“We hope the communities can take these numbers and start creating an effective grassroots community plan rather than adopting best practices from outside the community,” said Robert Henry. Read more here: Saskatchewan Sage article
- AALAT Brochure August 2012
- Pilot Project Provincial Results Report
- Example Survey
- Pilot Project Executive Summary
- Dr. Allan Quigley’s Panel Presentation from the Tool Launch, May 26, 2011
- Reflections on the IALS, the ALL, the IALSS and the AALAT
- Considerations while developing AALAT
Why do we need to assess literacy?
Canada is ever-changing and adapting to meet the knowledge skill needs that it has set forth for Canadians at both the local and global contexts. Literacy is a skill that is needed for all people of Canada to contribute and be a part of the work and decision-making processes in Canada. At a local level literacy allows individuals to communicate, share knowledge, and participate in daily activities which require an ability to read, write, use math, problem solve, and other skills in order to connect to one’s environment.
What does AALAT assess?
AALAT is a unique assessment tool in that it incorporates a culturally and linguistically relevant context for assessing work place literacy skill development, as well as linking literacy to community and societal values and activities. From understanding written text, to listening abilities, to solving problems relevant to those found in the community, AALAT will offer Aboriginal communities a broader understanding of the literacy skills of its community members, as well as their personal triumphs and barriers that they have faced in regards to their literacy journey.
Who is the target audience?
The tool is designed to assess the literacy strengths of adults aged 16-65 is because this was the age range assessed in the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS, 2003). The IALSS survey determined that 63% of Aboriginal adults residing in Saskatchewan urban centres did not have the literacy skills necessary to positively contribute to the Canadian workforce. We have created AALAT to further analyze and broaden these statistics. A second reason is that this is the primary age of individuals who are participating in the economic workforce, and Aboriginal adults need to have the literacy skills to compete, maintain, and excel in the workforce to sustain themselves, family, and community.
How is AALAT to be administered?
AALAT is to be administered by a trained tester in a one-to-one environment, where the participant feels comfortable. One reason is that tests and assessments cause anxiety and unnecessary stress for individuals which can then lead to negative results in the assessment results. The second reason is for the comfort of being able to ask for clarification of a question in a nonintrusive environment. By conducting the assessment in a one-to-one manner, relationships can be built between the facilitator and participants. With the individual assessment, we are also conducting community and Elder consultations, in piloted communities, to gain an insight as to literacy and numeracy specific to the community, as well as to answer any questions or concerns that the community may have with AALAT.
What does AALAT look like?
The assessment tool is based into two parts that will be administered at the same time. The General Information section of the tool focuses on the individual and allows them to have the chance to explain their ideas and personal insights and perceptions of literacy, numeracy, and oracy. The second section is the test questions which will then determine the strengths of participant in the five areas of reading, writing, numeracy, listening, and problem solving. The section on a participant’s listening skills is unique because the spoken messages will be in both video and audio, from different Elders and storytellers in the province representing the different Aboriginal linguistic groups in Saskatchewan. Because many communities have their own distinct and unique linguistic accents, individuals will have an opportunity to have listening items that reflect these linguistic variances.
Ross Grandel, Projects Administrator
Cell: (306) 370-2606
Other contact info