Further reading


Here is a list of things I would like to read in future. Once I’ve read something, it will move to its own post. Hope you find some of these links/suggestions useful also! This list is for me primarily and to show my tutor what I’m intending on doing. I will fully reference once I’ve read/reviewed etc…

Recommended for the course:
Brooks G et al (2001) Progress in Adult Literacy – Do Learners Learn? London, Basic Skills Agency
Crystal D (2003) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press
Crowther, Hamilton and Tett (2001) Powerful Literacies Leicester, NIACE
Cruse A (2004) Meaning in Language: an Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics Oxford, Oxford
University Press
Doff A and Jones C (2001) Language in Use – Pre-intermediate Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
Harmer J (2003) The Practice of English Language Teaching London, Longman
Lillis T and McKinney C (2003) (Eds) Analysing Language in Context: a Student Work Book Stoke on Trent,
Trenton Books
* NIACE (2004) A Framework for Understanding Dyslexia Leicester, Neworth Print Ltd
Papen U (2005) Adult Literacy as Social Practice London, Routledge
Reid G, Wearmouth J (2002) Dyslexia and Literacy – Theory and Practice London, Wiley
Schellekens P (2001) English Language as a Barrier to Employment, Training and Education London,
Tummons J (2005) Assessing Learning in Further Education Exeter, Learning Matters
Wallace S (2005) Teaching and Supporting Learners in Further Education 2nd ed Exeter, Learning Matters
Wren W (2001) Grammar and Punctuation Gosport, Ashford Colour Press
Access for All (2002) DfES
Adult Literacy Core Curriculum (2001) DfES
Adults Learning, NIACE (Monthly journal)
A Fresh Start – Improving Literacy and Numeracy DfEE Moser report – http://www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/mosergroup/index.htm
Education Guardian (Tuesday) or http://www.education.guardian.co.uk
Equality and Diversity in Adult and Community Learning: A Guide for Managers. Reisenberger, A. & Dadzie,
S. (2002). Available: http://www.lsda.org.uk/files/pdf/A1181.pdf (Learning and Skills Development Agency
web site).
Inclusive Learning (Tomlinson 1996)
The Department for Education and Skills http://www.dfes.gov.uk
Journal of Literacy Research
Learning Works – Widening Participation in FE (Kennedy 1997)
The Department for Education and Skills http://www.dfes.gov.uk
Leitch Review of Skills – Final report (2006) HMSO
The Lifelong Learning UK http://www.lifelonglearninguk.org
Literacy Trust http://www.literacytrust.org.uk
National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy http://www.nrdc.org.uk
RaPAL journal
Skills for Life Learner materials for Literacy DfES
Times Education Supplement (Friday) or http://www.tes.co.uk

Participation, engagement etc

Barton, D. (2006). The significance of a social practice view of language, literacy and
numeracy in L Tett, M Hamilton & Y Hillier (eds) Adult literacy, numeracy and language:
policy, practice and research. Open University Press.
Barton, D., Hamilton, M and Ivanicv, R. (eds) (2000). Situated literacies: reading and writing in
context. Routledge (2000).
Bird, V. and Akerman, R. (2005). Every which way we can: a literacy and social inclusion
position paper. London: National Literacy Trust.
Bynner, J. and Parsons, S. (1997). It doesn’t get any better: the impact of poor basic skills on
the lives of 37 year olds. London: The Basic Skills Agency.
Bynner, J. and Parsons, S. (2001). “Qualifications, basic skills and accelerating social
exclusion.” Journal of Education and Work, 14:2001.
Calder, A. and Cope, R. (2003). Breaking barriers? Reaching the hardest to reach. The
Prince’s Trust.
Cieslik, M. and Simpson, D. (2004). Basic skills and transitions to adulthood. Unpublished
Eldred, J., Ward, J., Dutton, Y. and Snowdon, K. (2004). Catching confidence. Leicester: NIACE.
Hannon, P., Pahl, K., Bird, V., Taylor, C. and Birgh, C. (2003). Community-focused provision in
adult literacy, numeracy and language: an exploratory study. London: NRDC
Horsman, J. (2000). Too scared to learn: women, violence and education. Mahwah, New
Jersey and London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ivanicv, R., Appleby, A., Hodge, R., Tusting, K. and Barton, D. (2005). Relating language,
literacy and numeracy teaching to adult learners’ lives: a social perspective. London:
McGivney, V. (1999). Informal learning in the community: a trigger for change and
development. Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.
McMeeking, S., Taylor, M., Powell, R. and Sims, D. (2002). ‘I Think I Can Do That Now’ – An
evaluation of round 5 of the Adult and Community Learning Fund. National Foundation for
Educational Research.
McNeil, B. and Smith, L. (2004). Success factors in informal learning: young adults’
experiences of literacy, language and numeracy. London: NRDC
Rickinson, M. ‘Practitioners’ use of research: a research review for the National Evidence for
Education Portal (NEEP) development group.’ National Educational Research Forum Working
Paper 7.5.
40 Research Report
Reder, S. (2004). Keynote address, NRDC International Conference.
Sampson, M.,Somani, B. Zwart, R. and Siddiq, S. (2004). Adult and community learning fund,
1998 – 2004: final report – Basic Skills Agency strand. Basic Skills Agency.
Tusting, K. (2003). ‘A review of theories of informal learning.’ Lancaster Literacy Research
Centre Working Paper no. 2.
Tusting, K. and Barton, D. (2003). Models of adult learning. London: NRD


RaW – BBCs website

World Book Night, National Reading Campaign

ESOL and Functional Skills




Things to read –

Burton et al – 2007-8 Uni Sheffield NRDC project





Torgerson et al (2006) – phonics research / Ehri et al (2001)




Burton, M. , Davey, J., Lewis, M., Ritchie, L. and Brooks, G. (2008) Improving Reading; Phonics and Fluency. Practitioner Guide. London: NRDC – p.8-31 downloadable from http://www.nrdc.org.uk/publications_details.asp?ID=156#

Burton, M. , Davey, J., Lewis, M., Ritchie, L. and Brooks, G. (2010) Progress for adult literacy learners. Lndon: NRDC downloadable from: http://www.nrdc.org.uk/download2.asp?f=4685&e=pdf

Kingston, P. (2009) Education Guardian Can you teach an old dog with young tricks? Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2009/apr/14/literacy-adult-education-phonics

Bloomer, A., Griffiths, P. and Merrison, A. J. (2005) Introducing Language in Use: A Coursebook. London: Routledge.

Crystal, D. (2005) How Language Works. London: Penguin. (ch.9)

Roach, P. (2006) English Phonetics and Phonology. A Practical course (3rd ed). Cambridge: CUP

Hughes, A., Trudgill, P. and Watt, D. (2005) English Accents and Dialects. An Introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of British English. London: Hodder.

Cruttenden, A. (2001) Gimson’s Pronunciation of English. London: Arnold – changes within RP

Crystal, D. (1995) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language. Cambridge: CUP

Crystal, D. (2008) Txtng: The gr8 db8. Oxford: OUP




Big Idea, Small Steps: The Making of Credit-Based Qualifications



email this person: raphael       @everythingispossible.eu from here: http://comicsansworkshop.blogspot.co.uk/p/apply-now.html

Formative Assessment in Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy 








‘Improving Speaking and Listening Skills: A practical guide of Skills for Life teachers (2007, p.84) accessed via http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/SandLPACK02.pdf


Crowther, Hamilton and Tett (2001) Powerful Literacies
Changing Faces of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: A Critical History suggestions:
Subscribe to adult literacy blogs/journals – keep coming back to this and reviewing

  • Moser report
  • Yvonne Hillier
  • NIACE – buy books, keep more up to date
  • NRDC – especially evidence-based practice
  • http://www.literacy.lancaster.ac.uk/links/changingfaces.htm
  • Right to Read manifesto
  • Second Chance to Learn (Liverpool) Yanit in Thompson 1980
  • Scottish Adult Literacy Agency (SCALA)
  • Pamphlet 43 – English for Immigration
  • Look at Shelter Literacy research
  • The Home Tutor kit commission for racial equality
  • ALBSU – resources
  • New Literacy Studies
  • Lewin (2005)
  • Rittell & webber (1973)
  • Barton et al (2000)
  • Hodge 2003
  • Hull & Schultz (2002)
  • Street (1993, 2004)
  • Martin & Jones (2000) ESOL
  • Coben 2003 (Numeracy)
  • Lancaster University – collection of resources, books etc – https://litcent.lancs.ac.uk/RIS/RISWEB.ISA


Hamilton, M & Hillier, Y. (2006). Changing Faces of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: A Critical History. Trentham Books Ltd

Action Plan 3


This reading list of mine keeps growing! Whilst I am very grateful of the references in Changing Faces of Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: A Critical History it has provided me with a lengthy list of things to follow up! It will take me a while!

  1. Reading Action Plan

    • More about top-down/bottom-up approaches
    • Research subskills more!
    • Frith – she did Life Scientific on Radio 4 – research!
    • Do more research on Searchlights model
    • Do more research on Rose Report/Simple View
    • I need to do more research to ensure careful phonics planning – buy Phonetics for Phonics
    • Where to start with learners
    • That there are other strategies (language experience)
    • Word decoding – our brains scan through to find correct word and meaning
    • Miscue analysis

    Speaking and listening

    • Read – Teaching speaking and listening a toolkit for practitioners
    • Read Skills for Life Quality Initiative
    • It develops learner’s thinking (Pring 2007/Vygotsky 1978; Bruner and Haste 1987)
    • It’s difficult to remember/organise classroom discussions (Davis 1996; 1997, Chamberlin 2003; Even and Wallach 2003)
    • Give learners a chance to talk/discuss in class and make sure they know why they are performing these tasks.
    • Ask learners what they can do if they want clarification on something
    • Plan for discussion – respect each other’s opinion/turn-taking, interruptions

    APs from ‘developing S&L skills post

    • Give learners a chance to talk/discuss in class and make sure they know why they are performing these tasks.
    • Ask learners what they can do if they want clarification on something
    • Plan for discussion – respect each other’s opinion/turn-taking, interruptions – research S&L more. Do I know what I’m expecting yet?

    Functional/Liberal/Critical Models of Literacy

    • Try in sessions/add to teaching practice checklist
    • Conduct more research on models of literacy as course goes on


    Writing Action Plan!

    Genre Approach

    Genres have different structures depending on audience/purpose/social context and learners need to be taught conventions of different genres explicitly.

    • Focus on how to construct different types of texts through modelling/sharing/scaffolding. An example of this could be an email/letter writing template.

    A list of strategies to support writing composition

    • KWL grid
    • Using discussion beforehand
    • Mind map
    • Complete chart
    • Sequencing words/activities
    • Language experience
    • Scaffolding/starter sentences
    • Photos
    • Wh- questions
    • Character creation chart
    • Story boards
    • Lists/sticky notes


    • Kernel sentences
    • Consequences game.

    Giving Feedback

    • Research Geoff Petty for feedback process
    • In Access for All – supported way for marking
      • Scaffold feedback
        • ask them to find their errors
        • ask them to find  spelling errors (out of 10 possibly)
        • underline the errors for them – get them to work out why
        • encourage autonomy – underline errors, but ask them to write/study in their personal dictionaries/use dictionary/ask peers/ask tutor/use electronic aids
        • think about what’s going to be useful for them!


    • book on learning difficulties training (see what’s available!)

    Stuff to do/review

Changing Faces of Adult Literacy and Numeracy


I’m (very) slowly working my way through the book list. It’s been a while since I’ve done any serious reflective reading. There may be the odd article here and there, or a sum-up mentally. Here’s to documenting!

The book takes novices, and I consider myself still a novice, through the history of adult literacy, numeracy and language. When I completed CELTA I became aware that I didn’t understand everything. I volunteered at a SFA outreach programme which opened up worlds I had never known existed.

Reading through chapter 1, one thing became evident. it didn’t feel like the author was describing the 1970s’ education system but the current one to some extent. Page 4 goes on to describe how there were no dedicated spaces for the tuition and learning often took part in unconventional and sometimes inappropriate venues. When adult literacy, language and numeracy (ALAN) entered under the boundary of further education (FE), it ‘inevitably left some activities and some people outside the formal, business-orientated space of FE’.

The book continues to explain the struggle the 80s and 90s sow but I suspect it is difficult to put into context as so much was changing. It has been really useful so far to gain a greater understanding of the historical aspect of the skills sector I am working in.

To be added to my action plan

Continue reading book and follow up on references cited in Changing Faces of Adult Literacy and Numeracy



Homework for Adult Literacy Learners


What place does homework have in adult literacy classes?

In the institution I work for, getting learners to complete classwork is sometimes a challenge in itself, so what do we do when it comes to homework?

Things I would like for my learners:
* I want learners to be able to increase their self-study, in turn to increase their opportunity for practice. The reality is that we can get through a lot more per term with homework. I remind my learners that they have 10 years of school. We have 2 hours per week.
* Since it’s in their lives that their literacy will directly effect, I want learners to work more autonomously. Even if they look 1 word up in a dictionary, which they would never do before, or ask me/someone else about it, it’s an achievement in my eyes.

The things I’m worried about when giving/asking for homework are:

* Learners to feel like they can’t come to class if they haven’t done their homework. This can lead to guilt, and guilt isn’t good. In my experience it often leads to aviodance of coming ever again.
* Learners that do do homework and feel disheartened when others in the class don’t. I am sometimes disapproving of the ones who don’t do it, but then I’m worried they’ll definately not come back. Sometimes I reassure the ones that have ‘put the effort’ (if we are to view it that way) rather than disapprove of the ones that haven’t.

A Point Burton (2007, p. 2) is that ‘homework, like classroom work, should be discussed and negotiated with your learners. And remember that not all learners may have a quiet place at home suitable for study; other venues, such as the local college library, can suggested’. Sometimes, that is not the only issue. For a lot of the people I work with, they struggle to work on their own, need a lot of guidance and reminding. There is a view that as an adult that you have to take responsibility for your own learning. Sometimes people aren’t sure about what this actually means.

What does it mean?
From a teacher’s point of view, taking responsibility is:
* being open to new things
* not being disruptive
* getting on with other people
* remembering, then actually doing your homework
* making notes, self-directing study
* making good progress
* being punctual

Sometimes, there are stereotypes we work towards, giving little thought to why or how learners are supposed to conform to these standards. Sure it would make my life easier, but life isn’t like that. Sometimes there is not enough time to fully address these issues. Sometimes, when you try to negotiate, people lie and ‘go along with it’. Sometimes you need to see somene for 2 hours per week for 9 months before you actually feel like you’re getting somewhere. Sometimes they tell you they don’t have time to do homework. Sometimes there are higher priority issues in their lives. But rarely do the targets, or expectations on the teacher (really) change to reflect these complexities.

In my ESOL sessions I tend to give more homework than in my literacy sessions. I started wondering why. One reason is that I am more comfortable in setting homework as I have a good understanding of what methodology I’m using, why I’m asking for homework etc. For example, if one day we’ve been doing adverbs of frequency and their daily routine, maybe I’ll give them a task to write sentences about someone else, or a controlled grammar activity. ESOL learners generally accept that they need to work on their English, and many from ‘good’ educational backgrounds understand study skills. Sure, it might remind them of school, and maybe their school experiences are lined with troubles, but from my experience they are generally more grateful. Also, the level of detail you can go inot with an ESOL learner is often limited due to the language barrier. Maybe the is a faux opinion. Maybe if I spoke their language I would see fewer differences.

English learners on the other hand, and I’m not sure if this is due to my own preconceptions, dismiss homework a bit more easily. I feel more embarrassed giving homework to an English learner and until now, I have not questionned why. Maybe it’s because I seem to get more resistance. Maybe it’s because I have assumptions of their resistance to school and I’m too petrified to replicate school. Maybe, however painful memories of school were, they need to follow some of the same structures of school. They know what to expect then.

So, what now?
I have negotiated homework with learners before, but probably not as much as I now think I should have. Thinking about it, to make sure I build it into my practice better, I should make a course structure sheet with a list of things I need to remember to ask learners about, or even add it to their ILP and discuss it as part of the start of their journey. For next term, I think I’ll start it with the whole group at the beginning. I’ll post my results up soon!


Burton, M (2007) Reading. NIACE; Leicester