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
Situational Barriers to Disaster Resilience:Language and Literacy
Relevance of language and literacy to emergency managers:
Some disasters where language or literacy issues interfered with response and recovery:
Some Possible Indicators:
Source: United Nations 2000 (http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/social/literacy.htm)
Source: National Institute for Literacy www.nifl.gov
Source: 2000 Census State & County Quick Facts. (www.census.gov)
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.
Total words with 3 or
more syllables = 64
2. Square root of 64 = 8
8+3 = 11th grade
1.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
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
* +/- 1.5 grades
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 1992. Making Health Communication Programs Work, A Planner’s Guide.
Find or develop materials in other languages
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