Web version ACAL

March 2015

In this issue

From the President

1. ACAL Conference 2015 Call for Presentations

2. New resource • 10 Radical Ideas for reluctant writers

3. Graduate Diploma of Adult LLN Practice

4. Reports

5. Skills@Work newsletter

6. $476 million Industry Skills Fund

6. Recent publications

7. Events

8. Free LLN assessment - participate in trials of the new Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT)

From the President

Welcome to ACAL's first eNews for 2015. As you can see from the content of this newsletter we can look forward to a year filled with interesting events and discussions across the LLN education, community and workplace sectors.

Please join us in South Australia for the 2015 National ACAL Conference 24th and 25th September 2015 at the Adelaide Zoo and submit your presentation proposal now.

ACAL would like to encourage you to raise awareness and recognise the skills and experience of an LLN colleague by nominating an excellent LLN practitioner for the Australian Training Awards. The Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) Practice Award recognises innovation and excellence by an individual involved in improving LLN skills in an educational, community or workplace context. Applications can be made by relevant individuals or organisations (e.g. colleagues, professional bodies, students, employers, industry or community representatives); or through self-nomination.

Applications close 29 May 2015
If you would like to nominate an issue or key message that ACAL could consider raising nationally this year please email me at Jenni.Anderson62@gmail.com.au.

Enjoy reading new publications, exploring 10 Radical Ideas for Reluctant Readers, enrol in a Grad Diploma of Adult LLN Practice and deciding which events you will attend to connect with LLN colleagues to learn about and debate LLN practice and policy.


Jenni Anderson

President, Australian Council for Adult Literacy

1. ACAL Conference 2015 Call for Presentations

SACAL (on behalf of the ACAL Conference) is calling for papers for its 2015 Conference to be held in Adelaide, at the Adelaide Zoo, on 24 and 25 September.  The Conference theme is:

Resilience, Risk, Preservation:  the evolving world of adult literacies…

We seek relevant, current, informative and captivating sessions on issues and practices that relate to LLN in VET, ACE or industry. 

In preparing their abstracts, presenters should keep in mind the themes of the conference:

Presentations can highlight research (in progress or complete), programs, resources, industry requirements or policy directions.

Due to the nature of the venue, the number of concurrent sessions will be limited.  Presenters need to be prepared to present to larger groups.


Adelaide Zoo

The Adelaide Zoo, Australia's second oldest zoo is the location for this year's ACAL conference. It's a relaxing green city retreat and vibrant sanctuary that gives you the feeling of stepping into another world. In your free time meet the pandas and experience the wide range of colourful creatures. The zoo is located near the banks of the picturesque River Torrens and surrounded by beautiful parklands.

So, come to Adelaide on 24th and 25th September to network, participate, learn and share in the many conversations and sessions that will focus on Resilience Risk and Preservation – the evolving world of adult literacies in a truly revitalising setting.

2. New resource • 10 Radical Ideas for reluctant writers

New literacy resource – 5 free copies to be given away (ACAL members only)

This new book, 10 Radical Ideas for reluctant writers, comprises ten immediate, accessible and inspiring writing activities for students that may not always feel comfortable getting their ideas down on paper. Literacy teachers will find the activities engage students and address the learning outcomes.

Published by Multifangled, the activities encourage students to dive straight into writing without fear of failure. There are notes for teachers that explain the features of different text types, where to find examples, and ideas for classroom activities.

The activities in 10 Radical Ideas for reluctant writers are supported by free online materials that include infographics, videos, links, maps and game source files that students can use to gain a deeper understanding of each text.

Cost: $15.00 (+ postage and handling) hard copy and $12.00 digital download.

Order a copy

Win a copy

Multifangled has offered five copies to be given to ACAL members (yes, must be financial ACAL members).

Click here to enter a draw to win one of five copies. You must enter by March 6.

3. Graduate Diploma of Adult LLN Practice

The Charles Darwin University is currently taking enrolments in the Graduate Diploma of Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice (TAE80113). This course is available online and with VET Fee Help.

More Telephone: 08 8946 7529 Email: alntopend@cdu.edu.au

4. Reports

Community VCAL provides important lessons

A new report describes the evolution of an integrated approach to assisting young people through teaching, wellbeing and pathways support in a non-school setting.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence ‘Community VCAL’ program is a response to widespread concern about youth disengagement from secondary education. Operating in Frankston since 2010, it enables 15–18 year olds who have encountered significant challenges to undertake the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, a course which combines classroom tuition with vocational training and work placements.


Towards financial inclusion for Aboriginal Australians

The Brotherhood of St Laurence was commissioned by the First Nations Foundation to evaluate the expansion phase of their financial literacy program. Piloted with Aboriginal people in Shepparton, the program was subsequently delivered under the name 'Waba Garrungu' in Roebourne, Western Australia, and as 'My Moola' in the inner city and eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The final report was written by Brotherhood researchers and Dr Nikki Moodie of RMIT University.


5. Skills@Work newsletter

Skills@Work is compiled and distributed by the Australian Government's Department of Education and Training. Items include


6. $476 million Industry Skills Fund

Further information

The fund prioritises SMEs, including micro businesses.

Individual businesses and consortia are eligible to apply for funding. Applicants will need to clearly communicate and demonstrate how their applications meet the following criteria:

  1. how they are positioning themselves to take up a growth opportunity. A growth opportunity could occur when the business:

    1. diversifies into new or emerging markets and/or

    2. adopts new or emerging technologies and/or

    3. enters export markets and/or

    4. responds to significant domestic market opportunities and/or

    5. repositions themselves because of market driven structural adjustment;

  2. how the productivity gains created from the proposed project will deliver benefits to the Australian economy;

  3. how the proposed project will address critical skills gaps or shortages, and allow the business to be more competitive for the identified growth opportunity;

  4. the value for money offered by the proposed project;

  5. the capability and capacity of the Applicant and the training provider to carry out the proposed project.

The Training Grant helps business with the cost of training, including:

Inherent in the establishment of this Fund and its focus is the recognition that small and medium businesses need assistance in training their workers. Indeed, it was shown in a number of reports that it was often larger business with a commitment to training that were utilising the provision of WELL funds. While one type of training that will be acceptable for funding is LLN accredited training, a key issue with this initiative may be the particular focus on these sectors.

ACAL would be interested to hear from members about how the Industry Skills Fund is working for them, whether employers, employees, workers or LLN practitioners. Email your experiences to info@acal.edu.au

Further information

7. Recent publications

Saraswathi, S.L. Everyday mathematics and the classroom

Alan Rogers and Brian Street write: 'We are pleased to announce that we have produced an edition of some of the ethnographic-style research papers of Dr L S Saraswathi on numeracy practices in rural Tamil Nadu and that this may now be downloaded free from the website of the British Association for Literacy in Development (BALID).


'This collection looks at how villagers expressed their local measures of weights, distances, time and capacities etc; and there are examples of games and riddles. A number of photographs taken at the time of the surveys are included; and there is an introduction by Alan Rogers and Brian Street. The findings of these studies, undertaken for the adult literacy programme in Tamil Nadu, will be of interest to literacy agencies, students and academics in many countries. As Professor Anita Dighe of Delhi writes of Dr Saraswathi's work: 'it is such a good idea to put her papers on the website. Saraswathi's work has been definitive in many ways and it is so necessary for more people to have access to her work.'

Lane, C. (2014) Literacy and numeracy assessments of adult English language learners: An analysis of data from the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool, Ministry of Education, New Zealand

'This report is an attempt to answer questions about the extent to which the Assessment Tool can reasonably and legitimately be used to assess the literacy and numeracy of English language learners, on the basis of a descriptive study of skills (as measured by the Assessment Tool) of English language learners in comparison with learners with English as first language.'

CAEPR Working Paper 100/2015 Business-related studies and Indigenous Australian students

By B. H. Hunter, P. Radoll, R.G. (Jerry) Schwab, H.A. Crawford, N.Biddle and M.C. Gray

Substantial recent growth in the number of Indigenous businesses means that the need for business-related skills in the Indigenous population will be greater than ever. Data from the Higher Education Statistics Collection are analysed, in conjunction with evidence on labour market outcomes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous graduates from the 2011 Census and the Australian Graduate Survey, to identify examples.

Given the lack of participation of Indigenous students in enabling courses in this field of study, it is likely that Indigenous students will need to augment their level of proficiency in the basic competencies required for successful completion of their studies.


8. Events

Lit up! Literacy forum at the library

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Literacy support is emerging (or re-emerging) as one of the really important roles of public libraries.

This is the first time this sort of forum has been held by public libraries in NSW, so the NSW Public Libraries Literacy Working Group, who has coordinated the forum in conjunction with the State Library, has gone all-out to ensure great content. The program features high profile speakers and practical examples of great literacy programs running in public libraries and a book fair at the end of the day.

Some of you may have seen the presentation by Chris Jones and Pamela Davies at the NSWALNC Conference in December 2014. If you are interested in finding out more about what Public Libraries are doing, please consider attending this Forum.


AWPN Pre-Conference Forum

18th March 2015, 1pm-5pm, Jasper Hotel, Melbourne

The Australian Workplace Practitioners' Network (AWPN) invites you to the AWPN Pre-Conference Forum to find out the latest developments on Australian government policies, programs and projects relevant to strengthening foundation skills in the workplace.


AWPN National Conference

19-20 March 2015, Jasper Hotel, Melbourne

The Australian Workplace Practitioners' Network (AWPN) invites you to attend the 2015 AWPN National Conference. The theme for the conference is Refresh Rebrand Re-engage: Foundation Skills at Work

The conference will focus on how policy makers, VET professionals and industry can work together to build the highly skilled and innovative workforce needed to compete in global markets. What are the new Australian Government policies and programs and how do they work? How can we work together to ensure industry has the skilled and productive workforce it needs? How can we best support an industry-led, sophisticated and flexible VET system?


For those interested in health literacy research ....

20 April, 3.30-5pm

Research presentation meeting at the Charles Perkins Centre, CPC Flexible Dry Space 1.2. Main Campus, University of Sydney.

There will be 3 brief presentations followed by discussion.

RSVP to shannon.mckinn@sydney.edu.au by 31st March 2015.

ACER’s 2015 national adult LLN assessment conference

Adelaide on May 14 and 15

Early bird registrations are now open, key note speakers have been announced for ACER’s 2015 LLN conference, and two full-day pre-conference workshops have also been added to the program. Keynote speakers include the Hon. Gail Gago MLC: Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, South Australia; Prof. Geoff Masters AO: CEO, ACER; Ros Bauer: Adult Literacy Services, Australian and 2013 Training Awards Winner – Excellence in Adult Language Literacy Numeracy Practice; Tony Dreise: Principal Research Fellow, Education Policy and Practice Indigenous Education, ACER; and Anthony Kittel: CEO and Managing Director of REDARC Electronics and one of the National Foundation Skills Strategy Project Workplace Champions.


Australian VET Research Association (AVETRA) Conference, Melbourne

14-15 May, 2015


VALBEC 2015 Conference - Call for presentations 'Streams of potential: what lies beneath'

Friday May 15, 2015

The theme of the 2015 VALBEC conference, Streams of potential: what lies beneath, seeks to encourage exploration of the sometimes hidden elements that inform delivery of language, literacy and numeracy in a wide a range of contexts: community, workplace, accredited and pre-accredited programs.


24th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference 'No Frills'

6-8 July 2015, Sydney, NSW

The 2015 event is themed around Youth, Pathways and Skills. Building a skilled workforce through education and training is everyone's business - from governments, industry, employers and training providers through to students, parents, peers and the community.


2015 ACAL Conference: Resilience, Risk and Preservation

24-25 September


9. Free LLN assessment - participate in trials of the new Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT)

ACER is developing the comprehensive Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT) for the Department of Industry. Trials of FSAT have now commenced, and we have also released new skill areas including Listening and Learning from the ACSF and skills from the new employability skills framework – the Core Skills for Work. The trials will continue until at least the end of Feb 2015. Providers receive reports of each learner's performance against the skill in the relevant framework. Suitable for your 2015 pre-training LLN assessment. There are also some free half-day workshops about the new CSfW and its assessment in FSAT are being planned for late February or early March. These sessions will enable you to become more familiar with both the CSfW and FSAT.