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ACAL logoAustralian Council for Adult Literacy

ACAL eNews

February 2013

ACAL eNews is the electronic newsletter of the Australian Council of Adult Literacy (ACAL) and is distributed free to people interested in adult literacy and numeracy. See below for subscription details or to unsubscribe.


In this issue

1. President's Report

2. 2013 Australian Council for Adult Literacy Conference – Local Practices, Global Contexts

  • Sydney Sep 20-Oct 2

  • International keynote speakers

  • Expression of Interest

3. TAFE Community Alliance

4. Recent publications and resources

5. 'Literacy & Numeracy Studies'

6. NT LLNP • Expressions of Interest

7. 22nd National VET Research Conference 'No Frills' 2013 July 10-12

8. Second ACER National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference

9. Thirteenth International Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations Conference

10. Queensland

11. Tasmania

12. Victoria

13. Unsubscribe

14. Contact ACAL


1. President's Report

ACAL is looking forward to a great ACAL year in 2013. In January the ACAL Executive and Management committee met in Melbourne for the 2013 Planning Day.

Our Work Plan for this year includes;

  • The ACAL 2013 Conference in Sydney 30th September, and 1st to 2nd October.

  • ACAL supported research projects

  • A survey of members and non-members

  • Defining ACALs view of LLN professional quality practitioners and describing pathways for new practitioners

  • Developing greater input to e-News and the webpage

  • Establishing an ACAL presence on LinkedIn

  • Clarify relationships and roles between state and national body

  • eNews published regularly

  • Building stronger links between adult literacy and numeracy stakeholders

ACAL values your input as an ACAL Member, or an interested person. If you are interested in having input into any of the projects listed above, suggesting ideas, sharing opinions, asking questions, or submitting articles or news items for ACAL eNews or the ACAL website, please email me at andersonje@missionaustralia.com.au or info@acal.edu.au .

Jenni Anderson

2. 2013 Australian Council for Adult Literacy Conference – Local Practices, Global Contexts

Sept 30-Oct 2, 2013 in Sydney

2013 will see the release of the results of the 2011/2012 international adult literacy survey – PIAAC (Programme of International Assessment of Adult Competence). Australia was one of 26 countries that participated in this survey. The results are likely to attract attention of policy makers, employers and industry who have been relying on the 2006/2007 international adult literacy survey – ALLS (Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey) as the basis of their recent policy formulations and initiatives. Education policy researchers, including literacy researchers have increasingly observed transnational policy transfers from international organisations such as the OECD to individual countries, rather than education policies being formulated locally from the ground up.

The conference will be a forum for participants to –

  • Learn about, and be more informed about the PIAAC and the likely uses of the results

  • Examine and debate the disjuncture between what large scale surveys such as the ALLS and PIAAC can tell us, and what we know about the 'local' literacies and numeracies of learners, workers and community members

  • Examine and reflect on the ways in which 'globalisation' of the economy is used to advance an almost exclusively economic and so-called 'employability skills' focus on adult learning

  • Draw attention to the ways in which Australian classrooms, workplaces and communities are globalised through the experiences and knowledge that the people who make up these spaces bring

International keynote speakers

Two international keynote speakers have been confirmed:

Dr Jeff Evans, Emeritus Reader at Middlesex University, UK.

Jeff Evans, a social practices numeracy researcher and research methodologist, has produced critical appreciations of contemporary definitions of 'numeracy' and 'mathematical literacy', and of various attempts to provide measures for these. He has recently served on the Numeracy Expert Group of the OECD sponsored Programme of International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

Professor Mary Hamilton – Lancaster University, UK.

Mary Hamilton is one of the founding figures of New Literacy Studies that introduced a social practices perspective on understanding and researching literacy. In recent years Professor Hamilton’s works have included historical and interpretative policy analysis exploring how international influences reach into local practice and the implications of this for tutor and student agency in adult literacy education. Through her publications and research she has developed particular expertise in the international surveys of literacy and the politics of measurement.

Expression of Interest

Put your name on the list or tell us about possible speakers or sessions.

3. TAFE Community Alliance

The TAFE Community Alliance is an advocacy and strategy group that recognises the central role of the public VET provider in the building of social, cultural and economic capacity of communities across NSW. The Alliance will campaign to maintain TAFE's central role in vocational education and training.

As one of their first public events the Alliance is having a launch on 22 February.

4. Recent publications and resources

'Any time, Any place' – NSW adult literacy students write – NSW ALNC publication of student writings. In 2012, to celebrate the National Year of Reading, adult literacy learners in NSW wrote about what reading meant to them.

Order form

5. 'Literacy & Numeracy Studies'

Literacy and Numeracy Studies is an international refereed journal which aims to promote research, scholarship and critical analysis of policy and practice concerning the many and complex ways that adult literacy and numeracy are implicated in adult life.

Literacy & Numeracy Studies vol 20, no 2 is available for free download.

In the current issue

Editorial, Keiko Yasukawa


  • Health Numeracy Conference among Racial/ Ethnic Minorities in HINTS 2007: Sociodemographic, Attitudinal, and Knowledge Correlates, by Hong Huang, Yiu Ming Chan, Dong Feng

  • Automatization and Retention of Literacy Skills in Adult Learners by James M Bebko, Thomas Rhee, Carly McMorris, Magali Segers

  • Cultural/Community Mentoring with Maori and Pacific Electrical Apprentices by Chris Holland

  • Vale Alison Lee

6. NT LLNP • Expressions of Interest

Expressions of Interest are called for project work involving the delivery of adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy programs in urban and regional areas of the Northern Territory during 2013.

Those interested should possess a teaching qualification with a specialisation in English as a Second Language or Adult Literacy and Numeracy, as well as a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE 40110).

Some projects also require the provision of mentoring services to support learners.  A Mentoring, Youth Work or other associated qualification with relevant experience is required for these positions.

Roles may require work outside of normal business hours.

For further information please contact lorraine.sushames@cdu.edu.au

7. 22nd National VET Research Conference 'No Frills' 2013 July 10-12

Call for presentations and papers

If you have research on vocational education and training (VET) to share then come along and present your findings at the 22nd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference 'No Frills' 2013.

Research can help influence policy and practice and ensure a better education and training system for all people living in Australia. Sponsored jointly by NCVER and Sunshine Coast TAFE, practitioners and researchers, especially early career VET researchers or those new to the VET sector, are invited to share their research and knowledge at this year’s conference.

Call for papers close 12 March 2013

Abstract requirements and submission details

8. Second ACER National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference – don't miss out this time

After last year’s sell out inaugural National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference, ACER is pleased to announce that their second national conference will be held in Sydney on 10 May, 2013. The aim of the 2013 Conference, Building on evidence to improve skills, is to bring together evidence-based research with industry and training perspectives in order to share and discuss issues around the assessment of language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) and implications for effective vocational and workplace education and training. A series of half day pre-conference workshops will also be held on May 9.

Further information, or to express your interest

9. Thirteenth International Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations Conference

The Conference will seek to explore the full range of what diversity means and explore modes of diversity in real-life situations of living together in community. The Conference supports a move away from simple affirmations that 'diversity is good' to a much more nuanced account of the effects and uses of diversity on differently situated communities in the context of our current epoch of globalisation.



  • QCAL are hosting a joint conference with QATESOL in Rockhampton in May(25 and 26) Exchanging Ideas – old and new, large and small link will be on the QCAL website once all details are finalised. An area of focus will be working with clients with disabilities.

  • QCAL are also hosting a PD session in March in Brisbane: 23 March. Again details will be on the QCAL website once finalised.

11. Tasmania

The Tasmanian Council for Adult Literacy (TCAL) held its AGM and Planning Day on Saturday 9 February 2013 at Ross.

More information

12. Victoria

  • Conference - Planning is well underway for the 2013 conference – 'Literacies in a diverse world'. Call for papers - closes February 20, 2013

  • International Year of Statistics: The VALBEC committee members have embraced the International Year of Statistics with the aim to having a little fun 'absurd statistics'. Look forward to a brief article in next eVALBEC.

13. Unsubscribe

If you no longer wish to receive ACAL eNews, send an email to info@acal.edu.au with 'Unsubscribe ACAL eNews' in the subject line.

14. Contact ACAL



GPO Box 2283 Canberra ACT 2601