NSW Adult Literacy & Numeracy Council

The professional body for adult literacy and numeracy in NSW

Publications Reprts Submissions Research

As the peak professional body representing teachers, workers and others interested in the field of adult literacy and numeracy the council has a voice in policy and its implentation.

Seminar reports


First Seminar 2014

Abstract: Could the teaching of ethics be extended to gaols? An ethics course for offenders, has been delivered twice by the presenter. The modules completed by offenders to date such as reading, writing, speaking and listening have included ethical content where appropriate. This content has then been extrapolated to activities and situations that the offender may find themselves in once released, such as participating in the employment market, using social media or being confronted by an issue that might cause hostility.This presentation will show that although ethics, philosophy and workplace concerns/issues provided the foundation for content and resources in the course, the basic skills of reading, writing, listening and communication were the focus of the lessons. The discussion will conclude with case studies of the progress of various offenders and a report on some unexpected positive outcomes of this project.

Bio: Suzanne has worked in schools and adult education for a number of decades. She has Master of Arts (Literature and Linguistics) and a Graduate Diploma (TESOL). She had almost completed a Graduate Diploma in Special Education when she decided to drop this avenue of study to take on some separate university subjects in sociology and criminal justice.

TOPIC: Workshopping the Council’s response to: Scoping a foundation skills professional standards framework Thursday 10 October 2013

Abstract: Who is a foundation skills specialist? Is there a foundation skills field? Answers to these questions are being explored through a national project to scope the development of a foundation skills professional standards framework. Go to the ACAL website for the Discussion paper prepared by the project team and supporting documents:


The purpose of the workshop is to deliberate on the Discussion paper and the questions that the consultants have raised, identify other questions that may be important for us which are not identified in the paper, and identify key issues that need to be included in the Council’s submission.

Joining the Pieces

Literacy and Numeracy - one part of the picture

ACAL held its annual conference in Hobart in September. Over 170 people from around Australia and New Zealand took part in an interesting selection of presentations and workshops. Conference Presentations are available.

National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference

http://www.acer.edu.au/nallnac/ Friday May 4 Melbourne

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is pleased to present the inaugural National Adult English Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference in Melbourne on May 4, 2012. The conference is a response to increasing national and state interest in addressing and improving the Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) skills of Australian youth and adults participating in the vocational, education and training (VET) sector and in Australia’s workforce.

VALBEC Annual conference: Read the word, Read the world

http://www.valbec.org.au/ - Friday May 25 Melbourne

In this National Year of Reading 2012, VALBEC have taken their conference themes from a play on Paolo Freire’s notions of reading the world to read the word; from concepts of reading as empowering learners to engage with the demands of contemporary life; and that literacy and numeracy practices involve reading 'worlds' both external and internal.

Western Australian Adult Literacy Council (WAALC) - At the Heath of the Matter - Identity and trust in adult learning

11 - 12 July Perth http://www.waalc.org.au/12conf/callforpapers.htm

ACAL Conference 2012 - Joining the Peices

19 - 21 Sept Tasmania http://www.tcal.org.au/12conf/index.htm

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.

Adult Learning Australia (ALA) Conference – Lifelong Learning = Resilient Communities,

October 11-12 , Byron Bay  http://ala.asn.au/conference/

Resilient communities withstand and respond creatively to adversity. Building community resilience means valuing respect and cooperation between all groups including Indigenous Australians, an economy that works for all, and living in harmony with the natural environment.

'Engaging low-level adult learners both on and off-campus'

Desiree O'Regan, Marian Koo, Jenny Kelly and Lynne Robson

Thursday 15 September, 2011 at UTS, Building 10, Level 5, Room 580

This presentation gave a snapshot of various means used to address
the language and literacy needs of low-level learners both on and off-
campus in the Lidcombe / Auburn area.

Teaching is an artful blend of a variety of methods. There is seldom one
best method. This presentation is about some teachers’ journey into
exploring different ways of maximising student learning and developing
students into self-directed learners.

See photos, listen to the keynote addresses, and access many of the presentations from the 2010 ACAL Conference hands up... hands on... ACAL held its annual conference in Darwin this year, attracting some 200 participants from all states and territories and Timor Leste. .

Numeracy teaching - value free and culture free?

Dave Baker, Reader in Numeracy and post-16 Numeracy at the London Institute of Education in the UK, was a keynote speaker at the ACAL Conference in Fremantle last year. Baker's presentation "What counts, who counts; developing understandings of numeracy teaching from international and cross cultural experiences", is available online.

It sounds so obvious, but maybe if we start numeracy teaching with what adult students actually know, they may better understand some of the more difficult aspects of numeracy.

Dave Baker’s work in developing understandings of numeracy teaching from international and cross cultural experiences leads him to argue for seeing numeracy as social practice, rather than a more abstract and theoretical approach, or from a deficit model.

Seminar August 4

'Literacy and Numeracy in the context of Green Skills: The Energy Efficient Lifestyle Program'

Claire Wright, Patricia O'Donovan and Leigh Mabin shared information about their partnership project that integrated literacy and numeracy in a home energy-saving program. The program was based on a DEEWR Funded resource It’s easy being green: adult language, literacy and numeracy activities for environmental life skills.

Seminar May 26

Fruitful Learning Ecologies: Building effective partnerships

Tric Kenny and Jude Cooke reflected on their own and broader practice with a lens on partnerships. Traditionally TAFE Outreach partnerships have been built onlongstanding relationships and often emerge through organic processes that are articulated in current learning ecology theses derived from Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of human development (1979).

2010 Events - exploring adult basic education

Council Executive committee members decided to commence monthly meetings for members to develop a forum for sharing and interrogating the practices, policies and theories that are informing our work.

Steve Black presented his workshop questioning Whatever happened to adult basic education? Keiko Yasukawa led a discussion Exploring Critical Numeracy on Thursday March 11. Family Literacy who cares! was presented by Mylee Joseph Consultant, Public Library Services State Library of New South Wales presented this seminar on Thursday 29 April at UTS