Adult literacy inquiry calls for new national strategy

Medianet Release  

22 Mar 2022 11:40 AM AEST – Adult literacy inquiry calls for new national strategy
     The House Employment, Education and Training Committee has today presented the report of its inquiry into adult literacy and its importance, which recommends an Australian national language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy (LLND) strategy. Committee Chair, Mr Andrew Laming MP said, ‘Too many Australians are leaving school with LLND skills gaps that limit their life choices. At the same time, many older Australians are finding that the skills they have relied on their whole lives are not keeping pace as technology changes.’‘The Committee found that there is a need to address factors that contribute to low LLND skills across all educational systems, at every stage of a person’s life course’, Mr Laming said. Mr Laming commented: ‘Adults with very low LLND skills are unlikely to sign up for accredited courses in the VET system. Instead, working with a volunteer tutor or attending a small class at a neighbourhood centre can help build their skills and confidence, which may then lead to employment and further education and training. However, the adult and community education sector is under-resourced and currently unable to meet the high demand for adult LLND education. There is also a critical shortage of qualified adult literacy teachers in Australia.’Mr Laming said, ‘The Committee agreed with the Productivity Commission that there needs to be a national LLND strategy, that provides a broad range of adult educational offerings to meet people’s varied needs and clarifies jurisdictional responsibilities across the range of programs being offered.’The Committee has made 15 recommendations that address several other key areas of reform to improve adult LLND skills, including:support for whole of community and family LLND education programs for socially and economically marginalised Australiansimproved data collection to drive evidence-based policy and outcome greater support for Australians with specific learning disabilities (SLDs) such as dyslexia campaigns to raise awareness of SLDs, the challenges people with low LLND skills face, and where people can access support recognition that English as an Additional Language or Dialect learners require the support of qualified Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) educators to maximise their educational achievement and increase in the number of specialist adult literacy teachers and TESOL educators support for measures that raise English LLND skills in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that are consistent with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, such as the Literacy for Life Foundation’s delivery of Yes, I Can! adult literacy campaigns a range of measures to ensure Australians with low LLND skills can access vital services. The report and further information about the inquiry is available on the Committee’s inquiry website. Media inquiries Mr Andrew Laming MP, Chair
07 3821 0155For background information committee Secretariat
02 6277 4573 


This email is to advise you that the draft National Foundation Skills Framework (the Framework) is now available at Skills Reform.

The Commonwealth and state and territory governments have worked together to develop the draft Framework. It outlines a 10-year model for collective action by governments working with stakeholders to improve the foundation skills of Australian adults.

The Framework is focused on outcomes, drawing on similar frameworks being successfully used by several jurisdictions, and sets outcomes and indicators to direct the efforts of all governments and stakeholders.

The Framework replaces the 2012 National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults and will operate from 2022 to 2032. It will be reviewed every three years.

A webinar will be held on Friday 8 April 2022 to provide further information and background on the Framework. Further details on the webinar and how to register are also available on Skills Reform.

Call for expressions of interest in Senior Research Officer Position at ANU

We will soon be advertising for a Senior Research Officer (SRO) to provide high-level technical and managerial support for, and research collaboration in, a new project on multimodal and multicultural aspects of children’s language learning, headed by Alan Rumsey at ANU. The SRO will work with all of the project’s ten researchers and their data from five diverse field settings around the world, helping to develop our analytical framework for comparing the data and using it to address the project’s research questions. Essential qualifications include training in linguistics and/or linguistic anthropology, expertise in language-processing software including ELAN and preferably also the FieldWorks suite, and a successful track record in collaborative research.  For further details see

ACTA TAE Holistic Review

We need as many AMEP and SEE teachers as possible to participate in the Town Halls described below to drive home the message that the VET Cert IV qualification is an inappropriate requirement for more highly qualified, specialist teachers of adult English language learners.

We need lots of teachers and lecturers to attend these meetings and add something to the Chat box or ask a question if there is an opportunity to do so.

This is one of those opportunities where numbers will count. Although ACTA is working hard on this matter, if it’s just a few people we won’t have an impact.

It would also be good to add specialist EAL/D insights into what should be in this qualification that better equips VET teachers to address their English and literacy needs of their students across the board, i.e. your colleagues in so-called “mainstream” courses.

TAE Holistic Review Public Town Halls

Join us for our upcoming TAE Holistic Review Public Town Halls. These sessions will cover an update on the TAE Holistic Review, an opportunity to voice your feedback and ask any questions you may have. A town hall session will be recorded and uploaded for on-demand viewing.

If you are interested in joining one of the TAE Holistic Review town halls, please register in 1 of these repeat sessions:

  • Friday 26 November 12:00 – 1:30pm AEDT: click here
  • Monday 29 November 4:00 – 5:30pm AEDT: click here
  • Tuesday 30 November 3:30 – 5pm AEDT: click here
  • Thursday 2 December 12:00 – 1:30pm AEDT: click here


Living TAE Holistic Review Issues Register 

To encourage feedback and promote transparency on changes proposed during the TAE Training and Education Training Package review, we have released an issues register on PwC’s Skills for Australia website. This is a living register which will be re-uploaded monthly to reflect the latest feedback and proposed changes from stakeholders.

To provide your feedback on an issue in the register, submit a new issue or provide your feedback on a specific training product, please complete this survey.


Art Gallery of Western Australia: Schools Program

WATESOL was recently contacted by AGWA’s Education Assistant Eva Mampaey, regarding their school program. Eva writes,

I would like to introduce you to AGWA’s upcoming exhibitions and school programs of 2015. Please find the brochure attached.    Our school programs range across the curriculum, including English and Languages other than English. The exhibition Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices might be of particular interest to the members of the Westralian Association for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and their students.    

Click here to view the schools program brochure and here to learn more about Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices.

detail: Japan, Scenes of traders in Nagasaki, Mid 18th century Nagasaki pair of hand scrolls, opaque watercolour, ink and gold on paper; box, wood, paper and ink 313.0 x 35.0 cm each M.J.M. Carter AO Collection through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 2014 Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
detail: Japan, Scenes of traders in Nagasaki, Mid 18th century Nagasaki
pair of hand scrolls, opaque watercolour, ink and gold on paper; box, wood, paper and ink
313.0 x 35.0 cm each
M.J.M. Carter AO Collection through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 2014
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

CAES National Conference 11-13 June Hong Kong

WATESOL members may be interested in taking advantage of the extension of the early bird registration and payment deadline to 3 May 2015 for the CAES National Conference.

Professor Ken HylandDirector of CAES Dear friends and colleagues,We would like to warmly welcome you to Hong Kong for the Faces of English Conference in June 2015. Hong Kong is a particularly appropriate place to celebrate this theme as English has long been at the centre of life and work in the city and of debates around the contribution of English to education, trade, entertainment and China’s connections to the world. The conference highlights the rich diversity of approaches to understanding English and the range of contexts in which it is taught, studied and used across the globe. We look forward to welcoming participants to share their research and practical ideas and to enjoy an academically and culturally stimulating three days in Hong Kong. See you next June!

Professor Ken Hyland

Dr. Lillian WongConference Chair Dear colleagues,It is my great pleasure to warmly invite you to an International Conference hosted by the Centre for Applied English Studies at Hong Kong University. The conference will be held on 11–13 June, 2015 (Thursday to Saturday) at the Grand Hall, Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre on the new Centennial Campus of the University of Hong Kong.

The conference theme is “Faces of English: Theory, Practice and Pedagogy”. This highlights the rich diversity of approaches to understanding English and the range of contexts in which it is taught and studied across the globe. The conference will bring together academics, researchers, practitioners and research students from around the world to discuss the interdependence between theory and practice, with papers which focus on the analysis, description and teaching of English in order to better understand the ways in which theory, research and pedagogy interact and inform each other. It also welcomes participants to share practical ideas and teaching materials related to the use of English in a variety of social, professional, educational and virtual contexts.

Hong Kong is a particularly appropriate place to celebrate the theme of “Faces of English” as it promotes itself as “Asia’s world city where East meets West”. I am confident that you will enjoy a stimulating conference here in the city and that your presence and participation will help contribute to this vibrancy and enrich discussions around the theme, developing professional knowledge exchange, insights and collaborations. We invite you, therefore, to submit proposals for paper presentations, colloquia, practical workshops, demonstrations and poster displays, and join us at this international conference to explore various dimensions of English and to bring together different perspectives and different voices on English and English language education.

The Conference Organizing Committee and I look forward to welcoming you to this exciting event and to meeting all of you in person in June 2015 in Hong Kong.


Best regards,

Dr. Lillian L. C. Wong
Conference Chair


Click here to view the conference flier.