Thursday 20 September 2012
2012 ACAL CONFERENCE
Thursday 20 September 2012
Scroll down to read information about the opening day of the conference as included in the conference programme, and download presentations and other material made available by the speakers.
His Excellency the Honourable Peter Underwood AC Governor of Tasmania and Mrs Frances Underwood, with Geri Pancini (ACAL President) and Jenni Anderson (TCAL President).
Download the Opening Speech here.
Anita Roberts, Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA)
VET + LLN = Together Forever
The introduction of the Foundation Skills Training Package has the potential to bring significant change to the delivery of vocational education and training (VET). Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA) believe that the new training package will encourage and enable greater collaboration between VET practitioners and LLN specialists – and increased attention to the skill development needs of individual learners. Many factors will impact on the successful implementation of the Foundation Skills Training Package; among them are practitioner awareness, resource availability and workforce capability. To aid the implementation process IBSA has created an online resource that will provide advice, practical examples and tools to support use by a diverse range of potential users. IBSA hopes that the resource will continue to grow and develop, bringing together contributions based on the experiences of users across the sectors. Anita has worked within the vocational education and training system at the national level since 1995 and has extensive experience in language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) policy in the VET sector. She has co-ordinated a variety of LLN projects and authored a number of reports and publications on behalf of Industry Skills Councils.
Anita Roberts has worked closely with Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA) on many initiatives including commercial resource developments, professional development activities, scoping for qualifications and skill sets, and three environment scans. She is currently the project co-ordinator for IBSA’s project to develop a Foundation Skills Training Package. Anita is also a member of the Victorian State Advisory Committee for the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program.
Sally Thompson, Adult Learning Australia
A1 Lifelong and Lifewide or Piecemeal and Punitive
Purposeful engagement with other adults is a first principle of adult learning theory and at the heart of adult literacy development, yet year after year Australia’s policy approach to adult literacy creates practice that is more abstracted, more narrowly defined and more closely aligned to punitive ‘stick and carrot’ welfare reform. In contrast, for the last decade or more, the countries of the European Union, despite economic pressures, have pursued Lifelong learning policies that recognise learning outside the classroom as well as in, and that one size can never fit all. This workshop will outline the challenge of re-aligning Australian public policy to recognise the realities of how adults learn.
Sally Thompson is the CEO of Adult Learning Australia. She is a former President of VALBEC and current member of the Victorian ACFE Board. Sally spends her working life pursuing ALA’s mission for equitable access to Lifelong and Lifewide learning for All Australians, sometimes with passion, occasionally with despair but always with a belief in the transformational nature of learning.
Geri Pancini, Victoria University; Rob McCormack, Victoria University
A2 Metaphors for learning and work
This session will consider key issues driving the development of learning for work including the changing workplace and along with it the different kinds of knowledge that underpin modern workplaces. The session will consider the three types of knowledge associated with learning for work and their learning metaphors and pedagogies. An example of a workplace initiative will be presented to highlight some of the issues in learning for work.
Geri Pancini is a Research Fellow in the Work-based Education Research Centre at Victoria University and the current President of ACAL. Rob McCormack works in Language and Learning Support at Victoria University.
Renate Hughes, Glenorchy City Council; Jill Sleiters, Glenorchy City Council
A3 Connect, Co-operate & Create: Steps to the Future – Learning Pathways for young mothers in Glenorchy, a case study in partnerships for innovation in adult learning, literacy and numeracy
Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. This workshop will review and report on the development and progress of an innovative partnership project in the Glenorchy Local Government Area (LGA) to deliver a range of individual and group learning opportunities for young mothers and their children at a local level, alongside family literacy programs and activities. These programs were tailored to meet the needs of young mums aged 17-25 years of age who were living in the Glenorchy community. Key partners in the project were the Glenorchy LINC, Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service (CRS), Mission Australia and St Vincent de Paul. The model has already been adopted and adapted by other LINCs and a number of NGOs in the last 6 months, reflecting the strong partnerships between services, as reflected in the conference theme of Connect, Co-operate and Create.
The STF project is led by Renate Hughes, the Social Planning Officer of Glenorchy City council and Jill Sleiters, the Community Development Officer of Glenorchy City Council. Renate and Jill have a shared background in teaching, community development, youth work, children’s services and early learning. Renate has recently worked on other youth and community projects including young people and binge drinking, gambling, youth recreation and youth justice, and is involved in the redevelopment of the Glenorchy Community Plan. Jill has recently finalised the Glenorchy Children and Families Strategy and hosts a number of community networks such as GAIN and events such as Families Week and Dad’s Day Out, in partnership with the Glenorchy LINC and a wide range of local community and health services.
Sue Paull, Diamond Valley Learning Centre; Frida Dean, Diamond Valley Learning Centre
A4 Removing that rock in the road – Spelling
English spelling is a rock in the road for many people and prevents them achieving their goals and reaching their potential. This common stumbling block creates unwelcome detours that limit people’s ability to communicate and connect with others in many aspects of everyday life. Difficulties with spelling can make people feel like the odd piece of the puzzle; the bit that doesn’t fit. At DVLC, we have recently published a Spelling Guide designed for adult and secondary school students with an Australian or ESL background. This practical book offers a clear compass to navigate the challenges of English spelling and build confidence in writing. It can assist in chipping away at that rock in the road and remove barriers to participation and connection. In the workshop we would like to describe the rationale and development of the Spelling Guide, demonstrate its use and discuss a variety of approaches to teaching spelling.
Sue Paull is a teacher and the Adult Literacy/ESL Coordinator at the Diamond Valley Learning Centre in northern Melbourne. Initially she taught in primary schools, and for the past 20 years has taught adult literacy and ESL classes at CAE, TAFE and community education providers. Frida Dean is a teacher at Diamond Valley Learning Centre. Before moving into adult education, Frida had over 20 years experience teaching literacy in primary schools. She has been an adult literacy and ESL teacher for more than 15 years, having taught at RMIT and other community providers. Sue and Frida are co-authors of the Spelling Guide.
A4 Removing that rock in the road Spelling
A4 Handout 1 Addressing writing errors
A4 Handout 2 John Landy and Good Sportsmanship
A4 Handout 3 Spelling strategies
A4 spelling guide order form
Martina Bovell, Australian Council for Educational Research
A6 Automated scoring of adult writing: how useful can a machine be in providing reliable and valid diagnostic information to teachers and learners?
This presentation examines how closely a machine can replicate the scores awarded by two human markers on a writing assessment for adult learners in the Vocational and Training setting. The approach taken to develop an online automated writing assessment tool consisting of two short writing tasks which were scored by human markers using a criterion-referenced analytic rating scale linked to the ACSF is described. The human scores were fed into software to develop an automated scoring model for use on new scripts. The automated system generates instant reports that provide immediate summative and formative information, referenced to the ACSF, about individual and group performance. The presentation seeks to answer such questions as: How effective is a machine at replicating the scores of human markers? Are there differences in its effectiveness across different task types and across different criteria? What are the drawbacks of machine scoring of writing? How can teachers of literacy use this tool with their adult learners?
Martina Bovell is a Senior Research Fellow at the Perth Office of the Australian Council for Educational Research. She is an experienced writing test developer and has developed a number of criterion-referenced analytic writing rubrics. She was part of a team that developed the New Zealand Adult Literacy Assessment tool, commissioned by the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER), and she managed the joint NZCER and ACER automated writing service for schools (eWrite). She has conceptualised and conducted standard-setting exercises, working with WA and NZ school documents and with the ACSF.
Download: A6 Automated scoring of adult writing
Michelle Circelli, National Centre for Vocational Education Research
B1 Does 1 = 1? Mapping measures of adult literacy and numeracy
Language, literacy and numeracy are critical for greater workforce participation, productivity and social inclusion. Being able to measure people’s skill levels, and any changes in this, is important for getting a sense of how well language, literacy and numeracy programs are working for learners. The federal government uses the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALLS) survey to measure an outcome in the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development. But this data is only obtained every 10 years and is a relatively coarse summary of the literacy and numeracy skills of the population. The Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) is also used to provide information on adults’ literacy and numeracy skills in a range of contexts. In contrast to the ALLS, the ACSF provides information about learner progress at the individual level and can be obtained at far more frequent intervals. Both the ALLS and ACSF, however, have five performance levels and it is sometimes assumed that these levels are equivalent. But are they? To address this, an on-line survey was undertaken to examine the issue of equivalence. This presentation will report on the findings from the survey and the potential implications for practitioners and policy-makers alike.
Michelle Circelli is a Senior Research Officer with the National Centre for Vocational Education Research. Michelle currently manages commissioned research covering topics such as the literacy and numeracy practices of production workers, the numeracy skills of literacy and numeracy practitioners, and the role of vocational education and training in labour market outcomes for individuals. Michelle’s interest in the adult literacy and numeracy area stems from having previously managed the Adult Literacy Research Program.
Gail Kirkland, Wellington Institute of Technology
B2 A contextualised Literacy Intervention in the Foundation Engineering Programme at WelTec
This study describes the development and implementation of a contextualised literacy foundation intervention, designed to meet the needs of those students entering an engineering degree programme. Language work is integrated into the course in the form of contextualised literacy events designed to enhance the acquisition of the language required for Engineering. Data has been collected on the writing generated in this project-based course where students are expected to produce work in typical genres of writing appropriate to the engineering profession. An analysis of this writing allows us to see the effect of the discipline-based literacy development and the extent to which students are inducted into the engineering profession. The knowledge gained from this study will inform future discipline-based language interventions across our Institute.
Gail Kirkland is Head of School for Foundation Studies and Adult Education at Wellington Institute of Technology. She has recently managed a number of educational projects involving the embedding of literacy and numeracy in vocational programmes.
Sue-Ellen Evans, Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council
B3 Literacy, It is everybody’s business
The workshop will outline the need to encourage the theme that “Literacy is Everybody’s Business”! For a long time, literacy has too often been the business of a small group of literacy professionals. It is time that the literacy expertise was broadened and that industry became responsible for taking care of literacy needs. In the aged care industry, peak bodies and organisations themselves have a need to work within a ‘LLN culture’. This will include taking on the supervisor literacy qualifications being developed by IBSA, encouraging a number of staff to complete their Graduate Certificate in Language, Literacy and Numeracy, and embracing principles of Plain English as an organisation. This workshop will showcase case studies where this is happening, the successes and the pitfalls.
Sue-Ellen Evans has worked in Adult Literacy since 1982 as an Adult Literacy Officer and a Literacy Numeracy Teacher. Sue-Ellen has coordinated and worked on WELL programs. Sue-Ellen ran consultations for CSHISC regarding the Foundation Skills Training Package in 2011 and now works as a WELL broker for Aged Care. In this role Sue-Ellen has witnessed first hand the need to encourage more people to become involved in LLN in the community and the workplace.
Download: B3 Literacy is everybody’s business
Trisha Hanifin, Unitec New Zealand, Te Whare Wananga o Wairaka
B4 Using the Vee heuristic to guide Professional Development in Adult Literacy
In their seminal book, Learning How to Learn, Joseph Novak and Bob Gowin (1984) introduced the Vee heuristic, a conceptual tool to help teachers and learners understand how knowledge is constructed. Although it was originally developed to help students solve science problems, it can be adapted to suit other educational areas including adult literacy. In particular, it has a useful role in guiding the professional development of adult literacy, foundational and vocational tutors. In this presentation the Vee heuristic will be explored and examples of how it has been used to guide the design and delivery of a specific programme, The National Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education (Vocational and Workplace) will be shared. Its potential as a ‘big picture’ professional development tool will also be discussed.
Trisha Hanifin is a member of the Academic Literacies Team at Unitec NZ. She has worked in adult education and adult literacy for over twenty years, teaching learners and training tutors in a range of contexts, including community literacy, workplaces, pre-employment and vocational training programmes and foundation studies. Since 2002 Trisha has been involved in a number of advisory, development, research and training projects which have focused on understanding the professional development needs of adult literacy, vocational and foundation tutors. In her current role she supports vocational and foundation lecturers to embed literacy, language and numeracy into their programmes.
Download: B4 Using the Vee heuristic to guide PD
Digna Libera, Holmesglen TAFE
B6 A Holistic Approach Integrating Literacy and Numeracy with the Project
This session will look at how to use a project/thematic approach to integrate Literacy and Numeracy delivery and assessment. A thematic approach allows a balanced integration of the various CGEA modules for delivery and assessment as will be presented at this session. It will allow participants an opportunity to look at examples of a holistic thematic approach, think creatively and work in groups to plan student-centred projects.
Digna Libera is the Adult Literacy Coordinator at Holmesglen TAFE, Chadstone Campus. She has been involved in Language and Literacy Education for the last 10 years including ESL and adult literacy teaching. In addition she has taught primary and secondary students in Australia and Overseas for 10 years. Digna is also a member of the VALBEC Committee and CGEA Champions group in Victoria. She has presented previously at two other CGEA PD days in Melbourne. She has completed a Masters Degree in English Literature.
Rob McCormack, Victoria University; Geri Pancini, Victoria University
C1 Learning to Learn: Principles and Applications
This workshop session will explain the ‘Learning to Learn’ principles behind the long running Return to Study course run by Geri Pancini and Rob McCormack (as described in the two now very hard-to-find Learning to Learn books). Participants will break into groups and explore how they could adapt these principles to their own teaching situations. There will be a report-back so everyone can benefit from everyone else’s ideas.
Rob McCormack works in Language and Learning Support at Victoria University. Geri Pancini is a Research Fellow in the Work-based Education Research Centre at Victoria University and the current President of ACAL.
Christine Tully, Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE; Koula Lykourinos, Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE
C2 Meeting the Need – Literacy and Numeracy assessment and support in the VET sector.
This session will show how NMIT is meeting the state government requirements to assess and assist VET students with their literacy and numeracy. This session will focus on assessment and support models and some of the success at NMIT as well as the challenges and opportunities encountered and around changing government requirements. This will be an interactive session with discussion and sharing of practices around Literacy and Numeracy assessment and support encouraged.
Koula Lykourinos is the coordinator of the Literacy and Numeracy assessment across NMIT. She has over 16 years’ experience in the fields of LLN and VET training, having delivered and managed a range of programs across a wide variety of VET providers and industries. Koula’s interests include LLN assessment and increasing the VET sector capacity to meet students’ LLN needs. Chris Tully has been working in the TAFE sector for over 21 years, first as a numeracy and mathematics teacher and then in coordinating and delivering support programs to the VET sector. Chris is interested in addressing the literacy and numeracy requirements of students and in developing the capacity of VET staff to meet ongoing student literacy and numeracy needs.
Bettina Schwenger, Unitec Institute of Technology; Robyn Gandell, Unitec Institute of Technology
C5 “What do the scores tell us?” – Connecting Literacy and Numeracy
During the last decade, in New Zealand and internationally, resources and systems have been implemented to enhance tertiary students’ literacy and numeracy development. Diagnostic information about tertiary students’ current knowledge and skills (in reading, writing and numeracy) is now available to New Zealand teachers through the Assessment Tool (AT). Adult literacy and numeracy are often regarded as separate proficiencies/ competencies. Little research is available on the interplay of these competencies or the pedagogical consequences of this interaction. Our research study examines connections between students’ numeracy and literacy skills and knowledge, using the AT data collected for Foundation Studies: Whitinga (FS) students for 2011 to 2012. This presentation will report our preliminary findings, and examine the consequences for classroom practice, policy, planning and programme design.
Bettina Schwenger works as Academic Advisor Curriculum Development, on aspects related to academic literacy and numeracy across Unitec Institute of Technology. She is involved in implementing educational change (through embedding literacy and numeracy), utilising action research enquiry for learning and teaching development, and by supporting digital literacies. With a background in socio-linguistics, community and workplace literacy as well as staff development, Bettina combines her teaching experience of more than twenty years with relevant research to develop innovative approaches for working alongside staff. Robyn Gandell is a lecturer in mathematics and physics in a foundation studies programme at UNITEC, a New Zealand tertiary institute. Professional interests include identity and discourses in mathematics education and use of group work and investigative activities in the mathematics classroom. Her current research investigates connections between students’ numeracy and literacy competencies. Robyn is currently studying towards a Masters degree in mathematics education, and has presented at international conferences on both Model Eliciting Activities and discourses in mathematics teaching and learning.
Download: C5 What do scores tell us
Hiroaki Tanaka, Navitas English
C6 Using iPad in classroom
This workshop will provide professional development for LLN practitioners who are interested in using the iPad in class. The workshop will provide practical teaching ideas and some tips for using iPad applications in a creative way to facilitate interactive learning in class. While the workshop is aimed at beginners, those who already have experience in using iPad are encouraged to share their ideas. Participants are encouraged to bring their own i-devices.
Hiroaki has been working as a LLN practitioner for three years and is now a LLNP team leader at Navitas English Fairfield. Hiroaki used iPad in class before and introduced this new technology to students and teachers through the workshop. He came to Australia in 2002 as an international student. He has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics at Sydney University and a Masters of Applied Linguistics in UNSW.
Download: C6 Using iPad in the classroom
Stephen Black, University of Technology, Sydney; Keiko Yasukawa, University of Technology, Sydney
D1 Whose literacies and numeracies count in the current policy environment, and why?
This presentation contrasts dominant policy discourses about adult literacy and numeracy in Australia with actual literacy and numeracy practices in workplaces and people’s lives. The presenters will draw on their own as well as on other published research to show that literacy and numeracy practices intersect and develop meaning in relation to people’s work and other life contexts in complex ways. This raises questions about the assumptions which underpin recent policy initiatives where the transfer of literacy and numeracy ’skills’ across different contexts is not sufficiently problematised and fails to take account of the significant socio-cultural nature of adult literacy and numeracy.
Keiko Yasukawa is a lecturer in adult literacy and numeracy at the University of Technology, Sydney. She coordinates and teaches in the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in adult literacy and numeracy teaching. Her research takes a critical and social practices perspective on literacy and numeracy. Recently she completed a project with Stephen Black on integrated literacy and numeracy in VET courses, and she is currently researching literacy and numeracy practices of manufacturing workers with Stephen Black and Tony Brown. She is on the editorial team of Literacy and Numeracy Studies: An international journal in the education and training of adults. Stephen Black is a researcher at the University of Technology, Sydney with a professional background as an adult literacy teacher, programme manager and researcher extending back for more than 30 years. His research and practice interests are in promoting a critical social practice approach to adult literacy and numeracy. He is currently working with Keiko Yasukawa on an NCVER project on LLN in manufacturing companies, and is on the editorial team of the journal, Literacy and Numeracy Studies.
Download: D1 Whose literacies and numeracies coun
Harry Atkinson, Group Training Australia – Tasmania; Geoff Fader, Group Training Australia – Tasmania
D2 ‘Success Pathways’ – Australian Apprentices and Workplace Literacy Skills
The peak body, Group Training Australia – Tasmania, has successfully delivered innovative workplace literacy training programs during the last four years. The interest in adult literacy stems from the fact that two out of every three young people who apply for apprenticeship positions are unemployable because their lack of literacy (and numeracy) makes them a danger to themselves and others in the workplace. This correlates with the Australian Bureau of Statics data that tells us that 51% of 15 to 19 year olds are functionally illiterate and 57% functionally innumerate. The projects have supported apprentice skill development and achieved higher rates of retention and completion. This presentation will showcase the literacy programs provided by GTA-Tasmania and demonstrate the workplace literacy skill needs of apprentices, together with successful outcomes of training. The presentation will also examine statistics related to the recent changes in the economy – including rates of recruitment and retention of apprentices – and the affect these changes may have on the literacy levels required by those seeking to gain entry into an apprenticeship or traineeship employment opportunity. Group Training Australia – Tasmania is the peak body representing six not-for-profit member companies which collectively form the largest apprentice employer group in Tasmania. The projects that are being showcased demonstrate an employer’s practical answer to this problem.
Harry Atkinson is an adult language, literacy and numeracy practitioner who has taught in community, employment and workplace literacy programmes for the last 10 years. Harry coordinates the literacy program, ‘Success Pathways’, provided by Group Training Australia – Tasmania. Harry is the Tasmanian representative of the Australian WELL Practitioners Knowledge Network. Harry has a particular interest in workplace literacy and supporting the numeracy skills of apprentices within the trades. Geoff Fader is the Executive Officer of Group Training Tasmania, whose member companies are the largest employer of apprentices in Tasmania and part of a network that employs 32,000 apprentices Australia-wide.
Lindee Conway, ACAL; Jenni Anderson, Mission Australia
D3 LLNP – Good, Better, Best
This workshop will give participants the opportunity to discuss the great outcomes achieved through the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program (LLNP). Questions that may be addressed will include: Are there client groups who miss out on achieving positive outcomes? If so, why is this so and how could this be changed? How can LLNP engage and reach clients who are ‘harder to reach’? Is recruitment of teachers with higher qualifications effective? If recruitment success varies, how can we change this? Are teachers able to access appropriate LLN qualifications? What does a great LLNP teacher do that is effective? How does accountability provide better outcomes? Are there better ways to manage administration? How can LLNP services provide better teaching and learning opportunities? What are the best ideas for future LLNP delivery? ‘LLNP – Good, Better, Best’ will produce positive suggestions to ensure the best possible service provision for learners.
Lindee Conway has worked in adult education, focusing on teaching ESL and ESL literacy to learners, for more than two decades. These days she manages programmes and looks back, with fierce happiness, on her teaching life. As a manager of programmes complex and multifarious, like the LLNP, she is looking forward to a lively gathering in which participants will say what works and what doesn’t and say it loud. Jenni Anderson worked in LLNP from 2002 to 2010 as a teacher, team leader and then Service Manager of LLNP across Tasmania. Previously, she had worked in other labour market programmes, and community and workplace adult literacy programs. She is currently working in community services more broadly.
Rosemary Smith, LINC Tasmania; Anita Anderwald, LINC Tasmania
D4 Trialling Plain English Assessment Tools
Burnie LINC has been developing a suite of assessment tools with the goal of enabling simplified navigation and use of the ACSF, translating tools into plain English and mapping indicators across the ACSF, employability skills, group learning and participation. Tools have been redesigned from a variety of perspectives for coordinators, tutors and clients, to enable a more comprehensive view of individual levels from commencement and progressive stages. Workshop participants will be actively encouraged to use (trial/contribute) and provide feedback on the assessment tools – using the panel as interactive test cases.
Since completing a Bachelor of Teaching, Adult/Vocational, Rosemary Smith has worked in Adult Literacy for over 20 years in programmes including LLNP, WELL, Prisoner Education and currently as a Literacy Coordinator for Burnie LINC in northwest Tasmania. Her present work involves organising the recruitment, support and training of volunteer literacy tutors and the assessment of students. Anita Anderwald is the Community Learning Coordinator at Burnie LINC, northwest Tasmania. She has worked in the ACE sector for over 18 years, predominantly in Adult Education while working closely with Literacy, Migrant English, Workplace Learning, Online and Information Services. Rosemary and Anita work together, developing tools and practices to find suitable learning and support options and mapping learner progress.
Bernard Lewis, Navitas English Pty
D6 Are you work ready? Empowering Adult Migrant English Learners with Employability skills and ensuring that they are work-ready
“Are adult migrants really ready to work after doing some English study in Australia?” is a question on everyone’s mind. This presentation is a brief outline of the Employment Pathways Programme which was offered to adult migrant English learners to put them on the road to obtaining a job in Australia. This was in addition to their AMEP hours. The presentation highlights the strategies that were used in the English classroom with specific relevance to two Pathways To Work courses. These courses focused on encouraging job-seeking adult learners to discover the Australian workplace, develop confidence and improve their employability and job-seeking skills. A few online resources (including a wiki) were used to make this happen.
Bernard Lewis is a Teaching and Learning Team Leader at Navitas English, Sydney. With more than 25 years of TESOL experience and a penchant for technology and innovation, he has been constantly trying new methods of English Language Teaching with just one thing in mind: to make the teaching and learning of English a joyful experience.