Learner driving made easier

A SPECIAL learner driver DVD is helping those with learning and language difficulties get the most out of their driving lessons.

Officially launched on 29 June, the training DVD utilises visual footage of Tasmanian roads, intersections, junctions and signage, as well as voice-overs and captions to help increase learner comprehension.

The resource was developed in a joint partnership between the West Moonah Community House, the Department of State Growth, the Tasmanian Government, Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania and the Rotary Club of Sullivan’s Cove.

DVD developer Kim Smith, who took on the role of a L1 learner’s licence trainer following his retirement from Tasmania Police, said he would often find himself worrying about how well his refugee students understood his teachings.

“There was a huge variance of English skills among the group and I went home concerned as to how I was going to get the rules and knowledge across to them,” he said.

“So, I drafted up drawings on butcher’s paper of roads, intersections and roundabouts and grabbed some toy cars, animal and people figures.

“Twelve months later I still felt something was missing, so I started filming the roads during my travels to see if this would add to the students’ learning experience.”

Mr Smith said his students’ understanding of the road rules in the subsequent training sessions was immediate.

“I remember one of the interpreters saying how it made his explanations so much easier and he could see improvements straight away,” he said.

“I later met with personnel from the Department of State Growth and other trainers at a state forum to pitch the idea for the DVD.”

Mr Smith said the DVD’s benefits were not restricted to learner drivers, but were applicable to all road users.

Mr Smith said it made the “whole learning experience” much easier.

“Rather than reading it out of a book, participants can view the road from a driver’s perspective,” he said.

“They also receive written information, voice-overs, captions and other indicators, such as arrows, ticks and crosses, to help illustrate the right and wrong things to do.”

There are currently 200 copies of the DVD available for use by driver training personnel across Tasmania.

Work is also underway to translate the DVD into different languages and convert it to USB format.

Caption: From left, Josh Lamont from Your Figment, Kim Smith APM, West Moonah Community House chairperson Lorraine Bailey and manager Mel Knuckey, Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania’s Steve Cooke and Rotary Club of Sullivans Cove president Ros Bird.

Enjoy this story? Share it!

About the Author: Glenorchy Gazette

The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

What’s new?

Go to Top