Context and aims
The Dutch GOAL project focuses on recognising and referring people with low literacy. Identification of low literate people takes place on the basis of a screening instrument the Reading and Writing Foundation had developed: the Literacy Screener (Taalmeter). This is the core instrument of the GOAL pilot in the Netherlan This is the core instrument of the GOAL pilot in the Netherlands, in which connection, the following goals were formulated: increasing the number of organisations that use the Literacy Screener as an integrated part of their working procedures; integrating basic guidance services into the working procedures of organisations that use the Literacy Screener and training staff of organisations that use the Literacy Screener to provide basic guidance services. increasing the number of organisations that use the Literacy Screener as an integrated part of their working procedures; integrating basic guidance services into the working procedures of organisations that use the Literacy Screener, and training staff of organisations that use the Literacy Screener to provide basic guidance services.
Tool selection, development and use
The Literacy Screener is an online tool which organisations can use to identify quickly and easily those people who may have difficulty reading. According to all four pilot organisations, the Literacy Screener fits well into their work process and has added value for their services: insight into the language skills of the client, which comes about through the Literacy Screener, helps the organisations to offer a customised approach to their clients. In addition, the Literacy Screener helps organisations to identify low literacy and make it discussable with the client. Improving his/her language skills can make a positive contribution to self-reliance, participation and the self-confidence of the client.
A small majority of the service users interviewed found taking the Literacy Screener to be a positive experience, because they considered it useful and/or considered it interesting.
Strengths and achievements
A strong feature of the Literacy Screener is that it can be administered quickly and easily and that it provides organisations with a structured method for identifying low literacy. All four pilot organisations consider that the deployment of the Literacy Screener fits well in their work process. Together, during the GOAL pilot, the four organisations conducted 1,525 Literacy Screeners (far more than the intended 400), identifying 465 people with potential low literacy.
Challenges and barriers
The interviews with the service users generally present a positive image of taking the Literacy Screener. However, one respondent indicated that she does not consider the Literacy Screener a suitable instrument for identifying reading skills. She argues in favour of a written test that allows participants more time. In a triple interview with educational professionals from PI Lelystad (in Wave 1) the time limit and digital nature of the test were also mentioned as being a presenting challenge.
The four pilot organisations that participate in GOAL consider that the deployment of the Literacy Screener fits well in their work process. However, the Reading and Writing Foundation repeatedly experienced when recruiting organisations to deploy the Literacy Screener (for participation in GOAL, but also outside the pilot) that the Literacy Screener is not seen as applicable in all organisations.
The four pilot organisations jointly identified 465 potential cases of low literacy. Only a small number of these persons start language lessons at PI Lelystad, the municipality of Emmen and PI Achterhoek. The problems in this area are discussed in more detail in chapters about outreach, service users outcomes and service quality.