February 2020

In this issue

1. From The President

2. ACAL 2020 Conference on Canberra – call for papers

3. Have you read this?
Supporting disadvantaged people through education and training

4. Profiling literacy and numeracy specialists

5. Free plain English resource

6. PD and Conferences

  • ACAL webinar ‘A VOCEDplus primer: focus on adult literacy and numeracy’
  • QCAL – Horses for Courses:Focussing on Context and Learner: Program PlanningProgram planning
  • WAALC Conference
  • VALBEC Conference

7. Online Graduate Diploma in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice

1. From The President

Did you know the NFSS is still in play? For those of you who need a refresher, here’s a quick summary:

  • The NFSS: The National Foundation Skills Strategy was launched in 2012 by COAG
  • The premise: More than 7.5 million Australian adults do not have the literacy and numeracy skills needed to participate fully in today’s workforce.
  • The promise: Through the strategy all Australian governments have committed to a target that, by 2022, two thirds of working age Australians will have literacy and numeracy skills at Level 3 or above (refers to the levels in the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey undertaken in 2006 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics).
  • The priorities: One of the top priorities will be to enhance the quality of foundation skills training on offer and to build the workforce that delivers this training.

Who will be reviewing these outcomes and how? Presumably PIAAC will be the vehicle for measuring the success of the promise – yet Australia wasn’t going to take part in PIAAC. Lobbying of the Federal Government in 2019 by ACAL and other bodies was required to secure Australia’s participation in the next round.

ACAL will write to COAG in March for an update on the NFSS targets and successes. I can only presume a lot is going to happen in the next 12 months.  (insert smiley face crying and rolling with laughter?)

To access the NFSS:
Visit the website

Download the National Skills Strategy doc

To find out about PIAAC:
ACAL’s ‘The Second Cycle’

ACAL’s Conversation Starter ‘What is PIACC?’

Jo Medlin
ACAL President

2. ACAL 2020 Conference on Canberra – call for papers

ACAL 2020 Conference 'A Vision Beyond'

Do you have some good practical ideas or research to share?

ACAL invites submissions of abstracts for consideration for inclusion in the 2020 ACAL conference programme. This year ACAL is inviting proposals for presentations in two categories

  • The usual type of presentations, which may be a workshop, activity or non-refereed paper presentations, and
  • Peer reviewed academic paper – additional requirements apply.

 Full details

3. Have you read this? Supporting disadvantaged people through education and training

The workplace as a context for adult literacy and numeracy learning (2019) by Anne Alkema

This article is divided into four sections. In the first, the author draws on current literature, including OECD results, to show why literacy and numeracy skills are important in New Zealand.

She then describes one response by the Tertiary Education Commission to skill development in these areas, the Workplace Literacy and Numeracy Fund, and follows this with information about the nature of programs that are financially supported that are supported through this means.

The final section outlines the economic, social, and wellbeing outcomes that have resulted.

Read the article

4. Profiling literacy and numeracy specialists

Since the introduction of the TAELLN Certificate lV unit we have received many queries asking what defines a literacy and numeracy specialist. The LN field is diverse and experience and qualifications vary. In a recent submission to the FSK review, ACAL considered that the level of qualification and experience of those working effectively in the field is not necessarily correlated to their degree of impact, but we believe specialised qualifications and experience are likely to result in good practice. See the full statement here.

In this section we profile LN specialists to demonstrate the range of qualifications and experience that lead to expertise in the field. We encourage all readers to refer to the National Framework as a reminder that the TAELLN411 unit is an awareness unit and is at the start of a journey in LN teaching. For those wishing to extend from awareness to developing teaching skills we encourage shadowing, mentoring and training –  several RTOs  are currently delivering the TAE80113 Graduate Diploma in LLN Practice and information can be found at training.gov.au

This month we are revisiting the LN Practitioner stories compiled by the National Foundation Skills Strategy (NFSS) Project as part of research carried out in 2013 for the Foundations Skills Workforce Development Project. This project found a broad range of practitioners delivering and supporting the development of language, literacy and numeracy and foundation skills. All have a story to tell about how they got into this line of work and how they have developed their skills over time.

This activity is about providing practitioners with the opportunity to tell their story, listen to others and reflect on the journey.

Get the stories

5. Free plain English resource

26ten logo26ten is an exemplary state-wide program operating in Tasmania that has addressed the needs of communicators utilizing written text formats.

It’s online publication explains the reasoning behind the use of plain English and provides exemplars and links to facilitate implementation.

26ten has produced an online resource to help with plain English. Plain English makes texts easier to understand.

Visit the 26ten website

Get a PDF of the Plain Guide

6. PD and Conferences

VOCED plusACAL webinar ‘A VOCEDplus primer: focus on adult literacy and numeracy’

Wednesday 25 March, 2020 @ 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM ACDT where it’s being hosted (1:00 PM AEDT but check local times)

This 45 minute ‘invitation only’ webinar will focus on the aspects of VOCEDplus that will support those working in the field of adult literacy/numeracy/foundation skills.

VOCEDplus is NCVER’s free international research database for tertiary education, with extensive coverage of Australian material and a wide range of international information. VOCEDplus also features a variety of ‘value-add’ resources that package information to enable our users to target and access relevant material quickly.

This ACAL webinar will not only cover the most relevant of these resources for our ACAL audience but also demonstrate how to get the best from a VOCEDplus search.

Register for the free webinar.

QCAL – Horses for Courses:Focussing on Context and Learner: Program Planning

Jill Finch, an experienced and highly esteemed adult literacy practitioner, who has coordinated and delivered a number of work-place LLN projects, will present a seminar on program planning at the Chermside Library in Brisbane on Saturday, 14 March commencing at 9.30 am.

See the QCAL website for more details and registration.

WAALC Conference

WAALC 2020 conference

WAALC Conference details

VALBEC Conference

VALBEC 2020 ConferenceSubmit a proposal by March 27th

7. Online Graduate Diploma in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice

Over recent months we have been contacting RTOs who have the Graduate Diploma in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice. TAFE NSW have provided the following information about opportunities to gain a formal qualification in adult LN:

Grad Dip Adult LLN Practice – online at TAFE Digital

For teachers looking for an adult Foundation Skills/Basic Education specialist qualification with a practical focus, NSW TAFE Digital currently offers TAE80113 online in a flexible self-paced format.

More course details

Ph: 1300 355 531.