2019 News from Reading Writing Hotline

Adult literacy specialists – an endangered species??

“Despite the fact that LLN is universally acknowledged as a vital underpinning skill for adults in all walks of life, it appears that qualified adult LLN teachers are becoming very hard to find. And even more worrying is the fact that to the best of our knowledge, specialist graduate qualifications in adult literacy/numeracy will not be offered anywhere in Australia from 2020. Where will the adult LLN specialists of the future come from?

In the past, several universities offered a Graduate Diploma in Adult Literacy or Adult Basic Education either face to face or online. In addition, a number of RTOs around the country offered TAE80113, the Graduate Diploma in Adult LLN Practice from the TAE Training Package. The Hotline is advised that none of these offerings will be available from the beginning of 2020, as institutions move to rationalise their offerings and cut costs. The removal of the qualification from the skills list and VET Student Loans eligibility is a major factor in this decline.

This national depletion of capability in the adult literacy/numeracy field is extremely serious. Whilst all VET trainers now hold TAELLN411 (made compulsory by ASQA recently), this unit is clearly identified as merely an awareness unit, and does not qualify holders as literacy specialists. All trainers enrolled in this awareness unit are required to consult an adult literacy expert, as part of their assessment. Where will these experts be found in the future?”

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