September 2018 | VALBEC | Web version

In this Issue

1. 2018 ACAL Conference

- Still taking registrations!

2. Fine Print

3. Resources

- Resources Research

- 40 Stories of Adult Literacy Learners

- Resilience: Stories of Adult Learning - RaPaL & ACAL project.

- More stories - Linda, David and Sue

4. More PIACC to come

5. Adult Learners Week 2018 is here! 1-8 September

1. 2018 ACAL Conference

Still taking registrations!

Lego figures going to the conferenceLego courtesy of Hoth

Sessions are filling!

Jump in now to get your first choice.

Conference session details

2. Fine Print

Fine Print Vol 2 2018By now, the winter edition of Fine Print for 2018 should have reached the letterboxes of VALBEC members and Fine Print subscribers. Look for it in your tearoom if your organisation is a VALBEC member.

Speaking of tearooms – check out Kerrie Tomkins' 'Technology Tearoom' article in Fine Print; it's all about how the Leopold Community and Learning Centre went about addressing a need in its community through an inclusive and empowering program. 

Fine Print is one of very few journals designed specifically for educators in the adult education sphere; make the most of it!

To comment on or contribute to Fine Print, email and come and say hello to Fine Print editor Deryn Mansell at the ACAL conference on Thursday 13 September.

3. Resources

Calling all adult literacy supporters – we need your input!

face with magnifying glassWith support from the Reading Writing Hotline and State Library of Victoria, Adult Literacy Connect is currently conducting research towards establishing an online portal of quality curated teaching and learning resources for adult literacy practitioners (teachers, tutors, librarians, volunteers) who are supporting beginning level adult readers and writers.

We want to hear from all adult literacy supporter workers about what resources you use, and how you search for them.

Please fill out our survey here. It will only take 5 minutes and you can go in a draw to win an iPad Air or $50 Readings voucher.

Survey closes October 30th.

For more information about the project, or about Adult Literacy Connect, contact Sarah Ernst on 03 9205 5043 or at

Adult Literacy Connect is a group of LLN educators and Librarians working together on projects to improve adult literacy in Victoria. VALBEC is a member and currently the lead of the Adult Literacy Connect

40 Stories of Adult Literacy Learners

Happy birthday VALBEC

Stories provide us a valuable insight into the minds and experiences of others so that we can learn, empathise and stretch our knowledge and imagination. When adult literacy learners share their stories it is not only a very empowering activity for them as individuals but also provides insightful understandings for the adult literacy practitioner.

As part of VALBEC's 40 year celebrations, we will collate 40 stories of adults literacy learners from around the country and world. So take time out this year to read and watch some adult literacy stories to remind you and inspire you in your practice. If you have a story you would like to share as part of this series please email the details and a link to

Resilience: Stories of Adult Learning - RaPaL & ACAL project.

Two years ago for International Literacy Day RaPaL in the UK and ACAL in Australia worked together on a joint publication of adult learning stories. These stories were in their own words sometimes with the help of tutors and with some reflections from tutors.

You can download the stories here.

Special mention goes to four people from Australia, who tell their stories of overcoming literacy challenges.

In addition to the freely available written stories, there is a video and audio on these web pages, often with accompanying script.

More stories - Linda, David and Sue

A reminder of the lesson materials we released last month to accompany the Book and Video of 'A Fuller Sense of Self'. This resource shows the benefits people experience returning to education and how they overcame a variety of barriers to feel stronger, more able and more confident.

All downable here.

4. More PIACC to come

Paper plane drawingThe OECD's Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) conducts the Survey of Adult Skills. The survey measures adults' proficiency in key information-processing skills – literacy, numeracy and problem solving – and gathers information and data on how adults use their skills at home, at work and in the wider community.

These surveys and reports have been instrumental in highlighting the issue of adult literacy and numeracy in Australia, and helped to dispel the myth that Australia is a fully literate society.

Reports are still being produced by the OECD and other participating countries (34 all up now) based on analysis of the rich dataset from PIAAC and there's more to come

Planning and development for the second cycle of the PIAAC survey commenced at the beginning of this year, with the actual survey due to be conducted in 2021/22 with the results and reports due to be published in 2023.

See a more detailed article on PIACC by Dave Tout.

Dave is a Senior Research Fellow in Numeracy & Mathematics at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). Dave was appointed in January 2018 by the OECD as the Chair of the Numeracy Expert Group for PIAAC Cycle 2.

5. Adult Learners Week 2018 is here! 1-8 September

Adult Learners Week

What are you doing for Adult Learners Week this year?

Adult Learners' Week is a UNESCO initiative supported in Australia by the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training and coordinated by Adult Learning Australia. Adult Learners' Week runs from 1–8 September and incorporates International Literacy Day, which is celebrated annually on September 8.

More about Adult Learners' Week