Learning with a language barrier
At Alltruck Driver Training we have clearly defined and strictly implemented Access and Equity Policy. Part of that policy includes requirements for the provision of training to students who do not have a good grasp of the English language.
For obvious reasons our trainers need to adjust their verbal delivery of the course content. Adjustments that may include drawing pictures and pointing to controls, etc. These adjustments naturally slow the assessment process down, and our training and assessment strategy reflects that fact. This does not mean any special exemptions are given; we must still follow the mandated assessment tool, in its entirety.
My student today was new to Australia, having been here for about 6 years, and clearly demonstrated that having English as a second language will not be a barrier to his educational success. I was incredibly impressed by his enthusiasm to learn, and the fact that he did not just want his licence, he wanted to learn to be a professional driver, just like his father in China. He was above average with his observation, anticipation, load restraining, reversing and proved he was a competent driver all round, well on his way to becoming a professional driver.
It makes me very satisfied knowing that, not only did I assist in developing a good driver for our roads, but that driver may now have a pathway in place to secure work. Education is only one part of the puzzle, attitude another, and he now has both.
*Update* This student returned 1 year later to complete the HC licence program, and performed very well in the assessment. Since completing the HR licence in 2012, he has been employed as a truck driver.