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Situational Barriers to Disaster Resilience: Language and Literacy. Session 15. Session Objectives. To analyze case studies where language or literacy factors hampered the delivery of messages or services

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Situational barriers to disaster resilience language and literacy

Situational Barriers to Disaster Resilience:Language and Literacy

Session 15


Session objectives
Session Objectives

  • To analyze case studies where language or literacy factors hampered the delivery of messages or services

  • Use current data on US immigration patterns and education levels to identify potential patterns of language and literacy isolation in various regions

  • To analyze reading levels of disaster-related materials

  • To locate and use resources appropriate to language patterns

  • To develop strategies for reaching language isolated residents and communities


Relevance of language and literacy to emergency managers:

  • Communication at heart of response

  • If not understood, message is lost

  • Diverse society

  • Immigrants tend to be concentrated in hazard-prone urban and coastal regions

  • Many native-born Americans do not read well


Some disasters where language or literacy issues interfered with response and recovery:

  • Saragosa tornado

  • Hurricane Andrew

  • Northridge earthquake

  • Others?


Groups with possible english language deficiencies
Groups with Possible English Language Deficiencies: with response and recovery:

  • Recent immigrants

  • Migrant workers

  • Guest workers

  • Tourists

  • Business visitors

  • Exchange students


Literacy barriers exist in every community
Literacy Barriers Exist in Every Community with response and recovery:

  • From countries with high illiteracy rates

  • Low education levels

  • Rural or isolated regions

  • Poverty

  • Minority Status

  • Advanced age

Some Possible Indicators:


Some data sources
Some Data Sources with response and recovery:

  • U.S. Census

  • National Center for Educational Statistics

  • International Marketing Data and Statistics

  • United Nations

  • State literacy organizations

  • CBO’s serving communities

WWW.CENSUS.GOV

WWW.UN.ORG


Illiteracy rates for adults by sex
Illiteracy Rates for Adults by Sex with response and recovery:

Source: United Nations 2000 (http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/social/literacy.htm)


Literacy levels of adult americans
Literacy Levels of Adult Americans with response and recovery:

Source: National Institute for Literacy www.nifl.gov


Estimating literacy from educational level
Estimating Literacy from Educational Level with response and recovery:

  • Grade 3: Cannot read most materials.

  • Grades 4 – 6: Can read low literacy materials

  • Grades 7 – 8: Will struggle with most materials

  • Grade 12: Will be able to read most materials


Education and language data for four states
Education and Language Data for Four States with response and recovery:

Source: 2000 Census State & County Quick Facts. (www.census.gov)


Smog formula simplified measure of gobbledygook

Count the total number of words that have 3 or more syllables in the 30 sentences.

Get out your calculator and calculate the square root of the number.

Select 3 samples of 10 consecutive sentences from different sections of your text (at least 100 words total).

Add 3 and that will be the approximate reading level.

EXAMPLE

Total words with 3 or

more syllables = 64

2. Square root of 64 = 8

8+3 = 11th grade

reading level

SMOG Formula(Simplified Measure Of Gobbledygook)


Flesch kincaid formula

1. syllables in the 30 sentences. Calculate L, the average sentence length (number of words/ number of sentences.

2. Calculate N, the average number of syllables per word (number of syllables/ number of words

3. Calculate grade level with formula:

(L x 0.39) + (N x 11.8) – 15.59

EXAMPLE

No. of words = 50

No. of sentences = 5

L = 50/5 = 10

No. of syllables = 75

No. of words = 50

N = 1.5

Grade Level = (10 x 0.39) + (1.5 x 11.8) - 15.59 = 6.0

Flesch-Kincaid Formula


Smog conversion table
SMOG Conversion Table syllables in the 30 sentences.

* +/- 1.5 grades

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 1992. Making Health Communication Programs Work, A Planner’s Guide.


Reaching out

Find or develop materials in other languages syllables in the 30 sentences.

Locate translators for every language in community

Check the reading level of materials before using

Choose materials with appropriate reading levels

Develop low literacy materials with illustrations

Use other-language radio and TV outlets

Educate through children

Distribute flyers in local neighborhoods

Talk to community groups

Others?

Reaching Out …


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