September 2019

In this issue

1. From the Co-Presidents
2. ACAL Conference
3. FSK Release
4. Profiling literacy and numeracy specialists
5. Reading Writing Hotline
6. Access to online academic and journal articles
7. NAIDOC Week Publication from WA
9. Have you read this? – employability skills

1. From the Co-Presidents

The annual conference is an opportunity to reinvigorate your approach to work, network with old and new friends, and update your currency! There’s still places left at the October conference. Join us for some PD and visit beautiful Sydney. The venue is walking distance to Darling Harbour, Chicago the musical, spice alley and China Town. Jump on light rail or walk a little further to The Rocks, Circular Quay and the heart of the city. Here’s a little clip of Sydney to get you inspired.

Organising a national conference involves many hours of work and ACAL would like to acknowledge and thank the NSW Adult Literacy and Numeracy Council (NSWALNC) for hosting the upcoming 2019 conference and undertaking the associated workload. The conference program looks fantastic and if you haven’t yet registered, we encourage you to jump online.

Volunteering is a rewarding way to be involved in adult literacy. If you are passionate about adult LN and would like to contribute, consider joining the committee. The AGM is next month (October 23rd at 3pm). We welcome any interest from members wishing to become more involved with ACAL.

Within this news you will also find information about some ACAL members. This is a great opportunity to consider the various roles and expertise that exists within the field of Adult Literacy and Numeracy education.

Daniella Mayer and Jo Medlin, Co-Presidents

2. ACAL Conference

2019 ACAL Conference 'Critical Re-imagining'

Register now
Full conference details

3. FSK Package Release

Foundation Skills releaseFoundation Skills (FSK) Training Package Release 2.0 has been approved by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC).

The Case for Endorsement for Foundation Skills (FSK) was approved by the AISC in August 2019. Resulting changes to the Training Package can be viewed in the Case for Endorsement document below.

We expect these changes to be reflected on the website by October 2019.

Download the final documents involved in this review.

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

This month we thank two specialists who have agreed to share their profiles with us:

  • Jill Finch, former president of NSWALNC and current teacher and Reading Writing Hotline Project Officer
  • Dalia Kaldas, adult LN teacher with expertise in face to face and distance delivery.

If you are a literacy and numeracy specialist and would be willing to share your profile, please contact ACAL with your details.

Jill FinchJill Finch

Jill has taught literacy and numeracy to adults for more than 30 years. A Head Teacher for 25 years, Jill has broad experience across many programs, locations and learners, from beginner literacy and numeracy through to graduate level programs, and delivery of professional development.

She has worked with volunteers, in trades, in community-based and indigenous programs, and in the workplace.  She has had roles in curriculum development, LLN policy review, and teacher practicums.
More about Jill

Dalia KaldasDalia Kaldas

As a Language, Literacy and Numeracy teacher Dalia Kaldas’ aim is to ensure that her students experience success in their learning. Many students in this area have experienced difficulties in their life or in their learning so it is vital for her as a teacher to plan lessons aimed at their skill level. Once a student experiences success in learning, self confidence improves and students are then willing to take more risks in learning and broaden their goals for further study or employment.

Dalia’s expertise has developed through her diverse teaching experiences and her qualifications. Beginning with a Diploma of Teaching and Bachelor of Education (Primary), Dalia refined adult LN teaching expertise through completing a Graduate Diploma in Adult Basic Education.
More about Dalia

5. Reading Writing Hotline

Reading Writing HotlineDid you know that the Reading Writing Hotline has tips for employers for making a literacy – friendly workplace? The results from the Australian Industry Group’s Building Employer Commitment to Workplace Language, Literacy and Numeracy Programs project indicate a significant return on investment for employers participating in literacy and numeracy workplace programs. The Hotline website has information for employers about:

  • simplifying forms and documents
  • literacy training
  • technology
  • the role of supervisors
  • orienting new employers.

Read more about literacy information for employers on the Hotline website. (You’ll also see one of this month’s featured LN specialists talking about workplace literacy!).

6. Access to online academic and journal articles

Academia  sampleIf you are looking for readings online you can use Academia for free and search for relevant articles at

The site will also recommend similar articles based on your previous searches.

7. NAIDOC Week Publication from WA

The Corrections Education Association have kindly shared a booklet put together in WA for NAIDOC week. It provides an example of the diversity in the Aboriginal program they provide.

The association recognises adult basic education as a major tool in catering for learners with needs that include anti-social behaviour, self-awareness, understanding the importance of mentoring, and role modelling.

Thank you Ray Chavez, ACEA President Corrections Education Association, for sharing the publication with ACAL and increasing the awareness of the learning needs of those in the correctional system.

Get the booklet

8. AGM notice

The ACAL AGM will be held on October 23, 2019 at 3pm AEDT by webinar.

The meeting will

  • Confirm the minutes of the previous AGM held on October 17, 2018 by webinar
  • Receive and adopt an annual report from the Executive
  • Receive and adopt the audited accounts of ACAL
  • Elect new officers and Executive Committee for 2019-20
    • President
    • Vice President (to be based in a state or territory different from that of the President)
    • Honorary Secretary
    • Honorary Treasurer

ACAL Committee roles and responsibilities.

Nomination form

9. Have you read this? – employability skills

Adult literacy practitioners and employability skills: Resisting neo-liberalism? By Gwyneth Allatt & Lyn Tett (2019)

We draw on theories of policy enactment to explore the ways in which the situated, material and external contexts and professional cultures in adult literacy in the UK have influenced practitioners. Our analysis of the transnational (OECD, EU) and UK external policy contexts found that skills-related education is prioritised, with a focus on economic growth through increased productivity and accountability.

This can lead to a narrow conceptualisation of literacy as a set of information processing skills needed for employment that limits the curriculum so that the knowledge of the participants is ignored. However, our findings show that there is not a one-way flow from the transnational to the local. Instead, literacy practitioners translate and enact policy texts based on their situated contexts and professional cultures leading to approaches to teaching and learning that keep learners and their goals at the centre of the curriculum.

We conclude that shared understandings of good practice and an underpinning value system, along with creative ways of delivering pre-set outcomes, allow practitioners to resist to some extent the neoliberal discourse whilst meeting the requirements of policy and funding. However, how feasible delivering this alternative curriculum is over the longer term remains to be seen.

Access this paper