ALaN WA Online Newsletter No2 February 2012

Welcome to edition 2 of the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Network of Western Australia Newsletter!

Views expressed by contributors to the newsletter are their own and unless expressly stated do not reflect the opinions of their employers/organisations.

This contents page links individually to each article enabling you to go immediately to those of your choice. Alternatively if you go to the main blog link you can access the articles by scrolling down the page.

We welcome your comments and contributions to our newsletter. If you are an Adult Literacy/Numeracy practitioner in Western Australia or indeed anywhere in the world we invite you to subscibe and comment. If you interested in joining the GoogleGroup for our network please visit our “How to join” page and complete the online form.

Lots of dates for your diary in this edition – we hope to have a calendar available soon!

1. Teach Me Grammar!

This highly successful action learning PD program is now available for 2012

2. Supporting the ALaN Network

Becoming a network facilitator

3. Numeracy professional development resource

Take a look at the numeracy/maths of the workplace

4. Fitness & Sports resource

A great review of this resource from Southern Grampians Adult Education

5. CGEA extension to end 2012

6. Entry to General Education (EGE) moderation date

7. WAALC Conference 2012

8. 2012 ACAL conference in Hobart

Teach Me Grammar!

In the second half of 2011, twelve intrepid language and literacy teachers joined the Teach Me Grammar Project – an action learning project investigating the ins and outs of teaching grammar to various adult learner groups (CaLD, native speakers, ATSI, Deaf).

The aim was to identify the value of teaching grammar and of finding the most productive and effective ways of doing so. The participants attended ten, four-hour PD sessions to learn the grammar themselves (or ‘plug the gaps’ in their grammar knowledge) and to consider and learn about a variety of techniques for teaching it to their own learners.  Between the sessions, the participants were  expected to teach at least some of what they had learned to their own students, and then reflect on the experience through a specially designed blog.

The great success of the project has led to a slightly extended program and a second, more intensive program being organised for 2012. If you are interested in participating (or simply finding out a little more about it) contact Geoff Pearson on 9330 8989.

Teach Me Grammar is an Action Learning Professional Development Program funded by the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD) open to all adult literacy and English language teachers working in Western Australia.

Applications for 2012 are open now 

What the 2011 participants said about the Teach Me Grammar (TMG) Program… 

  • “Vastly improved my understanding of grammar.  I came away with not just a better knowledge of grammar but as importantly, a lot less fear, and dare I say a bit of confidence. I look forward to using all I have learnt with my students in the future.”  – Jenni Wieland, Challenger TAFE, Fremantle 
  • “I now firmly believe that grammar [teaching] must be embedded in the material that students are learning and I’m beginning to understand why some of my earlier ‘grammar’ lessons made no impact on students, because they had no context.” – Gillian Pow Chong, Curtin College and CentaCare, Perth 
  • “I have learnt to integrate grammar with reading which helps me see the relevance of teaching the grammar and, I believe, makes it more real for the students.” – Chesson Henshaw, Polytechnic West, Perth 
  • “My ability to teach grammar to my students has improved to the extent that it has become so much easier, in fact exciting, to teach grammar in class.” – Silvano Fasolo, Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison, Kalgoorlie 
  • “TMG opened my mind to a whole new ‘grammar world’.” – Charmaine Marshall, ATA Training, West Perth 
  • “One student missed out an article and preposition.  He wrote “I felt hero.”  I used the terms ‘article’ and ‘preposition’ when discussing his editing with him.  He corrected his mistake very easily. It was really good to be able to use these terms with him and have him know what I was talking about.” – Sharyn Dauti, South Western Institute of Technology, Bunbury 
  • “Although I was a complete beginner, I have gained invaluable skills… [Grammar] is now one of my favourite hobbies!” – Susan Bates, Emmanuel Centre, East Perth 
  • “I have a better understanding of an approach to teaching grammar – the starting points and pathways from the points. I also have great ideas of how to make it fun!” – Nola Cigulev, South Western Institute of Technology, Bunbury 
  • “I found that my delivery including changes as learnt from the course has raised [my students’] motivation and awareness. There has been a marked improvement both in their writing and speaking.” – Seema Mazumdar, Polytechnic West, Balga 
  • “I can make ESL / literacy teaching more interesting, practical and effective by implementing new grammar concepts learned in the TMG Program.” – Maria Bunn, ATA Training, West Perth 
  • “An awesome course that was presented in a fun, enjoyable and informative way [and] modelled excellent learning techniques.” – Diane Vosganoff, WA Institute for Deaf Education, Belmont 

In their Program Exit Surveys, all participants said they would highly recommend the Teach Me Grammar Action Learning Program to other ESL / Literacy Teachers.


Supporting the ALaN Network

Are you an ideas person? Do you always have the latest goss that others need to know? If the “goss” includes information about the adult literacy and numeracy field, you might be just the person we are looking for as a ALaN Network facilitator.

Proposals are sought now to provide ongoing support during the 2012 calendar year for the Adult Literacy and Numeracy (ALaN) Network in Western Australia. You could be  paid to keep up to date and share what you find with others.

A number of roles are required, each advertised separately with unique responsibilities and selection criteria. provision of advice about resources, curricula, teaching strategies and professional development as relevant to members of the Network.

The application forms are on the CGEA Network  Google Documents (members only) or  contact Cheryl Wiltshire on cheryl.wiltshire@  (remove space in address)

Numeracy professional development resource

Do you know the sorts of numeracy and Mathematics needed by your students in the workplace?  A new resource designed by Manufacturing Learning Victoria offers you a way to check your knowledge.

The publication is a free download: Numeracy. A professional development resource for WELL practitioners 

It is a professional development resource designed for Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) practitioners. You can also use it to  support the development and recognition of numeracy training and skills and knowledge consistent with the requirements of the Vocational Graduate Certificate in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice.

Fitness & Sports resource

This week, I received the publication: Fitness & Sports A Resource for Literacy Teaching from the Southern Grampians Adult Education.  (NB if you are using Firefox the sidebar links may not work). This is the seventh in a series of learning resources developed for the 2007-2012 version of the CGEA.

Fitness & Sports contains 72 worksheets about sports in eight sections: Netball, Tennis, Cricket, Basketball and four types of “football”. These are developed at 3 different levels so mixed-level classes can share a common topic but do literacy and numeracy activities that develop and extend their current skills.

I am not a big fan of worksheets as the core of adult literacy programs. In my view, Death by Worksheet is as risky as Death by PowerPoint.  However, both worksheets and PowerPoint have a valuable place if not overdone; this resource models how experienced adult literacy practitoners weave them into a diverse program.

As all the worksheets are photocopiable (legally), this is an ideal resource to allow the sports mad student to demonstrate and extend their knowledge while providing evidence of competence against any part of the CGEA needed (including all of the core units and several electives). It also provides a range of ideas for class activities such as guest speakers, debates, and Internet research. A student who is really keen on this topic could complete a substantial chunk of any CGEA certificate using ideas included in this resource.

It cost me $75.00 plus pack and post. Order form here – if it doesn’t open then email for an order form.

Other topics also available from South Grampians Adult Education include DIY Housing and DIY Cooking. See samples here.  These also demonstrate how a topic can be shared across the full range of CGEA certificate levels.

Cheryl Wiltshire

ALaN Network Coordinator

CGEA extension to end 2012

The Victorian Curriculum Maintenance Managers (CMMs) advised in their December 2011 Newsletter that the Certificates in General Education for Adults (CGEA) has been formally extended for 12 months.
The following qualifications now expire on 31 December 2012:
  • 21770VIC Course in Initial General Education for Adults

  • 21771VIC Certificate I in General Education for Adults (Introductory)

  • 21772VIC Certificate I in General Education for Adults

  • 21773VIC Certificate II in General Education for Adults

  • 21774VIC Certificate III in General Education for Adults

Keep an eye out for opportunities to participate in a review of the CGEA this year.
We are still waiting to hear whether the changes proposed as a result of the review of the Mathematics units late last year have been accepted.
If you have an idea for a change to the CGEA, please add it as a comment on this article so we can discuss.

2012 ACAL conference in Hobart


This year’s Australian Council of Adult Literacy (ACAL) conference is in Hobart on 19-21 september 2012.

This year’s theme is Joining the Pieces: Literacy and Numeracy- one part of the picture

Subscribe to receive the latest conference information  eg call for papers, keynote speakers, venue details, travel options and more.

It is time to be thinking about what we want to highlight about adult literacy and numeracy from a WA perspective so we are ready to respond when the call for papers opens.

Funding will be available to support travel and accommodation under the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Sponsorship program. Funding for the national conferences is competitive so not everyone can be supported.However, if you are presenting a session you are more likely to receive a sponsorship.