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Beyond the Plain Language Edit: Editing for Low-Literate or Limited-English Readers

Registration InformationRegistration Form |Seminar Locations | Seminar for Editors

High reading levels of information can be a barrier for Canadians. As writers and editors, improving health, financial, or technical information for readers with low literacy means using plain language, but specifically with an awareness of ESL (English as a second language) challenges. Beyond the Plain Language Edit: Editing for Low-Literate or Limited-English Readers highlights best practices for written communications aimed at audiences with low-literacy or limited English skills.

This interactive workshop will include discussion and hands-on activities to illustrate common errors and fixes, test attendees’ knowledge, as well as apply what’s been learned by looking at plain language text. This session is aimed at writers and editors who help produce information for Canadians. The goal is to teach specific skills to enhance the clarity and readability of text for low-literate and limited-English readers after doing a traditional plain language edit. 


Tracy Torchetti is director of cancer information at the Canadian Cancer Society, where she manages a team of project managers and editors responsible for developing information on cancer-related topics. Her background is in medical anthropology and adult literacy. Tracy has been involved in editing for almost 15 years and previously taught adults how to read and write at a literacy organization.


Claire Foley is a freelance editor and an expert in plain language. Having edited health information in-house at the Canadian Cancer Society for a number of years, she now freelances for the society, as well as for other health, technical, and legal organizations. Claire has been an editor for 15 years and previously taught English as a second language at several Canadian universities and English as a foreign language in France. Her master’s degree focused on research in second-language acquisition.

Saturday, April 16
1 PM to 4 PM  
Registration – $115 members, $140 non-members (HST extra) 
Early Registration (to April 6) – $100 members, $120 non-members (HST extra) 
Victoria College, Room 211, Victoria University, University of Toronto 
91 Charles Street West