Web version ACAL

February 2019

In this issue

1. From the Co-Presidents

2. Questions for our political leaders

3. Member survey

4. 2019 ACAL Conference

5. VET Review - ACAL's response

6. FSK project update

7. VET Resources

8. Have you read it? – Feb 2019

9. QCAL presentation on spelling strategies

10. Vacancy – Adult Learning Centre Manager – Yuendumu

11. Call for Papers

12. Happy 25th Brithday Reading Writing Hotline

13. State conferences

14. ACAL membership renweal now due

15. WA notable retirement

1. From the Co-Presidents

It's February already and ACAL has had a busy start to the year, as we are sure many of you have had also! Over the last couple of months, ACAL has worked to respond to the VET review and there are details in this newsletter. There has also been extensive feedback by various ACAL and state committee members on the drafted Foundation Skills Training Package units.

The start of February is the time where the ACAL Committee has an annual face to face meeting. This year we met in Sydney and set our plans for the work ahead this year. It was a weekend full of many ideas and we hope to continue building these ideas and sharing them with you.

One of our first actions has been to draft some questions for our Federal Ministers and Shadow Ministers to seek a response to some questions about adult literacy and numeracy. Our questions and further details are included in this newsletter. We are also seeking feedback from our membership about hot topics that interest them. We will use the responses to continue to formulate our 2019 plans.

During 2018 we had positive feedback on the Conversation Starters and Have you read segments of the newsletter and will include more in coming issues.  This year we are also interested in member stories, particularly those that highlight success in adult literacy and numeracy teaching and learning, so please contact us to share your news.

We look forward to a productive year ahead.

For existing members please see information at the bottom of the newsletter about renewing. For others, we encourage you to lend your voice to advocacy for adult literacy learners by joining ACAL this year via the same link. 

Daniella Mayer and Jo Medlin, Co-Presidents

2. Questions for our political leaders

Parliament House forecourtThis is the email that we have sent out to Federal Ministers and Shadow Ministers as well as Green and Independent politicians. We hope that we will be able to share their responses with you through our newsletters and on the ACAL website.

The Australian Council of Adult Literacy is a key body representing individuals and organisations concerned with adult literacy in Australia. We are writing to you and a number of key politicians to ascertain your views on a number of critical issues of concern for our members. We are hoping that your office might provide short written responses to the questions below. Your responses will be published in our newsletter and on the ACAL website.

  1. As an adult, have you engaged in any formal learning? How did you find the experience?

  2. What do you envisage are the challenges and opportunities for adult literacy and numeracy learners in Australia?

  3. What role does adult literacy and numeracy play in Australia's future?

  4. A number of other countries have policies on literacy and numeracy for adults. What do you think we can learn from these nations?

  5. Do you think Australia needs a new policy on adult literacy and numeracy?

We are hoping to publish our interviews in our newsletter. If your office could consider a response, it would be appreciated by our members.

3. Member survey

tape measureIn 1979 Darryl Dymock, then Honorary Secretary of ACAL, realised that adult literacy across Australia was ‘difficult to piece together because of the diversity of provision and the lack of documentation' (Dymock 1982,p3). He therefore set about surveying adult literacy programs across Australia to understand who was in the field and what mattered to them. He published his results in a booklet published by ACAL in 1982.

Fast forward to 2019 and we are still questioning the diversity of the field, and particularly who our members are and what the hot topics are that interest them. Please take a moment to complete our short online survey to tell us about your adult literacy and numeracy context and the issues that matter to you. We will share the results in the following newsletter.

Ref Dymock, D, 1982. Adult literacy provision in Australia: trends and needs, ACAL.

Please complete the survey by March 31.

4. 2019 ACAL Conference

'Critical re-imagining: adult literacy and numeracy practices for sustainable development'

Dates: Pre-conference Thursday 3rd October 2019; conference Friday 4th October to Saturday 5th October.

Aerial Function Centre, University of Technology Sydney

This conference invites participants to consider the role of adult literacy and numeracy education in promoting the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the most directly pertinent goal to our field: 'Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all'.

Keynotes announced

Dr Roslyn ApplebyDr Roslyn Appleby, University of Technology Sydney

Roslyn is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the University of Technology Sydney. Her research interests include the cultural politics of language and literacy, critical gender studies, and human-animal relationships.

Prof. Dr. Anke Grotlueschen Prof. Dr. Anke Grotlueschen, Hamburg University, Germany

Anke is Professor for Lifelong Learning (W3) at Hamburg University. She oversees some four million Euro research grants mostly focused on assessment, literacy and lifelong learning. This includes the development of so-called Alpha-Levels within and below the PIAAC Level One in order to further investigate low skilled populations.

Prof. Ralf St. ClairProf. Ralf St. Clair, University of Victoria, Canada

Ralf is Professor and Dean of Education at the University of Victoria in Canada. He is an active teacher, focusing on the education of adults, literacy, research methods, curriculum studies, and international education. The common thread running through his work is a concern with equity and accessibility in education.

Amy ThomasAmy Thomas, University of Technology Sydney

Amy is an academic in the Adult Learning and Applied Linguistics program at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) where she is also a Shopfront Community Research Fellow.

5. VET Review - ACAL's response

In late November the government vocational education and training (VET) sector review asked for input by January 25, 2019

Over the break the ACAL committee produced this response.

Review website

6. FSK project update

PwC's Skills for Australia have been in contact to let us know that they were pleased with the amount of feedback received throughout the online consultation period. They have now begun the process of collating and actioning the feedback.

Once the products are finalised by the Project Working Group and the Education IRC, they will commence the Quality Assurance process. At this stage, they are still anticipating that the Case for Endorsement will be submitted to the June AISC meeting.

7. VET Resources

The Knowledge Management team at NCVER are currently working on a new resource for VET practitioners to be housed on the VOCEDplus website. The aim is to support busy practitioners in their teaching and learning practice and in undertaking research. The resource will provide a single online platform drawing on the rich content available in VOCEDplus and signposting a range of freely available resources as well as links to relevant commercial sites.

At this stage the resource will comprise a home page leading to three sections:

  1. Teaching, training and assessment resources

  2. Practitioners as researchers

  3. The VET workforce

You can contribute to planning by completing a survey that aims to collect your thoughts and feedback on the categories and content of this new resource:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K88FZRN

8. Have you read it? – Feb 2019

A review of documents relating to adult literacy and numeracy

This month Jo Medlin has reviewed two documents:

9. QCAL presentation on spelling strategies

16 March, 9:30am

Coopers Plains Library, 107 Orange Grove Rd, Coopers Plains

Jan HagstonQueensland Council for Adult Literacy is hosting Jan Hagston in a presentation titled Analysing and assessing spelling using spelling knowledges. Jan is an experienced and passionate educator. In this workshop she will look at examples of students' writing and analyse the spelling – what they get right and wrong – through the lens of the knowledges. Participants will then have the opportunity to use this strategy to analyse spelling in student written texts.
Cost: $5.00 QCAL members; $20 non-members.

10. Vacancy – Adult Learning Centre Manager – Yuendumu

Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation

Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation logoWarlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation (WYDAC), was created by, and for, Warlpiri people, and is governed by a Warlpiri Committee. WYDAC head office is located in Yuendumu Community, and the organisation has permanent staffing and operations at five different Warlpiri sites – Yuendumu, Willowra, Nyirrpi, Lajamanu remote communities and Mt Theo Outstation.

WYDAC now provides a comprehensive range of programs that deliver diversion, development, treatment, and leadership services throughout the Warlpiri region.

A vacancy now exists for an Adult Learning Centre Manager

Closing date extended to March 1, 2019

11. Call for Papers

European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults (RELA)

Thematic issue of RELA:
“The changing landscapes of literacies and adult education”
Submission deadline: 17th May 2019
Lead editors for this issue:
Barbara Merrill, António Fragoso & Lyn Tett (guest editor)

12. Happy 25th Brithday Reading Writing Hotline

Teading Writing Hotline logoCongratulations to the Reading Writing Hotline who celebrate 25 years of supporting adult literacy this year. We look forward to seeing their celebrations in April.

Over the years the consistent support for adults seeking assistance to locate literacy classes has helped thousands. The hotline website has a wealth of resources and information and you can also keep up to date with their work by following them on Facebook.

13. State conferences

WAALC 2019 Conference - Karen Dymke keynote

WAALC 2019 Conference

WAALC is pleased to announce Karen Dymke has accepted our invitation to speak at the conference. Her keynote 'I am Capable: Helping students identify and find their developing capabilities and skills' will focus on the important issue of building and recognising interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies in our students.

VALBEC 2019 Conference

VALBEC 2019 conference

14. ACAL Membership is now due

Thanks to those who have already renewed.

15. WA notable retirement

Carmel JenningsWAALC report that a longtime stalwart supporter retired at the end of January.

'Carmel Jennings has taken her turn as chair of WAALC and has improved our conference programs over the years. We have relied on her help to have teachers from the not for profit sector take advantage of Lotterywest funded registrations and for the last decade Centacare Employment and Training employees delivering SEE have attended the conference as a whole of staff event.

Carmel was recognised with a 2006 Minister’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Improving Literacy and/or Numeracy as a result of nominations from the field. She completed her own education as a young mother in Ireland and became a literacy organiser and tutor. She did her education degree at Murdoch university after emigrating to Australia and starting work with jobseekers.

After almost 40 years working in adult literacy, Carmel remains fervently committed to listening to students and focusing on their needs. After working in SMYL she came to Centacare where she stayed 17 years. For the staff there her dedication and breadth of knowledge established a benchmark of good practice. Her commitment – passed on to the staff who worked with her - was to deliver a quality program to students in a meaningful and relevant way. We have enjoyed her sessions on student publishing over the years and learnt how life changing it can be.

We wish Carmel an enjoyable and lengthy retirement.'