Many people have provided the PowerPoint files of their sessions. These have been converted to PDF but many are still LARGE files


As more session files are provided they'll be added here.



A3 The interpenetration of Institutional Context in the Language Assessment Process

Attenborough Room

Jen Zhao, TAFE SA

A3 presentation file

The targeted audience is language, literacy and numeracy practitioners and policy makers. The session is to discuss the research I have been conducting for my PhD, which studies the pre-training assessment interview of the SEE program (formally LLNP), especially the oral interview part. It adopts a qualitative orientation and a multi-perspectival approach to analyse real interview data to investigate what why and how happens in this process, from the perspectives of the assessors, the institutional context, the interactional process and the researcher. It provides insights into the assessment interview process and builds a holistic and multi-dimensional understanding of the relationship between assessment process and the context it is situated in. The understanding of the penetration of institutional context in assessment process will inform decision making for future assessment process design and assessor training to adapt and deal with the changing workforce.

Jen Zhao has extensive experience with more than 20 years of comprehensive involvement in adult education, training and assessment, with specialist expertise in 'contextualised' language, literacy and numeracy training and assessment using the Australian Core Skills Framework. She has worked as assessor, senior assessor, in the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program (previously LLNP), being involved in assessor training, mentoring and verifying across the contract delivery areas. She is currently studying for her PhD in language assessment at the University of South Australia.

A4 Advancing the National Strategy - what can we achieve together?

Fig Tree Room

Anita Roberts, National Foundation Skills Strategy Project

A4 presentation file

A collaborative, national project has supported the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults for two years of its 10 year span. But the Strategy’s bold target for 2022 cannot be achieved solely through national initiatives and Australian government funding. Deep commitment to addressing foundation skills exists across the country - from individual grassroots practitioners to professional associations, employers and peak industry bodies. How can these disparate stakeholders work together to progress the Strategy goals? What can stakeholders do to support one another for their mutual benefit? This session will reflect on the achievements and challenges of the National Foundation Skills Strategy Project and explore opportunities for future progress. Participants will:

Anita Roberts has worked in the vocational education and training system at the national level since 1995 and has extensive experience in language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) policy. She has co-ordinated a variety of LLN projects and on behalf of Industry Skills Councils, including the development of the FSK Foundation Skills Training Package. Anita has also consulted to the Australian Industry Group on their National Workforce Literacy Projects and is project co-ordinator for a collaborative national project to implement the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults.

A6 Working Together - integrating literacy skills into vocational studies Health, Aged Care, Nursing

Santos Room

Susan Withnall, TAFE NSW

A6 presentation file




This workshop outlines a model for integrating literacy skills into vocational study in the Health, Aged Care and Nursing area. It was a short delivery (2 days) as a bridging course for a group of students who had been ‘unmet demand’ for a course which had recently begun, and were still interested in it for the following year. The Aged Care course is a high demand one in this regional area, leading to a reasonable chance of work in a population with a large level of unemployment. The workshop will outline how the two sections at TAFE (Nursing & Education) worked together to create this integrated skills delivery to introduce students to underpinning skills needed for the longer course. The literacy skills and assessments were fully integrated into the Aged Care context. Three units were taught & assessed, incorporating practical & written tasks, over the two days.

Susan has a BA DIP Ed & a Graduate Certificate in Adult Language, Literacy & Numeracy Practice. She has been a teacher for 32 years, beginning with high school English and Special Needs and first moving to the VET sector in 1984 with Adult Basic Education classes in South Western Sydney. Since moving to regional NSW in 1994, she has worked mostly in the VET sector, specialising in Literacy & English for adults seeking a ‘second chance’ education and working alongside students and practitioners in vocational courses who have specific literacy or language needs.


Arch Nelson Address

What would he have thought? What would he have done?
Rethinking foundation skills and democratic responsibility with a little help from Arch Nelson

Professor Sue Shore, Charles Darwin University

Arch Nelson Address presentation file (PDF)

Who was Arch Nelson?


Concurrent sessions B - 45 minute sessions

B4 Positive marking and other tips

Santos Room

Joanne Medlin, WSI TAFE (OTEN)

B4 session presentation (PDF)

This presentation will provide practical strategies for motivating students through responding to their writing (positive marking). It will pose some questions about where we are now and what risks face best practice and the profession. The practical part: See how positive marking is used to engage learners who attend distance literacy and numeracy classes delivered online and by paper. These learners present with low self-esteem and pre-level literacy skills that preclude them from attending face to face classes. Consider how to use positive marking across ACSF 1-3 writing in any context. The thinking part: Spurred on by a multitude of interesting applicants for LLN teacher courses I have started to ask myself why the general population thinks teaching literacy and numeracy to adults is so easy. Listening to my SEE colleagues I am also questioning why funding bodies think it's such a consistently quick process. Have I found the answers? Come along and find out...

Jo Medlin has been teaching adult literacy and numeracy for two decades and currently coordinates the Graduate Diploma in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice and teaches on three FSK courses, a Course in Academic Foundation Skills and the L&N SEE program at OTEN (WSI TAFE). Jo's areas of interest include designing resources for students at pre-level ACSF to 3, Indigenous learners in remote communities and online learners but her secret passion is archaeology.


Concurrent sessions C - a combination of 45 minute and 90 minute sessions

C1 The Tasmanian Adult Literacy Action Plan 2010-2015: What we've learnt and where we're heading

Goodall Room

Anita Planchon, LINC Tasmania

C1 session presentation (PDF)

In 2010, the five-year Tasmanian Adult Literacy Action Plan was launched. The plan was a response a national survey finding that nearly half of Tasmanians adults had low literacy. It proposed practical action to change this. Five years on, beyond a change of government, the 26TEN awareness campaign has an increasing membership and a grants program helping workplaces, organisations and communities take action. Key businesses have reported better productivity and morale. A state-wide network of adult literacy coordinators and trained volunteer tutors has provided individually-tailored support to over 5000 people, with a positive effect on families, children and communities. As we develop Tasmania's second plan for adult literacy, this session looks at what we have learnt: that government alone cannot solve this problem. We need a long-term commitment from the whole population, those who need to improve their literacy and those who can help. We need quality literacy teaching, but also support and encouragement for increased literacy practice and changing attitudes. The Tasmanian experience will be of interest to policy-makers and those interested in cultural change.

Anita Planchon is Manager of Literacy Services at LINC Tasmania in the Tasmanian Department of Education, with responsibility for the Tasmanian Adult Literacy Action Plan and 26TEN. She has a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from the University of New England and a research background in multilingualism and second and subsequent language acquisition. Her professional experience is in policy development in government. Prior to employment with LINC Tasmania, she had an 18-year career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with postings in Vietnam, Solomon Islands and as Australia's Consul-General to New Caledonia.

C2 What can the past tell us about preservation in the present climate?

Goodall Room

Pamela Osmond, University of Technology, Sydney

C2 presentation file

This presentation will trace some key periods in the history of the adult basic education field in Australia which have influenced the context in which we are operating today. It will trace the various discourses that have shaped the field over its 40 year history, from its liberal, humanistic beginnings to the present economic driven discourse. It will draw on preliminary data from an historical interpretive study of adult literacy and basic education in NSW but will relate to the wider understanding of national developments in the field. I will argue that only by understanding the influences that have shaped our practice in the past can we understand our present context and begin to consider how we might respond to it and what preservation might look like in the present climate.

Pamela Osmond has worked in the field of Adult Basic Education since the 1970s. She has taught in a range of Adult Basic Education contexts and occupied a number of management roles in TAFE NSW. She is the author of a wide range of teaching / learning resources, including 'So You Want to Teach an Adult to Read?' and Literacy Face to Face. Pamela’s present role is as teacher educator at the University of Technology Sydney and at TAFE NSW. She is currently researching a history of the adult basic education field in NSW.

C3 Feeling Good and Doing Good - positive psychology in adult learning environments

Attenborough Room

Judy Hilton, TAFE SA

C3 presentation file

Positive Psychology is an umbrella term for research that investigates happiness, wellbeing, human strengths and flourishing (Gable & Haidt, 2005). Positive Education is education for both traditional skills and for happiness (Seligman, 2009). This interactive and experiential workshop will explore a positive psychology framework for understanding wellbeing, and ways it has been applied in education. Participants will be introduced to some practical and studied interventions to build wellbeing for themselves and their students.

Judy Hilton is an educator with over 20 years experience in early childhood, school and adult education, currently teaching the Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing at TAFE SA. Judy is currently studying a Master of Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne.

C4 Understanding What's Underneath teaching Students who have learning disorders or have experienced trauma

Fig Tree Room

Karen Dymke, Thoughtfulworks

C4 presentation file

Teaching students is complex. Many students who access adult literacy programs are people who the system has failed. A high proportion of these students are impacted by either Specific learning Disorders or have experienced some form of trauma. Often these two are very connected. Specific Learning Disorders are classified as a neurological disorder that affects the brain's ability to receive, process, store and respond to information. Trauma can create this condition. In this interactive workshop we will be considering the impact of SLDs on student learning and considering ways of using trauma theory to manage challenging behaviour and support students to self regulate by referencing the work of Dr Bruce Perry internationally renowned trauma specialist.

Karen Dymke is an educator who has had the opportunity to cross a range of educational landscapes and thus garner a wide perspective on teaching and learning. She is currently a lecturer in Alternative Education at Latrobe University, and works as an educational coach and consultant with Thoughtful works. Last year she completed a research project on success stories in alternative educational settings. Karen has also completed her Masters Degree in Applied Learning. Her passion has been in establishing programs for at risk students, which she has done in adult education and government sectors, working alongside colleagues with a depth of experience and knowledge she hopes to bring to the wider sector.

C5 Embedding LLN in VET Training

Santos Room

Linda Are and Jen Zhao TAFE SA with Max Lorenzin, Gary Biddell, Rebecca Medhurst (Justice and Policing) and Tony Dyson (Screen and Media)

C5 presentation file

The session is to share the knowledge and experiences gained by both the Foundation Skills and VET lecturers who have worked in the Applied Learning Model in TAFE SA. The targeted audience are practitioners and policy makers in LLN and VET training sectors. The session outlines the most effective strategies for embedding the language, literacy and numeracy training in vocational programs in TAFE SA. The perspectives gained from both Foundation Skills lecturers and VET trainers will ensure a valuable discussion for the attendees at the workshop. This session will be informative and interactive, as well as facilitating professional exchange. It will value the contribution of the participants, build on current knowledge, and promote future national professional development of LLN teachers who are working in partnership with VET trainers. This session will contribute to effectively adapting to the needs in training and enhance ongoing quality training for the future.

Linda Are is the Principal Lecturer in Foundation Skills in TAFE SA at Adelaide City Campus, providing educational leadership and facilitating the development of innovative projects and integrated LLN teaching methodologies. Linda has worked in TAFE SA in LLN for over 30 years and has recently been convening the state-wide meetings of the Applied Learning Model Lecturers as well as teaching the ALM.

Jen Zhao has more than 20 years of comprehensive involvement in adult education, training and assessment, with specialist expertise in 'contextualised' language, literacy and numeracy training and assessment using the Australian Core Skills Framework. Jen has worked as assessor, senior assessor, in the SEE program (previously LLNP), and is currently coordinating the ALM delivery on TAFE SA city campus.


Concurrent sessions D - 45 minute sessions

D1 Go Digi - A national approach to Digital Literacy

Attenborough Room

Brendan Fitzgerald, Infoxchange

D1 presentation files

We’re living in a digital age but many Australians are being left behind and don’t have the skills to make the most of being connected. In Australia 1 in 5 adults are not online - that's almost 4 million people. To help change this, Infoxchange and Australia Post have joined together to create Go Digi. Go Digi is a national four year digital literacy program with the goal of supporting more than 300,000 Australians to improve their digital skills. This interactive workshop explores what members of ACAL can do to support the program and ensure that it is of value to their members and communities

Brendan Fitzgerald is the Digital Inclusion Manager for the Melbourne based Not for Profit social enterprise Infoxchange where he leads a number of programs including Australia’s first national digital literacy program Go Digi. Brendan has extensive experience in developing and delivering community based ICT programs. He was one of Australia’s Ambassadors to the UN sponsored Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in 2013. Prior to joining Infoxchange he was a member of the Senior Management Team at the State Library of Victoria for eight years. As the Manager of the community focussed Vicnet Division he convened the ICT Disability Working Group.

D2 Choice, control and confidence: adults with intellectual disabilities experience literacy successes in a post-school learning environment.

Goodall Room

Natasha Johnson, Endeavour Foundation

D2 presentation file

Endeavour Foundation’s post-school education programs provide adults with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities the opportunity to continue their learning in a specialised teaching environment. Using pedagogical methods that promote choice and control, students are able to experience genuine literacy success, building their confidence and encouraging them to take risks in their writing and learning. A demonstration of particular activities and teaching strategies will highlight success experienced in these programs. The presentation also aims to challenge the limited post-school literacy opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities, encouraging education institutions, employers and the wider community to consider expanding their products, services and activities to include people with disabilities.

Natasha Johnson is the Literacy and Learning Coordinator at Endeavour Foundation and creates and implements post-school education programs for adults with intellectual disabilities. Brisbane-based, Natasha has a Master's in Learning Difficulties and spent five years facilitating inclusive education for teenage boys with Autistic Spectrum Disorders before moving into adult education in 2012. Natasha is passionate about authentic social inclusion and creating flexible, community-based learning programs for adults with intellectual disabilities.

D4 Teaching Literacy in a 'real life' Vocational setting

Santos Room

Lindy Chan, Pilbara Institute (TAFE), WA

D4 presentation file

Frequently, funding for training those in identified disadvantaged groups, that are offered through tenders or supported by government funding is specifically for vocational outcomes yet literacy levels in these groupings is customarily low. Often vocational training, without the appropriate literacy support, can just set students up to fail. This session will look at examples of ways to combine literacy and Vocational subjects to achieve valuable outcomes for students and the community. It will help you to realise the potential of the project manager, the delivery team, and your community working intimately together to develop projects that provide a coordinated approach to support and improve literacy while achieving viable VET outcomes and fulfil tender specifications. This interactive session will interest teachers, program managers and all those interested in a holistic approach to teaching. The aim is to inspire educators to look at ways to develop skills and knowledge through project work while still achieving the outcomes of the training package.

Lindy has been an Access & Participation teacher in WA for the past 7 years, working with disengaged youth, students with a disability, Aboriginal women, CAVSS and English as another language students. Prior to that Lindy was in Qld, teaching intermittently but predominantly working as a Business Development Officer at TAFE, writing tenders and developing programs mainly for the Community Services & Health and Literacy teams.



Who's who in Foundation Skills

Louise Wignall

Presentation file


Concurrent sessions E - a combination of 45 minute and 90 minute sessions

E1 What learners do as they read words and what this means for teachers

Fig Tree Room

Janet McHardy, Kimberley Training Institute

E1 presentation file

Although limited research is available on the specific reading skills of less-skilled adult readers, it is widely accepted that word-level skills play a key role in individuals’ reading acquisition. This presentation reports research findings of single word reading practices of 36 West Australian and New Zealand adult literacy learners. The research is part of a broader study investigating perspectives, approaches and practices of adult reading teachers and less-skilled adult readers undertaken as part of a doctoral programme at University of Western Australia. Findings suggest many learners have a limited set of strategies to draw on, with some relying solely on a bank of sight words. The findings are described and discussed with implications for learners’ future reading experiences. The presentation and discussion will be of interest to all those involved in designing and implementing adult reading programmes

Janet has over twenty years’ experience in adult teaching and education both in New Zealand and Australia. Before moving to Australia in January 2011 she worked at the National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults at the University of Waikato where her responsibilities included professional development around embedding literacy skills into existing education and training programmes. Other roles have included workplace skills programme developer and tutor, specialist learning consultation advisory roles and community literacy tutor. Janet’s main focus since coming to Perth has been her doctoral study on adult reading at University of Western Australia with part-time workplace literacy work. She has recently moved to Kununurra to work in Access programmes at KTI.

E3 Social media for professional purposes - it's NOT just about what you had for lunch!

Attenborough Room

Jo Hart, CY O'Connor Institute, WA

E3 presentation file

See the slides via slideshare

The Foundation Skills Community of Practice (FSCoP) is an initiative of the National Foundation Skills Strategy Project. The CoP brings together a diverse group of individuals from across the country to share and build knowledge about foundation skills. The CoP is nurturing informal, virtual networks for foundation skills (FS) practitioners to connect through social media. This hands-on, remotely facilitated workshop will focus on setting up, making connections and using social media (specifically Facebook and if time allows Twitter) for:

Jo Hart, lecturer in Foundation Skills at CY O’Connor Institute in regional Western Australia. Jo has extensive experience in e-learning development and delivery, and the creation of e-solutions. She has facilitated e-learning projects under the National Vocational E-Learning Strategy and the Australian Flexible Learning Framework and was a 2013 Finalist in the Australian Training Awards. Jo is an active user of technology for professional development and networking and has provided professional development to colleagues in using virtual classroom, LMS, blogs, social media and a range of other Web2.0 tools.

E5 Beyond the ACSF: Measuring the whole learning experience

Santos Room

Ali Bell and Anita Planchon, LINC Tasmania

E5 presentation file

E5 session outcomes

LINC Tasmania provides a range of Adult Literacy services, including one-to-one tutoring, small group classes and courses. Learners usually attend for one hour per week. Whilst LINC is making a difference to the ACSF literacy levels of its clients, progress is understandably slow. The more substantive changes we see occur not to ACSF levels, but to individual literacy practices and ‘soft outcomes’ such as confidence and social capital. These outcomes are no less important in increasing the capacity and employability of LINC clients. Measuring these outcomes requires a qualitative as well as quantitative approach. We will share how LINC Tasmania is beginning to explore new ways of measuring learner outcomes that allow us to investigate the whole learning experience. Join us in a World Cafe format to share your experiences, and discuss the importance of demonstrating the breadth of outcomes of participation in literacy learning.

Ali Bell is a Literacy Coordinator at LINC Tasmania in the Tasmanian Department of Education, based in George Town in the state’s North East. She has a PhD in Psychology, and an interest in qualitative methodologies.

Anita Planchon is Manager of Literacy Services at LINC Tasmania, with responsibility for the Tasmanian Adult Literacy Action Plan and 26TEN. She has a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and a research background in multilingualism and second and subsequent language acquisition. Prior to employment with LINC Tasmania, she had an 18-year career with DFAT, including a posting as Australia's Consul-General to New Caledonia.



Concurrent sessions F - a combination of 45 minute and 90 minute sessions

F1 Access Uni - extending pathways to tertiary education

Goodall Room

Genevieve Haskett, Flinders University, Student Access Unit; Jane Brzezinski Flinders University; Tori Phillips TAFE SA

F1 presentation file

The presentation will describe the models of partnership and engagement that have evolved through Access Uni, a Flinders University pilot program which is creating inclusive tertiary pathways for adults who have been disengaged from learning. The rationale for Access Uni was that many individuals feel excluded from tertiary education due to their previous experiences of learning, lack of confidence and learning strategies and uneven levels of language, literacy and numeracy. Access Uni works to improve the learner’s resilience in the labour market by starting people on a pathway to a tertiary level qualification. The target audience for the presentation are adult and community educators, foundation skills lecturers and social change agents. Partners in the Access Uni pilot project include:

Genevieve Haskett was Director, Foundation Skills, TAFE SA from 2004 - 2013. She holds a Masters in Education (TESOL) and has over twenty years experience as a teacher of adult migrants and international students. Her research interests include learner engagement strategies and the role of LLN in workplace productivity. Genevieve currently works across the vocational and higher education sectors as a teacher and educational consultant.

Jane Brzezinski is currently working as an Adult Learner Pathways Project Officer for Flinders University on the Access Uni project. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Disability Studies) and a Certificate IV Community Development. Jane has a passion for assisting people who require additional support to achieve their goals and is a strong advocate for access and equity initiatives, particularly in educational settings.

Victoria Phillips has been involved in Education for over ten years and has specialised in teaching Indigenous and migrant learners. She is currently researching the links between trauma and learning patterns and is a great believer in each individual’s power to discover empowerment and overcome personal adversity. She is currently delivering the Multicultural Women’s Access University pilot program as part of the Flinders University partnership with the Migrant Resource Centre SA and TAFE SA Foundation Skills.

F2 Sound Systems - A phonemically-based approach to adult literacy at the Glenorchy LINC

Goodall Room

Rosalie Martin, Speech Pathology, Tasmania

F2 presentation file

This session will present an action research project which brought evidence-based approaches for building literacy from within a phonemic-linguistic-metacognitive framework. The session is intended for an audience of tutors and teachers, but also for managers and policy makers. Presentation will be made verbally, with powerpoint, and will also include 'buzz-style' interactive tasks designed to provide a taste of the activities used with the clients in the study. The session aims to demonstrate the importance of assessing and understanding the phonemic-linguistic basis of literacy when planning literacy intervention.For persons experiencing impairment in literacy, either through neurodevelopmental predisposition or through reduced stimulation and experience, efficacious learning must include specific interventions for language and phonemic processing. Speech pathologists have skills in the assessment and treatment of these neurologically-based learning impairments and bring evidence-based approaches which can partner harmoniously with the approaches of adult literacy teachers for the support of this client group.

Rosalie Martin is a clinical speech pathologist of 30 years experience, the past 18 of which have been in her Hobart-based private practice, Speech Pathology Tasmania. She has generalist speech pathology skills as well as special interest and skills in assessment and intervention for people with literacy acquisition disorders, autism and social communication impairments. Rosalie is also now developing a benevolent organisation, Chatter Matters Tasmania, the objects of which are to foster language and literacy development projects within vulnerable populations.


F4 Curriculum update from the West

Fig Tree Room

Cheryl Wiltshire, Department of Training and Workforce Development, WA

F4 presentation file

In an era of radical changes, Western Australia has successfully maintained a wide range of curricula for adult literacy and numeracy programs. This session will look at examples of courses used in WA and provide an opportunity to debate future directions for adult literacy and numeracy curricula. Courses to be discussed include

Cheryl Wiltshire has worked in adult education since 1988 as a tutor, teacher, manager, curriculum writer and in the area of professional learning. She also undertakes volunteer roles for the professional bodies WAALC and ACAL. Cheryl believes adult literacy and numeracy programs are a crucial part of the education picture and works towards a clearer perception of what makes them work well. Cheryl's current role at the Department of Training and Workforce Development includes responsibility for maintenance of accredited courses.

F5 Getting More Bang for Your Buck with the ACSF

Santos Room

Anita Planchon, Manager of Literacy Services, LINC Tasmania

F5 session presentation

While acknowledging the success of the ACSF in providing a shared language and a systematic approach to benchmarking core skills performance we now need to build on this achievement. To date, measuring progress against the ACSF has largely been at core skill or indicator level. One of the key advantages of the ACSF is its capacity to identify strengths and areas of need with quite a deal of specificity. This should be matched by a capacity to assess finer gradations of progress. Without this capacity the risk is that progress will not be noticed or recorded.

26TEN (LINC Tasmania) commissioned Philippa McLean, of Escalier McLean, to research the feasibility of using the ACSF in such a finer grained way. The recommendations of the research were trialled in 12 pilot projects. Results were positive and LINC Tasmania is now using finer gradations to assess the progress of literacy clients.

This presentation will outline the journey to implementation and share the tools and approach LINC Tasmania has developed.

Issues addressed will include how to track specific progress that provides information and reward to learners, teachers and funding bodies, what constitutes progress, what evidence needs to be kept and how to record finer measures of progress. Discussion will be welcome.

Anita Planchon is Manager of Literacy Services at LINC Tasmania in the Tasmanian Department of Education, with responsibility for the Tasmanian Adult Literacy Action Plan and 26TEN. She has a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from the University of New England and a research background in multilingualism and second and subsequent language acquisition. Her professional experience is in policy development in government. Prior to employment with LINC Tasmania, she had an 18-year career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with postings in Vietnam, the Solomon Islands and as Australia's Consul-General to New Caledonia.

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