Unit of competency details

TAELLN701A - Analyse and apply adult literacy teaching practices (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to TAELLN801 - Analyse and apply adult literacy teaching practicesUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 26/Aug/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 31/May/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 070199 Teacher Education, N.e.c.  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 070199 Teacher Education, N.e.c.  31/May/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to analyse and apply effective adult literacy teaching practices to meet the needs of those participating in literacy provision in vocational education and training (VET) contexts. The unit also addresses the analysis and application of literacy theories and teaching strategies.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to practitioners working to develop literacy skills and knowledge.

Adult literacy is offered in stand-alone courses or integrated into programs with an adult English language, numeracy or general education focus. Adult literacy is also delivered to individuals or groups in vocational training and in the workplace.

An adult literacy practitioner requires skills and knowledge to deliver literacy at Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) levels 1 to 5.

The client profile of those wishing to participate in adult literacy and numeracy provision is typically culturally and linguistically diverse. The classroom, the workplace and the community may include those for whom English is their second, third or more language, who wish to improve their English language skills. The performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop English language skills are described in TAELLN703A Develop English language skills of learners. The skills and knowledge needed to deliver and assess adult literacy skills are covered in TAELLN704A Implement and evaluate delivery of adult language, literacy and numeracy skills.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Analyse and apply conceptual frameworks and theories underpinning literacy teaching

1.1. Examine theories that inform adult literacy teaching and their application

1.2. Identify relevant frameworks and structures

1.3. Apply adult learning principles  to teaching literacy

1.4. Review range of provision  for learning literacy in VET contexts

2. Research literacy requirements of those participating in literacy provision

2.1. Identify diversity  of skills and backgrounds of those participating in literacy provision

2.2. Identify range of learning goals  of those participating in adult literacy provision

2.3. Identify  literacy embedded in everyday life, training and workplace tasks

2.4. Review own literacy skills and knowledge in relation to the required skills and knowledge

3. Select from a range of teaching approaches to develop participants' literacy skills and knowledge

3.1. Evaluate teaching approaches  that support the development of participants' literacy skills and knowledge in authentic and relevant contexts

3.2. Evaluate suitability of strategies to teach awareness of how language works 

3.3. Determine applicability of teaching approaches to specific needs, levels of literacy, learning styles, and context of those participating in literacy provision

3.4. Refer any issues arising from numeracy teaching role to appropriate person(s)

4. Select from a range of learning resources to develop participants' literacy skills and knowledge

4.1. Examine learning resources from traditional and new and emerging technologies, that link to literacy learning outcomes and promote learner engagement with tasks and activities

4.2. Evaluate materials relevant to social and cultural needs of those participating in literacy provision

5. Apply and evaluate strategies for teaching literacy skills and knowledge

5.1. Devise activities that integrate literacy skills appropriate to specific needs, levels of literacy, learning styles, and context of those participating in literacy provision

5.2. Devise and apply activities that integrate numeracy skills appropriate to specific needs and context of those participating in literacy provision

5.3. Apply strategies to teach reading and writing skills at text, sentence and word levels

5.4. Apply strategies to teach oral communication skills with a range of audiences

5.5. Apply strategies to develop learning skills

5.6. Use formal and informal monitoring to evaluate effectiveness of teaching strategies

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • analysis and interpretation skills to:
  • evaluate relevant theories and teaching approaches in relation to those participating in literacy provision
  • identify and analyse literacy embedded in selected contexts
  • interpret information from pre-training assessments to identify and respond to learner needs, goals, skills and learning styles
  • communication skills to:
  • facilitate discussions to encourage sharing of strategies and exploration of different solutions to problems
  • give clear explanations, present concepts clearly and respond to questions effectively
  • vary teacher talk to adjust to the English language level of others, including code-shifting activities where relevant to learners
  • computer skills to:
  • evaluate literacy development software
  • teach skills needed to use email, SMS messaging and the internet
  • teach software packages, including educational software
  • initiative, enterprise and creativity to:
  • devise, select and vary teaching strategies
  • interpret literacy theories in light of current practices
  • seek appropriate resources and materials
  • learning skills to maintain currency and relevance of knowledge
  • literacy skills to:
  • analyse texts for teaching and learning purposes
  • customise texts to suit reading levels of audience
  • design and produce materials to facilitate learning
  • model written genres
  • read and interpret complex texts, analyse theoretical viewpoints and form judgements
  • research current approaches to literacy teaching
  • write complex texts that meet audience needs
  • numeracy skills to:
  • communicate using formal and informal language, symbolic and diagrammatic representations and conventions of mathematics
  • identify mathematical information and meaning in activities and texts
  • solve a range of numeracy problems within adult contexts
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • identify relevant resources
  • monitor and evaluate participant progress
  • plan a sequence of learning activities consistent with a conceptual framework
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • analyse, identify and develop strategies to meet identified challenges
  • identify specific difficulties of those participating in literacy provision
  • self-management skills to:
  • comply with requirements, codes of practice and organisational policies and procedures
  • maintain evidence of performance for a portfolio

Required knowledge 

  • adult learning principles and practices as they apply to teaching literacy
  • applied linguistics for teaching purposes, for example:
  • code switching and use of non-standard Australian English
  • conventions of formal English in a range of genres and registers
  • text analysis, including how to analyse the linguistic structure and features of a text
  • understanding learner needs in a multilingual and multicultural learning environment
  • cognitive processes involved in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • diverse needs of those participating in literacy provision and learning resources to support them
  • English language systems and structures, including basic features of English grammar, phonology and lexis development
  • knowledge of generic features of texts
  • national standards, such as:
  • accredited course documentation
  • ACSF
  • Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
  • Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF)
  • Training Packages
  • range of literacy provision in VET, the workplace and the community
  • relationship of teaching practice to adult literacy teaching theories, such as:
  • applied linguistics
  • applied social theory and sociolinguistics
  • cognitive and metacognitive theories
  • critical literacy
  • humanistic and progressivist pedagogy
  • psycholinguistics
  • variables that interact to determine the level of difficulty of literacy tasks, for example:
  • application of language in variety of settings, including personal communication, social communication or workplace communication
  • familiarity of context
  • length and complexity of text language and structure
  • degree of inference the reader is required to make or how explicit a text is
  • kind of information in a text, for example concrete compared to abstract
  • extent of support required to respond to a text

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • analyse frameworks, theories and teaching approaches that underpin the teaching of adult literacy, demonstrating a significant depth of knowledge, which has been applied to analyse the literacy needs of those participating in literacy provision
  • select appropriate learning resources
  • devise, select and apply adult literacy teaching strategies appropriate to learner needs and delivery context, and demonstrate the rationale for the selection
  • evaluate effectiveness of teaching strategies.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • a suitable workplace environment
  • research about profiles of those participating in literacy provision
  • wide range of resources about adult literacy theories and approaches
  • resources to support adult literacy teaching.

Assessment must also ensure the use of culturally appropriate processes, and techniques appropriate to the language, literacy and numeracy capacity of the candidate and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

A range of appropriate assessment methods should be used to determine competency. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation or video recording of candidate's adult language, literacy and numeracy practice
  • evaluation of a portfolio of evidence comprising:
  • learner responses and feedback
  • personal reflections
  • planning notes
  • preparation, such as detailed session plans, learning activities and assessment tools
  • samples of resources
  • review of work samples, which may include session plans, units of work, resources, assessment tasks, evaluations and other work documents
  • questioning to establish required knowledge
  • review of third-party reports.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • TAELLN702A Analyse and apply adult numeracy teaching practices
  • TAELLN704A Implement and evaluate delivery of adult language, literacy and numeracy skills.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Applying adult learning principles  may include:

  • acknowledging learners' non-standard English as valid communication and a resource for learning
  • acknowledging that literacy learners have an implicit knowledge of the grammar of spoken and written English, possibly including non-standard varieties
  • acknowledging the impact on learning of sociocultural differences and attitudes to schooling
  • assisting learners to assume increasing responsibility for defining their learning objectives, planning their own learning and evaluating their progress
  • assisting learners to use learning resources, including new technology
  • creating a supportive environment to encourage efforts to change and to take risks with new literacy learning
  • emphasising experiential, participative and project-based instructional methods and appropriate use of modelling
  • encouraging learners to draw on own life experience and world knowledge to make meaning from texts
  • encouraging learners to reflect on ways literacy skills can empower them
  • reinforcing learners' view of themselves as learners and doers, by providing for progressive mastery
  • selecting tasks and content in learning resources appropriate to adult learners in a multicultural context
  • supporting learners to make links between the development of their literacy skills and areas of current or future employment and other areas of importance to them.

Provision  for learning literacy in VET contexts may include:

  • community programs integrating literacy into activities
  • literacy integrated into other VET programs
  • literacy integrated into workplace activities, for example in Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) programs
  • stand-alone adult literacy classes.

Diversity  may include:

  • individual characteristics that limit skills in literacy or ability to achieve goals, such as:
  • culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • effects of socioeconomic factors
  • low levels of formal schooling
  • low or limited meta-cognition skills, including adults with a learning or mild intellectual disability
  • physical or socio-emotional disabilities that impact on learning
  • 'spiky profiles' where oral communication, reading and writing skills vary
  • range in individual's literacy skills in relation to established frameworks such as ACSF, Training Package requirements and accredited course levels
  • range of motivation that leads adults to seek literacy provision.

Learning goals  may include:

  • completing equivalent to compulsory schooling in Australia
  • completing VET course
  • gaining employment
  • improving own education
  • interacting with bureaucracy
  • interacting with family and community
  • maintaining current job or managing promotion to next level
  • pursuing own interests.

Identifying  may include:

  • analysing features of language at the level of:
  • discourse or text
  • sentence and phrase
  • analysing language of texts for teaching and learning purposes to establish the required literacy skills
  • analysing tasks to identify their level of difficulty
  • identifying vocabulary and grammar appropriate to genre and register in a particular context
  • interpreting requirements of training products and texts in wider use.

Teaching approaches  may include:

  • bilingual approaches or peer support where individuals have low levels of English language
  • developing lexical and grammatical choices appropriate to genre and register
  • drawing on range of supports to learning, such as assistive technology
  • encouraging learners to use own life experiences to illustrate and clarify learning
  • exploring learners' previous experiences of literacy learning so that learners' perceptions become more positive
  • multi-sensory approaches, and activities and resources that build on learners' strengths
  • sequencing activities to reflect increasing level of skill development
  • using a variety of learning modalities, including:
  • visual
  • kinaesthetic
  • sensory
  • using a variety of learning resources, including:
  • games
  • hands-on activities
  • real-life materials
  • visual materials
  • using strategies that teach learners dominant literacy practices.

Strategies to teach awareness of how language works  may include:

  • acknowledging the relationship between language and social, cultural, political and religious identity
  • analysing how language varies and changes to suit needs of different groups and how this influences language use
  • developing meta-language skills and including activities to support learners in their own use of meta-language
  • discussing language and power relations in order to encourage recognition of dominant language / standard English if appropriate
  • discussing the role language plays in the formation, maintenance and transformation of power relations
  • discussing the role language plays in meeting work requirements effectively in a workplace setting
  • teaching differences between spoken and written forms.

Learning resources  may include:

  • bilingual and multicultural resources
  • computer-based delivery, software applications, educational software and CDs
  • documentation drawn from a workplace or vocational environment
  • everyday texts used by adults, including newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and fiction or non-fiction texts
  • online resources, including browsers, websites and social networking sites
  • resources drawn from a workplace or vocational environment
  • technology used in everyday life, such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and ticket machines.

Devising activities at a range of levels of difficulty  may include:

  • analysing variables that underpin level of difficulty of literacy tasks
  • drawing on sample activities from levels 1 to 5 of the ACSF.

Strategies to teach reading skills  may include:

  • analysing texts as reflection of writer's culture, experiences and values
  • analysing features of a range of text types, including:
  • electronic and printed texts
  • multi-modal texts
  • texts containing visual elements
  • building decoding skills
  • building meaning-making strategies
  • developing vocabulary
  • discussing effectiveness of the text
  • discussing audience and purpose
  • using phonological strategies, such as:
  • letter-sound relationships
  • blending activities.

Strategies to teach writing skills  may include:

  • building skills through discussion, modelling, scribing, copying and group writing
  • building text level skills by:
  • sequencing, paragraphing and using cohesive devices
  • using layout features
  • developing sub-skills, such as:
  • graphology, including handwriting / word processing and punctuation
  • grammatical structures
  • vocabulary
  • spelling patterns of English
  • evaluating the effectiveness of writing
  • providing opportunities to draft and edit
  • selecting relevant texts as models
  • using, providing and constructing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing activities as they relate to specific requirements, such as workplace recording and reporting requirements.

Strategies to teach oral communication skills  may include:

  • analysing audience and purpose of communication, such as conveying informational requirements in the workplace
  • developing skills to use a range of registers and styles
  • interactional strategies, such as:
  • varying language to reflect changes in social relations or contexts
  • using voice tone, volume and content to suit different social contexts
  • using appropriate introductions and greetings
  • turn taking.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Language, literacy and numeracy practice

co-requisite skills

Co-requisite skills