April 2017 | VALBEC | Web version

In this Issue

1. VALBEC Conference - Registrations now open

2. VALBEC on Facebook 

3. 2017 VALBEC AGM now Wed, May 3 at Melbourne Polytechnic

4. Resource Gems - Easy Presentation Software: Haiku Deck

5. Fine Print April 2017

6. High tea at Parliament House

7. Vacancies

8. Supporting volunteer literacy tutors

9. Fake gnus but real headlions

1. VALBEC Conference

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. John Cotton Dana

Registrations now open - early bird closes April 24

Members Early Bird, registering before COB April 24, 2017 $190.

Non-members $310 (no early bird).

Groups (fourth place free)


John BensemanKeynote speaker Dr John Benseman, New Zealand

So what shapes teachers’ teaching skills and strategies? Where do teachers look for their inspiration and information about how to teach? What role could research play in improving our practice? Find out with our keynote speaker, Dr. John Benseman at the VALBEC 2017 conference, Teaching and Learning: Reflecting on Practice.

Dr. Benseman will present a summary of recent research findings in adult literacy education and explore the argument for research-informed teaching. Find out how individual teachers or whole organisations can implement a professional development programme to bridge the current divide between research and practice. 


2. VALBEC on Facebook 

facebookRemember to check out VALBEC on Facebook Like, Share and Follow This FB page is to share news, views and resources in adult LLN, basic education and foundation skills. If you have any stories that you think would be appropriate for this page please share them with us or email hello@valbec.org.au

3. 2017 VALBEC AGM

Now Wed, May 3 at Melbourne Polytechnic

6.30 pm, Wednesday 3 May 2017.

Building K, 77 St Georges Rd Preston Victoria 3072

Location: Melbourne Polytechnic Bistro Map

The AGM will involve presentation of reports on the 2016 VALBEC year and the election of the new Executive committee for 2017 – 2018.

Considering a role on the committee? Nomination form. The VALBEC committee is a dynamic and collaborative group who meet once a month to discuss, plan and take action on behalf of members and the adult literacy and basic education field.

Speaker: Annie Macdonald, Hands Across the Water

hands across the waterHands Across the Water (HATW) is a dedicated Australian charity which began after the Tsunami in 2004 left thousands of Thai children orphaned. Today HATWA supports six children's homes around Thailand providing food, medicine, housing and education needs. Education and English language skills are vital for the children's future options and to allow them to escape the poverty cycle.

In 2016, Hands Across the Water commissioned Annie Macdonald and Lee Nicholls to develop an English as an Additional Language (EAL) curriculum tailored specifically to the children's homes. In 2017, they are now recruiting and managing teacher volunteers. Annie will talk about her work and provide some insights into teaching English in these homes and the professional learning that she gained from teaching in one of the homes earlier this year.

4. Resource Gems - Easy Presentation Software: Haiku Deck

VALBEC on iPad

The internet now allows for a myriad of teaching and learning resources to be shared between LLN practitioners. The wealth of information available to practitioners means that finding quality resources can take time and effort. This year, VALBEC committee members will identify some 'gems' amongst the resources freely available online. Each month, a committee member will share a quality teaching resource to support your classroom teaching and professional practice. These resources may take the form of a blog, an educational podcast, a downloadable teaching resource or a Youtube channel. As always, we are interested to hear what you think. Have you used this resource before? Do you know of similar resources? Send us your feedback or comments to info@valbec.org.au

This month's contribution is from Committee member Rhonda Raisbeck

Do you have students with limited English language or literacy skills, or poor computer skills? Would you like them to deliver simple presentations, but teaching them to use Powerpoint is too complex? Then why not try Haiku Deck? www.haikudeck.com

With Haiku Deck, a presentation can easily be made on computer, iPad or iPhone. The presentation is saved in the cloud – no more lost USB sticks. Creating the online presentation is very easy with simple templates and icons requiring minimal reading. The website also gives you access to millions of creative commons images to make the presentation look professional. Additionally, for your more computer savvy student, the decks (slides) can also be saved in PowerPoint.

Take a look at sample decks on the website and have your students sign up for the free account. Go to Educators and Students / Public – Public accounts give students 3 free presentations. If you create lots of presentations for use in your teaching, you may wish to establish a paid account.

5. Fine Print April 2017

Have you ever thought about how your own personal journey influences your teaching philosophy and practice? In the first edition of Fine Print for 2017, Liz Gunn talks to Kate Pitman about how her family and life experiences underpin her innovative approaches to teaching young migrants. Marj Sjostrom, 2016 Learn Local Outstanding Practitioner reflects on her teaching career and some of the day to day challenges of her students.

Reading Fine Print might just inspire you reflect on your own story and to put forward a nomination for yourself, or one of your colleagues for the 2017 Learn Local awards.

6. High tea at Parliament House

The Parliament of Victoria is currently conducting a teacher survey on parliamentary education programs and resources. We invite educators to participate by clicking on the link below. After completing the survey you can enter the draw for Parliament House high tea or book vouchers.


7. Vacancies

Olympic Adult Education in West Heidelberg is seeking an experienced CSWE teacher effective immediately.

  1. Monday 9.30 - 12.00, 12.30 - 3.00 CSWE 3 - term 2 only.

  2. Thursdays 9.30 - 12.00, 12.30 - 3.00 CSWE 2 - for the whole year.

  3. Wednesday Pre-accredited: EAL Spelling 1 - 12.30 - 3.00 for the whole year.

Phone 9450 2665 for enquiries or email linno.rhodes@oae.vic.edu.au to apply and include a cover letter and current resume.

8. Supporting volunteer literacy tutors

Do you have volunteers assisting with LLN at your centre? If you are looking for resources to assist them, go to The Resource Hub.

The Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre specifically designed this site to support volunteers and other people such as community workers, who want to assist the literacy development of adults in their community. 


9. Fake gnus but real headlions

I recently sent an email with the subject 'Got a idea?'. it was pointed out it should have been 'Got an idea?'. Of course it should. (I think - this is my excuse -  I had typed 'Got a great idea? and then changed it. Whatever. It was pointed out that it needed to be 'an' because it preceded a vowel. Well not quite. We go to a university but carry an umbrella. And I had an uncle who insisted on saying an 'otel. And he was an honourable man. So may be vowel sound, rather than vowel? But we live in a house and watch an hour long TV program an FBI agent. Hmm! Does it give a headache or an headache when you try and teach this? (And I started a sentence with 'and')

On a slightly related point (pun intended) Google 'Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation'.