Starting Somewhere, Sharing Everywhere.

Essential Skill 1:  Reading Text  

Reading sentences or paragraphs. For example: notes, letters, emails, magazines, manuals, regulations, books, reports, product labels, legal agreements. Includes words on paper and words on a screen.

Essential Skill 2:  Document Use

Understanding visual images such as graphs, lists, tables, drawings, symbols, signs, maps, labels, forms, x-rays. The visual display or arrangement gives meaning to the content.

Essential Skill 3:  Numeracy  

Using numbers and being able to think in terms of “amounts”. For example: Money math, Scheduling or budgeting/accounting, Measurement/calculation, Data analysis, and Estimation may require solving problems by using numbers.

Essential Skill 4:  Writing   

Writing words to share ideas. For example: Writing notes, emails, letters, reports, orders, logbook entries, text messages. Includes “pen and paper” writing and keyboarding.

Essential Skill 5:  Oral Communication

Speaking and listening to share thoughts or information. For example: greeting, telling stories, giving advice, sharing ideas, facilitating, coordinating tasks, explaining, discussing. Can be face-to-face, or using technology.

Essential Skill 6:  Working With Others

Interacting with family, friends, community members, students and co-workers to accomplish tasks together.

Essential Skill 7:  Thinking Skills

Using your brain to: Solve problems, Make decisions, Think critically, Plan and organize tasks, Remember and Find information


Essential Skill 8:  Digital Technology

Using technology. For example: computers, cell phones, GPs, digital cameras, iPods, and MP3s, gaming devices, computerized cash registers, Blackberries, iPhones. Includes using the Internet and email.

Essential Skill 9:  Continuous Learning

Gaining skills and knowledge throughout life. Includes: Learning how to learn, Understanding your learning style, Knowing how to find resources and learning opportunities.

Aboriginal STILES IALS (International Adult Literacy Scale)

The Aboriginal Skill Development and Learning Cycle (STILES IALS):

This scale can be used to chart your Essential Skills assessment results and goals. You can create a visual skills map that will assist you in your learning plans. The scale is based on the International Adult Learning Scale (IALS) and the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALLS) survey. It is a 5 point scale that includes the different skill levels and the 500 point item response theory scoring.
The circular scale illustrates the ebb and flow you can experience based on skill usage and loss. The Chippewa symbols in the middle of the scale reflect the community’s clan system. Community members are represented by each symbol which identifies community responsibility. This highlights that reality that skill development and loss affect the whole community.
The author of this scale, Brandon Stiles, First Nations Employment Society is from the Chippewa Nation. The scale reflects the Chippewa culture but can be modified to include community symbols from the local aboriginal culture.



For more information or assistance contact: Brandon Stiles, Essential Skills Manager, First Nations Employment Society (FNES):

Brandon Stiles, Manager
Essential Skills Programs
First Nations Employment Society
3rd Floor – 395 Railway Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 1A4
First Nations Employment Society
Tel: (604) 605-8901 ext 13
Fax: (604) 605-8902