More languages, more accessibility
English courses with Kate and the Plain Language Academy team continue to expand at plainlanguageacademy.moodlecloud.com/.
Want to study in French? Chantale Audet and Amélie Bourret, from Autrement dit, are soon opening the doors to our French Academy, Clair et Simple.
Wish to study plain language in Spanish? Romina Marazzato Sparano, from Language Compass, has set up our Spanish Academy at educlaro.moodlecloud.com.
Join in the learning, choose the language you prefer, and enjoy.
Learn to be a strategic plain language planner
The first Plain Language as a Strategic Priority Advanced course was a huge success. One student wrote: “Thank you for a fantastic course. This perspective on Plain Language is quite unique. I’ve learnt a lot.’’ Now the course is back for a second offering of advice and practice on how to integrate plain language into your organization through strategic planning.
Sarah Slabbert and Nadja Green, Plain Language Institute, SA, bring a wealth of experience and will share it in the course materials, activities and discussions. The course equips you with a portfolio of planning documents and skills to implement plain language in your organizations. You can still join in. Register now.
Three easy steps to enrol on Moodle
All three academies are running on Moodle. You first need your own Moodle account to register and gain access to courses.
Email email@example.com or your Academy’s contact if you need help.
Des nouvelles de l’Académie du langage clair et simple
Vos documents sont-ils en langage clair et simple ? Autrement dit vous offre la possibilité de participer à un atelier pratique pour le découvrir. Rien de mieux que de vous pratiquer sur vos propres documents pour poser vous-même un diagnostic. Qui est le public visé par votre communication ? Votre objectif est-il clair ? Comment pouvez-vous améliorer la structure de votre document, la façon de l’écrire et sa présentation visuelle ? Assistez à cet atelier pratique pour savoir comment répondre à toutes ces questions !
Titre : Vos documents sont-ils en langage clair et simple ? Atelier pratique pour faire votre propre diagnostic
Animation : Amélie Bourret et Chantale Audet, Autrement dit.
Coût : Gratuit
Quand : Surveillez les fils PlainLanguageAcademies.com, LinkedIn, et Facebook pour connaître la date exacte.
Pour plus d’information : firstname.lastname@example.org
Gracieuseté de Plain Language Academies
News from Académie du langage clair et simple
Are your documents in plain language? Autrement dit gives you the opportunity to participate in a workshop to find out. Nothing better than practicing on your own documents to make an assessment yourself. Who is the target audience for your documents? Is your purpose clear? How can you improve the structure of your document, the way you write it and its visual presentation? Attend this hands-on workshop to find out how to answer all these questions!
Title: Are your documents in plain language? Workshop to make your own assessment
Workshop facilitators: Amélie Bourret and Chantale Audet, Autrement dit.
When: During the International Plain Language Week in October 10-16, 2021
Watch the Plain Language Academies website, LinkedIn and Facebook for the date.
For more information: email@example.com
An academy within the Plain Language Academies
Noticias sobre la Academia de Lenguaje Claro
El programa en español de las Academia de Lenguaje Claro abre este otoño con un curso sobre alfabetización en salud. Como se evidencia ante esta nueva realidad de Covid-19, la alfabetización en salud es ahora más importante que nunca. La falta de comprensión y conocimientos sobre la salud lleva a sufrir consecuencias reales.
Nuestra Academia de Lenguaje Claro, EduClaro, se ve fortalecida por la diversidad de perspectivas que aportan estudiantes e instructores provenientes de todo Estados Unidos, América Latina y España. ¡Te invitamos a unirte a nuestros cursos!
Mantente actualizado en el sitio web de Plain Language Academies, LinkedIn y Facebook.
Romina Marazzato Sparano, firstname.lastname@example.org
An academy within the Plain Language Academies
News from Academia de Lenguaje Claro
The Spanish program at Plain Language Academies is launching this Fall with its Health Literacy course. As we continue to navigate the new Covid-19 reality, health literacy skills are now more important than ever! Without health literacy, people can suffer real consequences.
Our Academia de Lenguaje Claro, EduClaro, is strengthened by the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives represented in students and instructors who come from across the United States, Latin America, and Spain. We invite you to join our courses!
Watch the Plain Language Academies website, LinkedIn, and Facebook for upcoming info.
An academy within the Plain Language Academies
Academies team wins PLAIN Innovation Award
“The best part of winning the Plain Language Association International Cheryl Stephens Innovation Award was sharing it with the whole Academies team,” said Kate Harrison Whiteside, Academies director. “With the Spanish and French academies coming this fall, more courses offered through Plain Language Institute, SA, and new options, our confidence in having a long-term, positive impact on plain language learning is growing, along with our students.”
“Brilliant, Kate! We’re very proud to be part of your team.” Sarah Slabbert and Nadja Green, Plain Language Institute, SA.
Find out more on plainlanguageacademies.com or email email@example.com
with Sarah Slabbert and Nadja Green,
Plain Language Institute, SA
We are just finishing up the first offering of our Advanced course on strategic planning for plain language. It is also the first course offered on the Academy's new Moodle platform.
Implementing Plain Language in an organization is almost invariably a challenge and there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Most of our students have practical experience of this challenge and they therefore expect the course to offer solutions that they can apply. Moodle enables us to listen to our students in one-on-one conversations and to understand their unique needs. Moodle also makes it easy for us to continuously improve our course and add new learnings as we go along.
We enjoyed working with Moodle and students are giving us positive feedback. Sarah and Nadja.
NextA5 Implementing Plain Language as a Strategic Priority
starts August 16.
Academy reflects plain language principles
The Academy strives to be like plain language itself.
1. go to plainlanguageacademy.moodlecloud.com,
2. create your account
3. choose and register for your courses.
You will have access the day the course starts.
If you have any questions or issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Choose from our three Core courses on Basics, Audiences, and Writing and Editing.
Or, select an Advanced course suited to your current or upcoming needs. Topics include creating e-content, legal editing, health literacy, design, testing, science, and strategic planning. More are coming.
We are so excited about our new platform, we just want everyone else to share the experience.
Plain language still evokes many questions. What is it all about? How does it work? What benefits are there? You can simply answer the questions. Or, you can ask for some time to do a training exercise to bridge the knowledge gap. This can be anything from a short team training exercise, a learning-at-lunch program, presentation to key leaders or an event keynote presentation. Of course, you can run a workshop. So, what are some of your options?
Audience awareness plays a huge part in plain language. You need a detailed picture of your audience for your team to create, commit to and use throughout the project. Personas involve drawing pictures or creating profiles of your audience using research on their lifestyle, cultural, social, professional and personal activities and values. Usability.gov has an excellent description of how to do personas. I find it a fun activity to open a training activity or for team building.
Develop content for a style guide
Integrating plain language guidelines into an existing style guide or creating a stand-alone guide is a great investment with a long shelf life. Focus on jargon and simple words that can replace your organizations in-house language. Everyone appreciates a writing resource. They save time, create shared techniques, enhance peoples’ skills. Integrating it into an existing style guide increases its value and can be a great stepping stone to a learning event.
Create a plain language checklist
Plain language checklists are available online. Most are very generic. Get your communications and plain language project teams together to brainstorm a checklist specific to your task, your audience or organization. This increases colleagues’ understanding of, skills for and commit to plain language.
Carry out an audit
Without embarrassing or intimidating anyone, carry out a plain language audit. Gather a team and collect a variety of documents or information sources and measure against selected plain language guidelines. Share the findings and as a group come up with recommendations for future information.
Apply for an award
Awards offer several opportunities for learning and committing to plain language. It helps others see what the standards are in the profession. If you are recognized, you have motivation to move forward with your plans. PLAIN ( Plain Language Association InterNational) offers members opportunities to be recognized at its conferences. Other organizations offer annual awards. Just participating can be rewarding.
Integrate training into your plain language projects, style guides, training plans. Reap the benefits.
By Cheryl Stephens
Plain language projects, like any others, can be enhanced by clear documentation. Plain Language Academy program advisor and facilitator Cheryl Stephens shares four ways to track your project progress, for current and future needs. Thanks Cheryl.
For a freelance writer-editor, many jobs are short-run, although there may be repeat assignments with the same client. Early in your career, one tends to think of some jobs as quick and easy to do, so the engagement is not fully documented. In situations when you are working with a team member, you may not view it as your job because there is someone else who is supposed to do it.
Just remember, it is your career and your reputation at stake.
Create a case study
After a two-year project, I was asked to write an article about the project. It was then I wished I had made notes along the way and treated the writing project like a case study. In another instance, deemed an emergency by the client, I finished a short, written piece in one day. Later, there were many occasions when I wanted to use this piece as an example, but could not recall the details.
Many of us use checklists to make sure we cover off all the standard issues—in a written piece or an entire project. Checklists are good, but even better if you annotate them with some detail.
Write Interim report or memo to file
For project needs, an interim report is sent to the client or team, to bring everyone up to date on the status of the work-in-progress. A memo to file is used, but not circulated, to record some difficulty or reason to change the project's direction. Sometimes the memo to file is not kept in the project file, but in your own folder. A CMA (cover my ass) folder keeps information available, if you should ever need to CMA.
Track with originating documents
Of course you should always have a contract that sets out the expectations for each person involved, but sometimes an editing or writing project is started less formally. Then, the first memo should set out those parameters and it should be sent to the client. You can refer to it when things start to go sideways. Sometimes, veering sideways is unavoidable due to external developments, and you should record those changes and new decisions in a memo to file.
Learn more in Academy courses
You can get the full complement of skills needed for plain language project management by taking our six-course Foundation Program, or selecting Course 6: Plain Language Project, or its options (adding on coaching and consulting services). Registration is open. Visit Calendar for start dates.
Let's stay connected.
Subscribe to our blog for Plain Language Academy news, tips and updates.