Updated Implementation Guide for CGEA

The latest Certificates in General Education for Adults (CGEA) curriculum was accredited in 2013 and a free Implementation Guide is now available.

I found the new guide to be quite an improvement on the previous version. The focus is mainly on showing users how to integrate units in various ways so students get the chance to use authentic texts.  Case studies are used to demonstrate what the writers mean by this.

I liked the Case Study that showed how a class organised  a fund raiser morning tea as an official part of  the Cancer Council’s Australia’s Biggest Morning tea.

CGEA Imp Guide pic for Post

This offered a reasonably simple class activity that could provide assessment opportunities for a number of units.

Case study 3 is based on assessment activities for the Initial CGEA course based around the local library. The writers used this activity to show how to record the integrated mapping of four units focusing on Reading and Numeracy. There is also a recording sheet to allow evidence to be captured while watching a student interact with online information.  You will need to do some adaptation as the online resources suggested are Victorian. This year’s WAALC conference will have a session on how Western Australian libraries are now accessible 24/7 which will offer ideas on how to adapt the activity for higher level students.

I will be using the new Guide in this year’s Introduction to the CGEA Part 1 workshops for teachers new to CGEA.  But even if you are a more experienced user of the CGEA courses, you might want a quick browse through this Guide to see what it has to offer you.

Cheryl Wiltshire
Department of Training and Workforce Development

New online numeracy resources

‘Building Strength with Numeracy’ revises and improves on the iconic numeracy resources ‘Strength in Numbers’ and ‘Breaking the Maths Barrier’, and other ‘tried and true’ numeracy teaching resources developed by Beth Marr and other experienced numeracy teachers.

The new resource is a collection of activities that builds on and updates elements of the previous resources, as well as including many new, previously unpublished ideas, activities and student practice exercises.

The resource is accessible online for teachers to use in a range of settings. The activities and practice sheets span a range of levels and subject areas with some suggestions regarding links and sequencing. However, as with the previous resources, it is not intended to cover the whole of any particular curriculum or course.

It is intended that teachers select content relevant to the needs of their learners and integrate it into their own teaching plans in conjunction with other materials. For this reason it has been presented to enable users to download separate activities, single practice sheets or whole sections, as required. The resource is a work in progress in that not all sections of previous resources have yet been included. Hopefully these will be added in the future.

Thanks to VALBEC  for providing us this free resource based on all of the great work that Australians have produced about adult numeracy.

Lino.it for learning!


There are lots of simple, fun to use, online tools that we can use to stimulate interest in writing. One of the simplest is “Lino”. This is a simple cloud based “sticky note” system – although it is certainly more than just a place to put notes. There are several of these available online including “Wallwisher” one of the early ones and the first one I used. However this article is about Lino and some creative ways to use it with students.

I like using online tools because they provide opportunities for students to write for an authentic audience ie someone other than their teacher/lecturer. This audience may be their fellow students or can be broadened out by sharing links more widely with students or teachers/lecturers globally.

Signing up and some of the fucntions

Signing up to Lino is very easy and your students don’t need to sign up to add to your canvases. Only users who intend to create canvases need to sign up. However students often sign up because they can use Lino for reminders, “to do” lists and taking notes.

There are a number of different functions available. You can drag and drop sticky notes of different colours or colourless ones and then add your own text to them. Images, files and videos from several video sites can also be included.

Once you sign up you get a Home Page with one canvas “Main” this gives you a run down on creating a new canvas adding stickies and also the other tools available for editing. You can use Lino as a memo and task management system but I have only used it for activities with students and as a contributor to Linos made by other members of my global network.

Lino.it creatively for student engagement

Lino is used by educators worldwide, with students of all ages and across a variety of subject areas. This example is from a school teacher based in Perth (I met him through my global network on Twitter and he has become a good friend both actual and virtual). He created a Lino for his students and other people across the globe to post ideas for World Water Day 2011. The response both within the school he was at and globally was huge! The Lino is embedded here – you can move around within it with click and drag. Also if you move your mouse to the bottom right hand corner you will see a thumbnail of the whole Lino.

I have used Linoit mainly for student feedback:

However it also works well for:

  • writing stimulus – with an image (and example) for a short piece of writing, I did one for writing a Haiku that was planned for use this year although this is now unlikely as my Institute has decided to cease delivery of CGEA;

As this will probably not be used with students I would be delighted if anyone felt they would like to visit “Write a Haiku” and add their own Haiku to the page 🙂

  • brainstorming ideas for collaborative work;
  • individual students – sign up and make their own for “to do” lists and reminders


For me the two best aspects of Lino are: its ease of use; and the opportunity for students to create writing for others than just their teacher to read. I believe strongly that students in a face-to-face situation, a blended situation or entirely online as mine have been for the last few years must have access to technology in their learning. This not just because of the opportunities to write for authentic audiences but because they will need to use technology to survive in their future lives at work and at home.

Please explore and investigate and add your comments – would your students like this? Would you use it with your students? Do you already use it with your students – share your/their Linos?

‘Literacy and Numeracy Studies’ free journal

Literacy and Numeracy Studies  is a free journal published by the University of Technology Sydney.

The  latest issue  Vol 20, No 1 (2012) includes:

  • Editorial – Keiko Yasukawa, Stephen Black
  • Developing Social Capital In ‘Learning Borderlands’: Has the Federal Government’s budget delivered for low-paid Australian workers? – Maree Keating
  • Health Literacy as a Complex Practice – Judy Hunter, Margaret Franken
  • Methadone, Counselling and Literacy: A health literacy partnership for Aboriginal clients – Stephen Black, Anne Ndaba, Christine Kerr, Brian Doyle
  • ‘Passivity’ or ‘Potential’?: Teacher responses to learner identity in the low-level ESL classroom – Sue Ollerhead
  • Book Review – Phonetics for Phonics by Ross Forman

You can subscribe to the journal here

Teaching Strategies for LLN Teachers

There’s an excellent article written by Sue Ollerhead in the latest edition of the Literacy and Numeracy Studies journal, which will be very interesting for any teachers working with ESL students with low level literacy skills.  It looks at the results of traditional teacher-led classes compared to less structured classes, which develop more according to what’s going on in the classroom.

You have to register for the Literacy and Numeracy Studies journal, which takes a couple of minutes, but it’s well worth it.

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 sgae@sgae.vic.edu.au 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