Professional Development Resources



ACAL recorded webinar – Coping Strategies by Linno Rhodes

How do you facilitate adult LN learners to rewrite their relationship with education? In this 5 minute video Linno Rhodes explains how to recognise and understand coping strategies adults bring to the LN learning experience.
Providing examples of activities that create a positive learning environment, Linno helps us help students to reframe the educational experience.

Watch video

Jo MedlinTo coincide with the airing of Lost for Words (LFW) season 2, I am sharing these resources with you.
I do not assert that they are best practice, nor offer them as exemplars. Rather, I am sharing them to acknowledge your support of ACAL so you can have a glimpse behind the scenes of LFW.
You can use these as they are, adapt them in any way required, or delete them if you so choose.
If you use or adapt them you must acknowledge the source (eg Medlin J, 2022. …resource name, Australian Council for Adult literacy.)
Jo Medlin

Adult literacy and numeracy 101 for Lost for Words: This is an information sheet I wrote for the production crew members and SBS.

The Possum Café: These are the texts I created for the pre-assessment (episode 1 – airs 7.30pm Wed 12 Oct 2022). There are 2 menus of different complexity and some suggested questions.

Pre-assessment method:
1. General friendly chat to put the student at ease and build a safe space
2. Explain the purpose and process of the pre-assessment with a strengths-focus
3. Both menus are on the table and students can choose which one to read
4. The student holds the menu (A3 laminated in colour) and has time to look and consider
5. Teacher asks questions, there are some written questions to complete provided on a separate sheet (eg in the numeracy)

Materials: menu, pens, highlighter, calculator, scrap paper (plus some additional questions and activities that are not included in this set!)

Dictionary hints: The students really embrace both the physical dictionary and their phone dictionaries – especially when I tell them I may need spelling checks myself when I write on the white board! There are always then at least 2 students at any one time who are checking words in the dictionary. This sheet is designed to support them. Then they use it to add other interesting words, or observations about word history, or any other record related to the dictionary and spelling.

Six steps for writing: I always teach writing this way – from pre-level through to university academic writing. Metalanguage is really important, so terms such as drafting, proofreading, and surface features become regular in the classroom. Learning strategies underpin all learning, so teaching literacy as a ‘process’ creates transferable skills sets. We tell them it’s their toolbox.

Sounds for adult learners_Part 1: I would never teach phonics to adults on its own (BORING!!!) but it is part of the learning process and closely linked to encouraging students to engage with environmental print (especially those at pre and level 1). This book was requested by several students who wanted some homework, so I summarised what we had been doing in the first few weeks so they could review. Most of this learning occurred in real contexts – so although it looks like we were teaching a lot of phonics as prepared lessons, we actually integrated them with the everyday reading the students were encountering and their individual goals. About half the students didn’t need or want this – phonics were not gaps for them at all – and so they didn’t choose to complete the book. (The handwriting? It was at the request of Jamil, who had never been in a classroom and felt that handwriting must be covered…but he soon moved on to more relevant and interesting writing activies!).

The following resources are available to members only:
Adult literacy and numeracy 101 for Lost for Words.pdf
Level 2-3 Possum Cafe sample questions.pdf
Level 2-3 Possum Cafe.pdf
Pre and level 1 Possum Cafe.pdf
Pre to level 1 Possum Cafe sample questions.pdf
Six steps for writing.pdf
Sounds for adult learners_ Part 1.pdf

PDF available to members here