extra payment).
Lennie, J., & Tacchi, J. (2013). Evaluating communication for development: A framework for social change. New York, NY: Routledge.
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Monette, D., Sullivan, T., & DeJong, C. (2013). Applied social research: A tool for human services. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.