IALS Institute 2011: Documents Produced for the Institute





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Think Papers


IALS and Writing in the Workplace, by John Vorhaus

Describes a new study on the real life tasks and practices of writing as observed among small businesses in England


Some Thoughts on IALS Measurement Validity, Program Impact, and Logic Models for  Policy Development, by Stephen Reder

A look at questions of validity, program impact and policy development related to the IALS proficiency measures


Country Stories


The following papers were written for The Centre for Literacy's 2011 Fall Institute. The authors, well-known researchers from 6 countries tell the "story" of how IALS influenced policy and practice in their own countries. The views expressed are those of the authors.



An Examination of IALS and its Effect on Canada, by Kjell Rubenson

This paper analyzes the context which led to Canada participating in the IALS, and its impact on the adult literacy field, focusing specifically on the influence of media and of literacy organizations in shaping key messages.



A Slow Burn: The Impact of IALS in Australia, by Juliette Mendelovits

This paper reviews Australia’s adult literacy development from the late 1980's to the present, highlighting a recent surge of action since 2010 when industry and government began reacting to the ALL data.


England and Wales

A Tale of IALS’s Influence (or not) in the UK, by Greg Brooks

This paper examines the impacts of IALS in the UK, focusing on the Moser Report and the subsequent Skills for Life policy, which involved dramatic increases in funding for adult literacy and numeracy programs.



IALS in Norway, by Egil Gabrielsen

This paper presents the Norwegian IALS results, notes the impact of national surveys of elementary and secondary education outcomes which caused Norway to question its education system, and discusses expectations for PIAAC.



Groundhog Day? The 2009 re-run of the 1996 IALS in Scotland, by Ralf St. Clair

This paper notes the dissonance between the IALS construct and the “social practices” model of literacy practiced in Scotland, and the issues that arose when the Scottish Survey of Adult Literacies decided to use the same instrument that had been used in the 1996 IALS.


United States

IALS in the US: A Rippling Impact on Literacy Policy, by Ron Pugsley

That paper tells the story of the impact of IALS on U.S. public consciousness and public policy in the 1990's, peaking in 1999-2000.  As debates arose on questions of methodology, and adult education funds were cut, its influence dwindled. Recently a new emphasis on lifelong skills and the importance of global competitiveness has rekindled interest in PIAAC.


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