ADULT EAL NEWS AND ISSUES

ACTA proposals following the relocation of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) to the Department of Home Affairs - June 2019

In the new post-election Morrison Government, the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) has been moved back to the Immigration portfolio, whose Minister is the Hon. David Coleman, MP, the member for Banks (western Sydney). ACTA has written a letter to him requesting an urgent meeting and has supported this request with a paper outlining current problems in the AMEP and ACTA’s proposed solutions. A draft was widely circulated for comment. The final version has received unanimous support from those who have written to ACTA.

Proposals following the relocation of the Adult Migrant English Program to the Department of Home Affairs


ACTA submission to the AMEP Evaluation - April 2019

Following a nationwide survey of managers, teachers and volunteers in the AMEP in late 2018 and early 2019, and three forums held over March and April 2019, ACTA has now finalised a submission to the Evaluation of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) “new business model”.

The Evaluation of the AMEP “New Business Model” is being conducted by the consultancy group Social Compass (http://socialcompass.com/). The intended project outcomes are listed in the Statement of Requirements and the proposed methodology is outlined in the Evaluation Methodology Overview.

You can download and read the ACTA submission here:

ACTA submission to the AMEP Evaluation March-April 2019

Further to ACTA’s previous submission, and in the light of additional feedback we have received as a result of its wider circulation and placement on our website, the Australian Council of TESOL Associations ACTA offers seven further recommendations to the Evaluation of the AMEP “new business model”.

ACTA supplementary submission to the AMEP Evaluation - 1 May 2019


ACTA Forums to Discuss Issues Regarding the Evaluation of the AMEP “New Business Model”

Sydney, 2 March 2019 in collaboration with ATESOL NSW, Sydney School of Education and Social Work (University of Sydney), and the School of Education at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

Melbourne, 30 March 2019 in collaboration with VicTESOL and the Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne.

Brisbane, 6 April 2019 in collaboration with QATESOL.

These three ACTA Forums focus on issues relating to the current Evaluation of the AMEP “New Business Model”. This Evaluation is being conducted by the consultancy group Social Compass (http://socialcompass.com/). The intended project outcomes are listed in the Statement of Requirements and the proposed methodology is outlined in the Evaluation Methodology Overview.

The Forums are providing an invaluable opportunity for AMEP teachers and managers impacted by the Evaluation to come together with colleagues to discuss the matters listed in the Evaluation Statement of Requirements. Forum sessions are:

  1. the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF): the appropriateness, effectiveness and practicality of utilising the ACSF as a benchmark in initial, progressive and exit assessments; the use of the ACSF in aligning the AMEP and SEE Program through a common assessment framework for English proficiency; the place of the ACSF in the wider VET system; the validity and reliability of using data based on any assessments of student progress as a benchmark or Key Performance Indicator.
  2. Current curriculum in the AMEP: appropriateness, effectiveness and practicality of current curriculum and curricular options in the  “targeted tuition streams” (“Social English” and “Pre-Employment”); the impact of both the ACSF and DET policy on (i) “aligning” the AMEP with the SEE Program, and (ii) regulating the AMEP within the wider VET system.
  3. Teacher qualifications – stipulated program, curriculum licencing and regulatory requirements, including the VET Certificate IV in Training & Assessment (for further details on a recent report to DET, see AMEP Curricula and Teacher and Assessor Qualifications Guide).
  4. Competitive contracting and the “multi-provider” model: The appropriateness, effectiveness, value and viability of the current multi-provider service delivery model in the AMEP; whether it should be extended to other regions; its place in the overall competitive contracting model used to deliver the AMEP.

For the Power Point slides and Notes from the Discussions at each Forum, please click on the links below:

Sydney Forum

Presentation slides:

Notes:


Melbourne Forum

Presentation slides:

Notes:

  • Composite notes from Melbourne Forum – to follow

Brisbane Forum

Presentation slides: to follow
Notes: to follow

To continue the discussion, please join the ACTA Adult ESOL Interest Group: Professional Conversations group on Facebook.
[Please note that while membership for this group must be approved, it is a 'Public Group', and any posts and comments are accessible to anyone on Facebook. Please consider this before posting or commenting.]  Comments can also be made to ACTA via your state/territory association or to vicepresident@atesolact.org.au


ACTA submission to the Review of Vocational Education & Training (VET) - January 2019

An Expert Panel has been commissioned by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to review the VET sector. For details, go to: https://www.pmc.gov.au/domestic-policy/vet-review.

Based on a first pass of some of the extraordinary wealth of data from the ACTA Survey AMEP and SEE Program teachers, managers & volunteers (for which ACTA warmly thanks the 421 people who responded!) the ACTA Submission to the VET Review addresses four main issues:

  1. The ASQA requirement that all VET sector teachers (including AMEP and SEE teachers) hold the TAFE Certificate 4 in Training & Assessment,
  2. Standards of Provision – facilities and infrastructure,
  3. Use of student progress assessments as the basis of a Key Performance Indicator (KPI), and
  4. Working Conditions

You can download and read the ACTA submission here:

ACTA submission to the VET Review - January 2019

See below for details of the Survey.


Survey of AMEP and SEE Program teachers, managers & volunteers - 2019

In December 2018-April 2019, ACTA conducted a comprehensive survey of AMEP and SEE Program teachers, managers and volunteers seeking their perspectives on the operation of these Programs under the current contracts (from 1st July 2017). The questions were drawn from consultation with practitioners and covered a range of topics, including curriculum, assessment and working conditions.

The response was magnificent!! ACTA warmly thanks the 435 people who gave up their time to do the survey and provide such a wealth of comments. You have given us an extraordinarily rich resource, which we can use in future advocacy on your behalf.

The size and complexity of the survey data have led to a decision not to write a complete report on the survey. It would just be too big and unwieldy. Rather, the survey results will be used to support future submissions and, if time allows, papers on specific issues. For example, see the ACTA submission to the VET Review - January 2019 and the Power Point presentations in the AMEP Evaluation Forums. A forthcoming ACTA submission to the AMEP Evaluation will use these data to address the Evaluation’s Statement of Requirements.

If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Helen Moore at vicepresident@atesolact.org.au


ACTA Report on English Provision for Adult Migrants - May 2018

In the light of the profound concerns raised by our members about the consequences of the latest contracts for the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), ACTA has prepared a comprehensive Background Paper examining this Program, including its relationship to the Skills for Employment and Education (SEE) Program. The report includes verbatim accounts from teachers and recommendations for change.  Download the report here:

Problems in the AMEP & SEE Program 25 May 2018 - an ACTA Background Paper

 


ACTA presentation at the AMEP-SEE Forum - November 2017

ACTA was invited to present at the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and Skills for Employment and Education (SEE) Service Provider Forum, held 16-17 November 2017. Helen Moore represented ACTA, and delivered a presentation on "Reforming English Language Provision for Adult Migrants & Refugee Youth from the Top Down – Some concrete proposals from the Bottom Up" . Helen has also written a report on the Forum for ACTA members.

These other presentations from the Forum have been made available to ACTA by the AMEP Engagement Team of the Department of Education and Training:

 


ACTA SUBMISSION to the INQUIRY INTO MIGRANT SETTLEMENT OUTCOMES, May 2017

ACTA has made a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration’s inquiry into Migrant Settlement Outcomes. The ACTA submission addresses all of the Inquiry's Terms of Reference, specifically focussing on English language provision, examples of best practice, the importance of English language ability on prospective migrant outcomes, and social engagement of “youth migrants”. Read more and link to the ACTA submission on our Advocacy - Media Room page.

 


ACTA Response to the Request for Tender for the AMEP, August-October 2016

In early August 2016, the Department of Education & Training circulated a draft Request for Tender (RTF) for the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and Skills for Education and Employment Program.
 
A key proposal is to split the AMEP into two “streams”: Pre-Employment and Social English. The Social English stream is to be taught by graduates with no teaching qualifications of any kind in classes of up to 25 (compared to pre-employment classes of 20). Expected attainment is one indicator on the The Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) compared to two in the other classes. The justification given in briefing sessions was that these classes would be “less rigorous”. Other aspects of the draft are also of concern to ACTA.
 
ACTA sent a response to the draft RTF to Minister Simon Birmingham and has also issued a media release. Please see links below.

The final tender for the AMEP and SEE was released on 7 October 2016. The issues of concern to ACTA in the AMEP tender were unchanged from the draft.  ACTA issued the following media release on Monday 10 October:

On 20 October 2016, Senator Doug Cameron asked questions about the AMEP tender in the Supplementary Budget Estimates 2016-2017 Committee Meeting- recording and transcript available here:

In the media and on the Web:

Monday 22nd May 2017:



ACTA SUBMISSION TO THE SEE and AMEP REVIEW 2014

In 2014, the Australian Government commissioned ACIL Allen Consulting to conduct an independent evaluation of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), the Skills for Education and Employment Program (SEE), and potential synergies and the strategic alignment between AMEP and SEE.

On 19 December 2014 ACTA submitted its response to the AMEP and SEE review.
Read ACTA's submission

The ACIL Allen Consulting evaluation reports were published between May 2015 and March 2016:

The AMEP Evaluation report was released on 22 May 2015

The SEE Evaluation report was released on 9 March 2016

The SEE-AMEP Alignment report was released on 9 March 2016
 


ACTA Adult ESOL Interest Group: Professional Conversations

An invitation to join our new Facebook group!

ACTA Adult ESOL Interest Group: Professional Conversations

The Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA) would like to initiate professional conversations about teaching English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) to adult learners.

Start or join a conversation about issues that are important to you and your learners. Suggest ways of improving teaching and learning. Highlight resources and professional development activities that have been beneficial, share your interests and ideas, and be a part of exciting conversations.

Moderated by ACTA Adult ESOL Working Group Co-convenors, Karen Barber (WA), Lesley Cioccarelli (ACT), and Elene Clare (Qld).
 
Just click on the link above, then in Facebook click on 'Join Group', and then Karen, Lesley or Elene will approve you.  It’s that easy.
 


NATIONAL FOUNDATION SKILLS STRATEGY PROJECT 2014-2015

--- NFSS

ACTA was represented on the Foundation Skills Champions Network, part of the the Foundation Skills Workforce Development (FSWD) Project in 2013. Australian governments have agreed to continue to support the Champions Network through a new project, known as the National Foundation Skills Strategy (NFSS) Project.  The new project will operate during 2014-15 and will encompass a number of initiatives to support priority action areas from the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults. To read more on Foundation Skills visit the website

ACTA provided a response to the consultation paper Scoping a foundation skills professional standards framework in 2013. The submission was prepared on behalf of ACTA by the ACTA Adult Working Group, incorporating feedback from members throughout the country

For more on the National Foundation Skills Strategy Project see the ACTA Adult ESL Issues Archives page.
 


LANGUAGE, LITERACY & NUMERACY - Publications

Until recently it had been almost 20 years since a national approach to adult Language Literacy and Numeracy was on the agenda. During late 2010 and early 2011 publications by a range of organisations were released addressing the issue of Foundation Skills for adults:

Other relevant papers include:


ACTA ADULT ESL WORKING GROUP

The ACTA Adult ESL Working Group is a sub-group of the ACTA Council which discusses issues via email (and teleconference) as they arise and comes together to develop responses as these are required.

State and territory associations are encouraged to discuss issues and these publications with their members and to call on any volunteers who wish to be involved in the Adult ESL Working Group to contact ACTA

Any member of one of the state/territory associations affiliated with ACTA can join the ACTA Adult ESOL Interest Group: Professional Conversations group on Facebook.


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