ALaN WA Newsletter April 2012

Welcome to edition 3 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 subscribe and comment. If you interested in joining the GoogleGroup for our network, please visit our “How to join” page and complete the online form.

1. Driving

Our  story this month is once again from the Kimberley and illustrates adult literacy makes a difference to people’s lives.

2. Facilitators

The ALaN WA Network is once again funded for 2012.

3. In the media

Education stories in the media around the world

4. Revised ACSF

Revised version of Australian Core Skills Framework


Attempts to make sense of different frameworks to describe literacy levels

6. Conferences

Are you going to get to one of these?

7. Version 4 CGEA

An update on changes to the CGEA


Replacement of a curriculum used in WA


25 years helping with driving licences

Rachael Marriette is now back on the road after completing Karrayili Adult Education Centre’s Driver Education programme. Rachael enrolled in the programme over a year ago to help her pass her theory test, acquire a Learner’s Permit, get professional driving lessons and pass her driving test.

The Driver Education course was delivered under the Certificates in General Education for Adults (Introductory) and gave Rachael the opportunity to slowly work through all the licensing requirements getting the literacy support she needed.

“This course really helped me to work on my licence,” Rachael said. “If I didn’t get help from Karrayili it would’ve taken me longer to do it. It was really good and the teachers made sure I kept going and didn’t give up. I’m happy now that I’ve got my licence back so that I can drive my kids around and use it for my new job.”

Fiztroy Crossing AustraliaKarrayili has been delivering Driver Education for the last 25 years supporting Fitzroy Crossing, town communities and communities of the Fitzroy Valley. For more information contact General Education Coordinator, Emilia Biemmi Beurteaux on 08 9191 5333.


First published in ACAL eNews

ALaN Network Facilitators appointed for 2012

The Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD) has once again provided some paid time to support the WA Adult Literacy and Numeracy (ALAN)  Network.  Seven facilitators were appointed for 2012 and they will undertake a range of functions designed to develop our membership and services.

Facilitators will focus on keeping up to date in a particular area (eg Adult literacy, Indigenous education, adult numeracy, online tools, ESL) as well as providing more general assistance to members to help us get the most from our online community.

The 2012 ALaN Network Facilitators are:

Chantal Adams – Kimberley Training Institute

Jo Hart  – C.Y. O’Connor Institute

Matthew Highman  – Polytechnic West

Dani Murray – independent, ex-Centacare Employment and Training

Helen Smith – Durack Institute of Technology

William Griffiths – Great Southern Institute of Technology

Sue Brennan – Central Institute of Technology

You can communicate with this group by responding to this blog or by posing questions on the CGEA Network Google Group (members only).  They will respond as availability allows. Each facilitator brings a unique set of expertise so by posing your question to all of us, you can get information from different perspectives: urban, country, different class types and funding sources, and different backgrounds and experience.

Other members are encouraged to contribute as well – and if you enjoy it, perhaps you would like to nominate yourself for next year’s paid roles.

Submitted by Cheryl Wiltshire, WA ALaN Network Coordinator



New feature: In the media

It’s about confidence and trust in teachers

Emma Alberici on ABC TV’s Lateline talks to Pasi Sahlberg, director-general of the Ministry of Education in Helsinki, about why Finland consistently beats most of the rest of the countries in the OECD in maths, reading and literacy at all levels of primary and high school. The secret, according to him, is to be found in Finland’s highly educated teachers.

Teaching in Finland is a respected and prestigious profession, and it’s paid accordingly. Gaining entry to study teaching is extremely competitive, and nearly every teacher in the country has a master’s degree.

Video and transcript at or available as a Vodcast from the ABC website archives.


Reporting teacher performance using student scores

20 March 2012

The  article, Teacher Performance Abusers of Statistics,   was written in response to the recent publication of the names of teachers and their “performance scores” by the New York Post (February, 2012).





Assessing ALLS vs ACSF

If you’re familiar with adult language, literacy and numeracy concepts then NCVER needs your help!

Language, literacy and numeracy are critical for greater workforce participation, productivity and social inclusion. Being able to measure how skilled people are, and any changes in their level of skill, 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. The Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) is also being used to provide information on adults’ literacy and numeracy skills in a range of contexts.

Both the ALLS and ACSF have five performance levels and it’s sometimes assumed that these levels are equivalent. But are they? The National Centre for Vocational Education Research, together with Victoria University and Educational Measurement Solutions are running a short online survey to find out whether the levels are equivalent.

They’re asking teachers/tutors/lecturers familiar with adult literacy and numeracy concepts to anonymously rate a student, whose literacy and/or numeracy levels are most familiar to them, against statements and sample tasks aligned with the ACSF and ALLS frameworks.

Every completed survey has a chance to win one of six Apple iPads (3rd generation 32GB Wi-Fi) valued at $649 (RRP) each. Go to to enter the survey. You can also access the survey from the NCVER web site: go to the ‘Quick Links’ section.

Contact: Michelle Circelli

Senior Research Officer, Research Management Branch

National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)

T +61 8 8230 8646 F +61 8 8212 3436 E


And of course, you are welcome to post your comments here about your  experience of the survey or even about the likelihood that ALLS and ACSF can be successfully equated!


Conferences! WA, Interstate, or International?

WAALC Conference • 11-12 July, 2012

Central Institute of Technology Perth

At the heart of the matter – identity and trust in adult learning

As the OECD becomes convinced that the best performing education systems are those that strive for equity and quality, Australia continues to put its faith in the power of measurement and accountability to deliver ‘market changes’ that will improve outcomes in all our education sectors. This conference will place people – teachers and learners – at the heart of educational quality.  We want to move away from framing debates around policy imperatives, economic outcomes and abstractions such as ‘core skills’ or ’employability skills’.  We are asking the question: what makes learning work for people?

What causes a person to be able to learn? How do people develop resilience? What does it take to build confidence? What is it that teachers need to know and understand about their adult learners and their learner’s lives? How do differences between the identities of teachers and those of their learners impact on relationships and learning? How can teachers develop relationships with learners that enable them to understand how a person thinks and feels and does things? How will they use this understanding to create environments in which people can more successfully learn?

And what of the people who are teachers? What do teachers need from the system so that they can continue their own learning? What skills and knowledge do beginning teachers need – does initial training provide these? How can teachers use the variety of strengths they find in their students to harness learning energy? How can teachers consciously build social capital in their learning environments as a basis for and outcome of learning? How can teachers get support from their peers?

Develop a proposal now if you have information to share that will renew our focus on the heart of the matter: ways of working that meet the needs of learners and, as a natural result, achieve better outcomes for the wider society as well.

Call for papers closes 24 April 2012


ACAL Conference – Joining the Pieces: Literacy and Numeracy – one part of the picture

19-21 Sept • Hobart

The 2012 ACAL conference will explore three key questions about adult literacy and numeracy. These questions are about how we connect, co-operate and create.

Submit a proposal for a session that will:

  • stimulate thought and discussion on relevant issues and practice
  • be interactive and encourage dialogue
  • display innovation and flexibility in practice/research
  • demonstrate effective practice in a range of settings
  • exemplify adult learning principles
  • critique changes in state and federal government policies and priorities
  • communicate developments and findings in research and research practices.

Proposals are due by 12 May, 2012


VALBEC Annual conference  ‘Read the word, Read the world •  May 25 2012

Venue: William Angliss Conference Centre Melbourne

The program offers plenary sessions and a choice from fourteen workshops. Keynote speaker is Rowena Allen ACFE Chair.

Registrations are now open


Australian Council of TESOL Associations International TESOL Conference (ACTA) •  Cairns •  3rd to 5th July 2012

‘TESOL as a Global Trade – Ethics, Equity and Ecology’

Pre-conference symposium Monday 2 July 2012 at the Cairns Convention Centre

‘Teaching and learning pronunciation: Local and global perspectives on research and practice’


Complete your registration and payment now to be eligible for the Early Bird discount registration.
Registration fees will be increased by $100 after the 20th April.
Registration to the Pronunciation Symposium held on the 2nd July is an
optional extra. Special discounts are offered to those attending the


International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics

The 19th International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics – A Research Forum (ALM19) is to be held in Auckland, New Zealand, from Tuesday June 26 to Friday June 29 2012.

ALM is an international organisation which brings together practitioners and researchers who are involved in mathematics and numeracy education for adult learners in order to inform policy and practice. Information about the conference, the call for papers and registration are available at:


Check out Version 4 CGEA now!

Version 4 of the CGEA has now been released containing the changes to the numeracy units as proposed late in 2011.

Download the new version from the Training Support Network in Victoria.

The changes include:

Most of the  numeracy units have been reviewed and restructured.  Unit titles for Certificate II units have been modified and content has been revised including the expansion of the Critical Aspects of Evidence and revision of the Skills and Knowledge towards making them more explicit to the unit content.  This also means they have new numbers.

Unit titles at Certificate level III have not changed. Content of the units has been reviewed but there have been no structural changes to the units and the nominal hours have not changed. Changes to the numeracy units at these levels have also been made to reflect the current revisions to the Numeracy component of the revised Australian Core Skills Framework. (Extract from Version History on page 4 of curriculum document downloaded 29/02/2012).

WA Implementation

The new Numeracy and Maths Units have now been assigned WA subject index numbers (SIN) and the new course structures are now available on VETinfoNet: see


Students enrolled before July 1 2012 are able to complete the numeracy units in which they are enrolled. However RTOs are encouraged to make the revised numeracy units available to students prior to July 1 2012. Students enrolled on or after July 1 2012 must complete the revised numeracy units.

Please share changes you notice as you review this revised curriculum.

Introductory Vocational Education Certificates (IVEC) replaced

South Australia now uses the Certificate 1 in Education and Skills Development  (code: National – 40650SA, State-AC00024 ) and Course in AUSLAN and General Education for Sight Language Users (code: National – 40651SA, State-AC00025) as their main general education courses.  Introductory Vocational Education Certificates  (IVEC) are now superseded.

Western Australia imported some modules from the Introductory Vocational Education Certificates  (IVEC) to use in Certificate 1 in Entry to General Education (EGE). The imported modules don’t need  to be replaced until the next accreditation of EGE. However, if you use any other electives drawn from IVEC, you will need to check for the current version in the Certificate 1 in Education and Skills Development.

Curriculum documents are available by emailing