Last update: 09-Dec-2013 8:15 pm
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
My time for Alta… Your time for Alta?
These two pieces of writing were by Alta Level Three students. Alta has four literacy levels: Beginner, Level One, Level Two and Level Three. In September every year, new students may enter Alta at any of the levels except Level Three. Level Two graduates who would like to focus on English grammar with a view to progressing to CXC English move to Level Three after mastering Level Two.
Moving forward from a rough start
I went to Don Miguel Primary School where I stayed up to Standard Two. I was taken out of school to help take care of my four younger siblings. Life became very difficult for me because it was hard not to be at school, because I loved to go to school. I started at a young age picking up bottles and cutting grass for cows, in order to get money to help take care of my siblings. This gave me money for about three years.
At the age of 11, I got a job on a shrimp trawler. I stayed for about three years at that job. No reading was needed, as we were casting nets in the sea to catch fish and shrimp. At 15, I started working in the construction industry. Many others followed such as giving out posters. I got the job done by showing people on the street the front of the envelope and asked for directions. I was fired when the boss found out that I could not read, one year later.
My job at Caribbean Glass was to build space savers. When I worked in the showroom I would ask someone to make out the bill. My next job was working in a pub, marking off what was sold by looking at the labels on the bottle.
After years of not wanting anyone to know that I could not read, I started classes to learn, but, because of work I dropped out of class. Mr Neehall encouraged me to stay with Alta to further my education.
I am proud that I stayed.
What an Alta class is like
Alta has four levels. I began attending these classes in September 2003. I started off in Level Two.
In Level Two we learned phonics, the sounding and proper pronunciation of letters and words. We were taught about dividing words into syllables which made it much easier to pronounce, also compound words, spelling long vowels, plurals, suffixes and games that were a form of learning. The topics were always interesting. At the end of Level Two, we received an Alta certificate of accomplishment.
Level Three went through all of the above mention in Level Two but in much advance stage, along with other topics that were new such as learning the origin of words and of the English language. There were some interesting tips on topics that will be useful in one’s life. I can mention just a few. We learned about dyslexic people, National Insurance Benefits, saving and investment, the teen years and structuring writing plus games that make learning fun.
Since coming to Alta, my confidence has grown a lot. I give credit to the selfless tutors, who have given so much of their time for us. They are always there and on time even when we are not. They are very enthusiastic and it makes learning fun.
• Alta’s free reading and writing classes are open to new students and started September 9. Please call 624-2582/3442 or check the list of venues on our Web site www.alta-tt.org and go to the venue of your choice before September 20.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.