No more hiding in the background – Dianne’s story

Greg is one of a number of the Hotline teachers who work both on the Hotline and teach literacy to adults in various adult learning environments. From time to time this gives us the unique opportunity to follow up on one of the callers to the Hotline.  Dianne's story was one such story that Greg tells here.

Dianne was one of those many callers who said that she had been meaning to call the Hotline for years, ‘but I could never pluck up the courage.’ Dianne knew she had beginning reading skills but managed to hide this from everyone, except her husband.

With the encouragement of her husband she called the Hotline. Dianne felt she would be too embarrassed to attend a class to help her with her reading so I was able to refer her to a distance education provider, and gave her the number to call.

I was able to keep tabs on Dianne on the days I was working at the distance provider as I discovered she had enrolled in a low level LLN course about two weeks later. Dianne was more comfortable having her lessons mailed to her home than receiving them by computer. She loves being able to look at the printed versions of her lessons so she can go over them again and again. Since then I have been calling her regularly to check on her progress. ‘I am absolutely loving the course. It has taught me so much,’ Dianne told me on a recent phone call. Even her husband has noticed the improvement in Dianne’s confidence. She used to hide in the background but now she is ‘out there’.

Dianne said the teachers helped her with a task to draw a map of where she lives. She had never done this before and did not know how to start. The teacher took her through the process slowly. ‘Get yourself a blank piece of paper. Draw your house. Now when you go out the front door I want you to draw two lines. That’s your street. Now I want you to write the name of your street between the two lines. Now turn right and go along your street. What is the next street you come to… etc’. The lesson went on for about 15 minutes. At the end Dianne was amazed.

Dianne has now completed her introductory course and is moving up to the Certificate 1 course. ‘ I look forward to receiving the lessons so much’, she told me. ‘I thrive on it.’ Dianne completed her course in half the time that is allotted because she was so keen.

‘I can now read the days of the week, so I can read the calendar. I can tell the time, like quarter past, half past, which I couldn’t do before. I can also remember details much better too. I can also go on the Internet now and read some simple things, which I couldn’t do before.’

Dianne’s next goal is to write a letter to a relative in Queensland. ‘I am not sure how to do that but I am hoping to learn that skill soon.’

‘I am so glad I called the Hotline. You guys do such a good job helping people to read and write.’