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Case Study: Cheers! Embedding Literacy into a Food and Beverage Course


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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:29 by NZTecAdmin

Cheers! Embedding Literacy into a Food and Beverage Course

Alan Hatchard tutors a Level 4 Hospitality course (Food and Beverage Supervisory Strand) at the Hamilton campus of New Zealand Management Academy. Alan has been a tutor there for 10 years and is very excited about embedding literacy into his programme: Alan finds it keeps his job stimulating and he sees increased confidence and content knowledge in his learners.

Using a range of teaching approaches to build literacy skills

Among other things, to be competent in this course learners have to know how wine is grown, how to evaluate it and how to match wine to food. Many learners do not have prior knowledge of some of the foods, wine or the dining experiences. In addition, much of the language of food and wine comes from other languages and learners have to be become confident and knowledgeable in the use of this.

Alan plans lessons with a range of approaches within a session. These may include some whole group teaching, use of visuals such as DVDs, engagement of the senses by smelling and tasting the wines and small group work. He uses a subject or theme approach (e.g. wines) to cover related groups of Unit Standards. The names of the wines are dealt with by breaking the words into phonetic chunks for the learners. Chardonnay becomes Shar-don-eh (and wine bottles are there to give context). Everyone is encouraged to have a go, and correct pronunciation is developed over the course. For those learners who require extension, word knowledge is developed through analysis of word roots e.g. Gewurztraminer: a translation of the German gewurzt means spicy so learners can make the connection that this wine will have a spicy flavour.

Literacy Ideas Involved:

Learners must learn the names and ingredients of 20 classic cocktails. Alan embeds memory techniques such as the use of mnemonics and acronyms into the session. He also uses any opportunity to build general/world knowledge e.g. for some learners it is easier to learn lists using pictures rather than words. Alan used a square with a red outline to trigger the memory of the cocktail Black Russian (because the Red Square is in Russia) and was able to use this opportunity to embed some world knowledge into the lesson.

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