Western Australian Adult Literacy Council
Western Australian Adult Literacy Council
ABN 90 836 385 358
Hon. Secretary: Tel.
Tel. 9405 2319
Tel. 9430 4921
ANNUAL REPORT TO ACAL 2006
This year’s most notable event for WAALC was the annual conference held in July at
Geoff Pearson, a highly experienced ESL teacher, gave the keynote address. Geoff now teaches literacy skills to a group of profoundly deaf people. Helped by one of his students, Patricia Levitsky, and an AUSLAN interpreter, Mike Everett, Geoff presented a fascinating account of the linguistic, social and cultural challenges faced by deaf Australians.
The conference included a variety of workshops
covering such topics as two-way learning (recognizing Aboriginal English) for
indigenous CGEA students; digital storytelling; testing and ‘faux’ testing;
desktop publishing; working with beginning ESL students; and using plain
English to replace the growing blight of corporate and bureaucratic jargon.
Conference proceedings included the WAALC AGM at which
Our next conference is scheduled for
As reported in the current issue of Literacy Link, our president,
Issues in Adult Literacy/General Education
WAALC is deeply concerned about several adult literacy and general education issues. In particular, we endorse ACAL’s position regarding attempts to give a more ‘vocational’ focus and structure to adult literacy/general education. As educators, we are not convinced there is anything useful or practicable to be gained from classifying literacy and numeracy under the rubric of ‘employability skills’. Nor do we approve of the rewriting of general education courses in training package format. We do not accept the proposition that this is required by AQTF Standards 27 and 28. On the contrary, those standards clearly exempt adult literacy/general education from any such requirement.
We are also strongly opposed to the continuing insistence that qualified teachers working in adult literacy must have Certificate IV TAA. In our view, those teachers already have competencies relevant to their work at a much higher level than Certificate IV, which anyway deals specifically with workplace training and assessment and is designed for RTO staff, not qualified as teachers, who deliver training packages. Again, we reject the proposition that AQTF Standard 7 requires qualified teachers to obtain Certificate IV TAA. The standard clearly exempts those with ‘equivalent competencies’ (and by implication higher level competencies) from that requirement.
Furthermore, we believe that insisting on Certificate IV disadvantages part-time and casual teachers who may have to pay for the training out of their own pockets. It also disadvantages volunteer literacy tutors working for community organizations. Many of those tutors accept the need for training, but have found little to help them in Certificate IV.
Strengthening Links with ACAL
Our association with ACAL allows us to keep abreast of what other states are thinking and doing about important issues of the day and make our own contribution to debate. Literacy Link plays an essential part in keeping us provided with thought-provoking articles and letters and a forum for our own ideas and opinions. ACAL’s newsletter, e-News, gives us up-to-the-minute information about new developments and achievements in adult literacy Australia-wide. These publications are especially important to members of WAALC because the cost of travel often prevents us from attending interstate functions and activities. One way of strengthening our association with ACAL is to increase the number of our contributions to both publications, and that is what we have resolved to do. Our aim as an organization is to provide at least one thought-provoking piece to Literacy Link every year. We will also encourage WA practitioners to submit articles to Literacy Link and contribute to the correspondence pages. On a broader front, we will of course assist wherever possible in promoting and implementing ACAL’s goals as set out in the current Workplan (2006/7).
We wish ACAL and our colleagues throughout
State Representative for