The WAALC Committee have cancelled the conference in light of current health concerns. Other options are now being considered.

Program

9:00am Conference opening

9:20am Keynote Address Dr Anne Aly MP

10:30am Morning tea

11:00am Group A sessions (mix of 1 and 2 hours duration)

A1 Teaching English Literacy to Pre-Literate ESL Learners

Geoff Pearson, Agenda Communication Pty Ltd

This session invites you to explore the barriers faced by the pre-literate / non-literate ESL learner that often see them trapped at beginner level for far too long. Geoff will present an overview of what he sees as the key issues and suggest some strategies that teachers might employ to help address these. He will then facilitate a discussion where you will be encouraged to share your own thoughts on this thorny issue as well as any practical teaching strategies you have used successfully with this learner cohort.

Geoff Pearson

Geoff Pearson

For 40 years, Geoff has worked in the field of English as a Second Language and workplace communication skills teaching in Australia and overseas, as a teacher, materials developer, researcher and most recently as Program Leader for the Teach Me Grammar Program. Over the last 25 years, he has worked as a communication skills training consultant with many enterprises across a broad array of industries. He is also the author of a range of research reports, PD materials, and training resources.

A2 Eating the digital elephant, one bite at a time. Building Digital Literacy Capacity in Learners

Annette Bacon, SMYL Community Services

The demand for digitally literate adults is everywhere, and it is hard to escape. As such, digital literacy is fast becoming a valuable tool for lifelong learning, and a must in every industry sector. If we are to build the LLN capacity of our learners, we need to ensure that we include Digital Literacy in our teaching strategies. With the rate at which technology changes, this can appear to be a daunting task. So what is the best way to achieve this end? Eat the elephant, one bite at a time!
In this session, we will look at some digital tools and online resources that have been used successfully in regional and remote WA, and how we incorporate DL in our delivery strategy. We will review the pilot DL project with some specific DL tools used, including Google Classroom, Google Docs, and a few key online resources to show that you can make a difference and build the DL capacity of learners – one step at a time.

Annette Bacon has a vast and eclectic history in a range of sectors where she has been an adult educator, including in an HRD/L and D context for Community services (aged care, disabilities, youth, mental health), alternative education programs for young people, business leadership and management, and VET/LLN.
During this time, she became acutely aware of the need for adult educators to be able to address the LLN needs of learners in VET, and ensuring the inclusion of digital literacy in teaching and assessment. She is dedicated to two-way sharing of knowledge and expertise so as to build the capacity of adult educators alike. She currently works as a Team Leader for SEE and AMEP.

A3 Engaging the Disengaged – Tricks of the Trade

Chris Hodson, North Metropolitan TAFE

This will be a facilitated group discussion where participants will present case studies of student issues they have faced. Examples might be:
-Students that are always late
-Writing anxiety
-Dyslexia
-Dyscalculia
-Swearing
-Not able to follow directions
-Poor working memory
-Poor attendance
-Any other topics as presented by the group.
You will be taken through a range of discussions and the wisdom of the group will provide a variety of thinking points and possible ideas for the future.
This session will allow you to share your expertise and experience around managing disengaged learners and will also help generate ideas of possible management strategies.

Chris Hodson started as a lecturer with General Education in 2009. Specialising in IT and numeracy, Chris has worked with a wide variety of students at North Metropolitan TAFE. Chris has a keen interest in numeracy and has developed many strategies to improve the effectiveness of numeracy education within General Education. Chris operates sees hands on concrete activities as the most effective way to develop students.

A4.1 What teachers and lecturers really need from their administrators & managers – tips for better collaboration.

Susan Thompson, North Metropolitan TAFE

In summary, in this session, Sue wants to give teachers and lecturers some communication tools with which to help their managers and administrators understand the pressures they are under and the challenges they face in the classroom each and every day. When everyone works together toward that mutual understanding, and teachers and lecturers are given the voice they desire – and deserve – then everyone’s jobs will become more meaningful and fulfilling, not to mention just a little bit easier.

Sue has worked in further education colleges in the UK and Australia since 1988, as a Lecturer, Programme Manager, Director and Vice Principal, and in 2013, as a consultant, at the Western Australian Department of Education Aboriginal Education branch. Sue’s specialist knowledge and interests include lecturer development (her Master’s thesis was about the history and development of lecturer education in the UK) and the use of technology in teaching and learning, (Sue was one of ANTA’s inaugural Flexible Learning Leaders way back in 2000). Sue is currently Director of Client Services for North Metropolitan TAFE in Perth, WA. Her career aim is to contribute to the reinvention and reinvigoration of the Community and Adult Education space, including through the delivery of public education and training. Sue was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her contribution to Further Education for Adults.

A4.2 New Communications resource in Blackboard

Susan Thompson, North Metropolitan TAFE

Come along and see a demonstration of our new online Communications course for Admin staff at North Metropolitan TAFE. We are happy to make the course available for free to anyone who would like to use it and who can use/has access to Blackboard or another learning platform. It’s a simple but really good little program to use with people who haven’t done any formal training for a long time and would prefer to do some individually before exposing themselves to a group.
After the demonstration participants can take part in a Q&A.

Sue has worked in further education colleges in the UK and Australia since 1988, as a Lecturer, Programme Manager, Director and Vice Principal, and in 2013, as a consultant, at the Western Australian Department of Education Aboriginal Education branch. Sue’s specialist knowledge and interests include lecturer development (her Master’s thesis was about the history and development of lecturer education in the UK) and the use of technology in teaching and learning, (Sue was one of ANTA’s inaugural Flexible Learning Leaders way back in 2000). Sue is currently Director of Client Services for North Metropolitan TAFE in Perth, WA. Her career aim is to contribute to the reinvention and reinvigoration of the Community and Adult Education space, including through the delivery of public education and training. Sue was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her contribution to Further Education for Adults.

A5.1 Tutoring Troubled Teenagers – Teaching Reading

Georgina Mavor, The Reading Coach and Possibility Psychology

Troubled teenagers come to tutoring without the understanding and full knowledge of how words work to read and spell, AND learned thinking about their inability to learn. Consideration of what is taught and the relationship in which learning occurs, is pivotal if tutors are to play a role in changing young people’s lives. Join me as I walk through That Reading Thing, a reading program specifically designed for all those students who have been expelled from the education system, are unemployed, and/or in juvenile detention. Hear how the sequence is structured to scaffold immediate success and incrementally exposes tutees to the most common elements of words, drawing out their latent knowledge and expanding on their success. Perhaps the most striking difference with TRT is ‘The Deal’ – a way of working with young people that ‘takes them off the precipice of failure’ every time it surfaces.

Georgina Mavor is a psychologist and specialist tutor who has been working one on one with students of all ages, many with learning difficulties and disabilities since 2013. Prior to that she worked in schools and as a rehabilitation consultant supporting people with disabilities into the workforce. Although trained in systematic synthetic phonics for younger students, it was the needs of older students that called her to seek out programs designed with these students in mind. Her introduction to That Reading Thing opened the door for her to bring the two elements of her work – tutoring and mental health – together.

A5.2 DIY adult LLN qualifications

Cheryl Wiltshire, Department of Training and Workforce Development

Teaching adults literacy and numeracy skills demands a wide range of skills and expertise but available options to build skills relevant to the potential and existing workforce are scanty in Australia at present.
This workshop will explore how to customise generic education focused study programs to meet your particular needs. If you think a lack of qualifications is holding you back from work opportunities, come and discuss the options. If you are seeking to demonstrate your currency in teaching specialist LLN programs to adults, check that you have included easily available options. Analyse how the National Foundation Skills Professional Standards Framework and the Graduate Diploma in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Practices can be co-opted to guide your own specific learning program.

Cheryl Wiltshire gained her first role in adult literacy with no post-school qualifications and created a learning pathway to gain qualifications that have led to a challenging career in our field. She has worked in adult literacy and numeracy focused roles in community-based education as well as TAFE and the relevant state Department for over thirty years. She also contributes to both WAALC and the national association the Australian Council of Adult Literacy (ACAL).

1:00pm Lunch

2:00pm Group B sessions (mix of 1 and 2 hours duration)

B1 More than enough activities to do with a community newspaper: the practice and theory

Karen Barber, North Metropolitan TAFE

Using a set of any community newspaper to create interactive activities exploiting all four macro skills is as easy as scrutinising, selecting, sorting and sequencing while being mindful of the sage teachings of luminaries such as Krashen, Nation, Willis,… This session will be one of sharing activities and insights by the presenter and attendees.

Karen Slikas Barber is an ESL teacher (of too many years to count) in the AMEP. She’s a classroom researcher and writer of articles, ESL materials and language learner literature.

B2 Struggling Adult Readers – what instruction and support is of greatest benefit?

Lisa Watts, Dyslexia SPELD Foundation

Students who struggle with literacy acquisition in school are likely to experience significant difficulties as they progress into further education and training. This has a cumulative impact on their capacity to both engage with the curriculum or training materials – and to learn (and remember) the increasingly large body of work that is being presented to them. The focus of this session will be to identify the functional impact of poor reading on the older learner and to explore the implications this has for teachers working in the adult sector. In particular, the question of how best to respond to these students’ complex needs will be explored.

Lisa Watts, BSc (Hons), MPsych (Ed. & Dev.), Dip. Ed, (Spec. Ed.). Lisa is a Psychologist on the DSF clinical team who provides consultations and assessments of students and adults with learning difficulties. Prior to joining DSF, Lisa worked for the WA Department of Education, and most recently leads a team of Teachers, Psychologists and Educational Assistants. Lisa consulted and worked with school staff, families and students with complex profiles, using an ecological framework and evidenced based methods to maximise learning outcomes.

B3 Lets dip our toes in the online maths world

Tim Riessen, North Metropolitan TAFE

There is a plethora of online tools available to assist maths teachers with delivery. My aim is to do a helicopter view of some of these, as I use them. My presentation does not aim to be exhaustive, but to offer some ideas of tools that may help.

Tim has been in the TAFE system for over 30 years. He has delivered and assessed courses from Certificate II to Diploma level; from fresh out of school to older adult learners; and across a range of study areas and curriculum. In recent years, having returned to mathematics, building an appreciation of maths and numeracy is his aim. To that end, he looks for tools to assist a learner to better understand and work with mathematical concepts.

B4 Hands-on Spelling: A practical, strength-based approach

Tricia Millar, That Reading Thing and Georgina Mavor, The Reading Coach and Possibility Psychology

How do we get learners unstuck in their spelling? Tricia will share her experience of working with colleges, prisons and community education programmes in the UK, equipping teachers, support assistants and vocational tutors in a hands-on approach to spelling. If you think phonics is just for children, come and see how it can be a social practice approach, student centred, strength-based and empowering.
You’ll leave the session with practical ideas to try out with your learners and share with your colleagues. Show your learners what they can already do and nudge them safely into conquering their spelling challenges. Not just for literacy teachers – we’ll talk about the impact of the method on Functional Skills maths learners too.

Tricia Millar

Tricia Millar

Tricia Millar brings international expertise in training teachers, vocational tutors, support staff and community educators in shame-free and engaging approaches to reading and spelling which get teen and adult learners “unstuck”. She’s the creator of ‘That Reading Thing’, an age-appropriate literacy programme and ‘That Spelling Thing’, a collaborative tool for classroom & vocational teachers. She’s one of the lead authors of the UK’s Post-16 Phonics approaches toolkit.

B5.1 Why teachers who need a tutor to pass the LLN test should not be stigmatised

Cheryl Wiltshire, Department of Training and Workforce Development

Morning TV presenters have found a new scapegoat: final year teaching students who need a tutor to help them pass the compulsory literacy and numeracy assessment. They cited as an example students unable to complete the required fraction test items. One in twenty students who have passed all their required units fail the ACER administered test.
Cheryl will make an argument for the value of including people with a diverse range of skills in the education workforce. Teachers who have struggled with at least something as a student and had to seek assistance are likely to be more sympathetic to other adults and adolescents who have core skills gaps.
This issue gives us an opportunity to talk to people outside the adult literacy and numeracy field about the stigma that dogs our students and work to normalise the need to acquire or refresh particular core skills as needed throughout life. Inform yourself about the issue (whether you think we should raise the core skills bar higher for new teachers or not).

Cheryl Wiltshire has worked in adult literacy and numeracy focused roles in community based education as well as TAFE and the state Department for over thirty years. She also contributes to both WAALC and the national association the Australian Council of Adult Literacy (ACAL).

B5.2 Learning Families: Break the lock, Open doors, Walk the path to…

Marguerite Cullity

The Learning Families approach is a UNESCO-designed, evidence-based, intergenerational, interactive learning and literacy program that has been implemented in developing and developed countries to:

  • Facilitate main family carer and child shared learning

  • Advance participants’ learning, livelihood and literacy capabilities.

  • Empower learners to apply new knowledge and, also, realise the benefits of education.

In this presentation I will describe the elements of the UNESCO approach from a theoretical perspective with illustrations from my experience in the Solomon Islands. I will further consider the relevance of this intergenerational approach for a developed nation such as Australia. I am interested in finding out what ideas participants might have in fostering a cross-sectoral approach to adult and child learning.

Dr. Marguerite Cullity (Ph.D.) has extensive experience of teaching adults and children from mainstream and, also, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. These roles were conducted within the Australian primary school and higher education sectors. In addition (with funding from Australian governments) she has researched and developed learning and teaching curricula for, adult basic, university, vocational and school sectors.
In 2016 she lived in the Solomon Islands as an Australian volunteer, with the Mothers’ Union members, (Anglican Church of Melanesia) to research and develop an adult literacy curriculum framework for Melanesian women and teenage girls, spanning Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

B6.1 Teaching Efficacy: The research behind teaching strategies

Tristan Coleman, North Metropolitan TAFE

Just how effective are the teaching strategies you use? What does the research say about different teaching practices and conditions for learning? Is digital learning more effective than chalk and talk? What role does the student, the teacher and the manager play in their learning? This session looks at the analysis of over 800 meta-studies on learning, to determine what ARE the most powerful teaching tools and factors that influence learning. Visible Learning by John Hattie has been a ground-breaking publication that is supporting teachers as they develop their curriculum and practice. Discover the inside knowledge of teaching and learning in this presentation and hands-on session where participants discuss their own practice and learn from others.

Tristan Coleman has taught in primary, secondary and adult education settings at TAFE and in the community for over 15 years. She currently lectures in Community Services with entry level students. With a Masters of Teaching and Diplomas in Vocational Training, she continues to read and swot on pedagogy and andragogy, discovering the best ways to engage learners in the learning process and apply it to her own practice.

B6.2 Project Based Learning for Engagement

Yvette Terpstra and Simone Collard, Centacare Education and Training

This workshop will showcase the latest project from the Kadadjini Class at Centacare. The project is a childrens book to help with Noongar language development for Indigenous and non-Indigenous families. The book is Koorlang, Koorlang, who do you see? Simone and Yvette will run you through some of the learning given to us from Olive Woods, a Noongar language specialist. These little activities are also able to be tailored to other ESL lessons.

Simone and Yvette work for Centacare Education and Training. Under Simone’s guidance and one student’s idea, a whole class project evolved.

4:00pm Conference close