Writing in plain English to parents and carers

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A free online course in the basics of writing in plain English

While aimed at teachers and school administrators, this short, self-paced course is useful for any group or individual who works with young people, including child and family centres, play groups, speech pathologists and sports administrators.

Have you noticed that some parents and carers of your students don't respond to notices that are sent home from school? Have you come across a poorly written note from an adult at home? This may be because your students' parents and carers are among the many Tasmanian adults who struggle with tasks involving letters and numbers.

It's really important that our readers can understand what we write. That's why it's up to all of us to develop the skill of communicating clearly.

The course aims to help you:

  • better understand plain English
  • practise writing in plain English
  • become familiar with the 26TEN's Communicate Clearly - A Guide to Plain English.

In seven engaging and informative videos you will learn:

  • about 26TEN, Tasmania's campaign for adult literacy
  • what is plain English and the benefits of using plain English
  • the five steps to communicating clearly, including thinking about your reader and writing your content.

Hosted by plain English trainer Melinda Maddock, this course gives you everything you need to get your message through to the parents and carers of your students.

How long is the course and how do I start?

The course takes about an hour. You can choose to do this on your own, with a friend, or a group of people.

Before you start you will need:

  1. Communicate Clearly – A Guide to Plain English (html) or Communicate Clearly – A Guide to Plain English (PDF)
  2. the Activity Worksheets (updated December 2020)
  3. a piece of your own writing for practise.

For hard copies of Communicate Clearly and the worksheets please contact us at email@26ten.tas.gov.au and we will post them  to you. 

Start Writing in Plain English to Parents and Carers

Visit the link on YouTube here

Following the course

Your feedback will help us develop more 26TEN Plain English courses, so please respond to our quick five minute survey. 

If you are interested in organising a free three-hour plain English course with a 26TEN plain English trainer, please contact Christina at email@26ten.tas.gov.au. Or, if you would like to attend a public workshop, please see our Workshops page for details. 26TEN is also happy to speak to you and your organisation about adult literacy in Tasmania and how you can help us improve literacy and numeracy skills. 

Thank you for taking part and please share with your friends and colleagues.