Large scale international surveys of adult competencies: Implications for adult learning in linguistic minority settings (2013)

This document is housed on the Centre for Literacy's server.

The author of this document, an adult educator with more than 20 years of experience in many areas of adult literacy education within Canada’s Francophone population, examines the evaluation of basic competencies for adults living in a linguistic minority context in Canada.

Large-scale surveys like the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) evaluate competencies by measuring the ability to perform “authentic” tasks drawn from applied contexts as close as possible to daily life. The international surveys assume from the start a uniform linguistic reality among respondents, which is rarely the case for Francophone minority Canadians.

The author acknowledges that survey developers would face a daunting task in trying to produce an inventory of authentic tasks, given that the use of a second language varies from one community and one workplace to the next. However, it must be recognized that the methodology has limitations when it comes to cultural adaptation, and great care must be taken when interpreting the results of these surveys in relation to linguistic minorities.

The author has used his own recent professional experience to analyze this issue, and presents brief summaries of two projects to illustrate the challenges and some possible alternative approaches. Those projects are the adaptations of the English-language evaluation system called CAMERA (Communication Math Employment Readiness Assessment) for Francophones, and the adaptation of the Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework for use with cultural minorities in Ontario.

This document was prepared for the Centre for Literacy’s Summer Institute, held in June 2013 in Montreal, Quebec.

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2013-12-10
APA citation
Donald Lurette. Large scale international surveys of adult competencies: Implications for adult learning in linguistic minority settings 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2021 <http://www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/sites/default/files/LURETTE_SI2013_EnglSumm.pdf>
Donald Lurette (2013). Large scale international surveys of adult competencies: Implications for adult learning in linguistic minority settings. Retrieved April 15, 2021, from http://www.centreforliteracy.qc.ca/sites/default/files/LURETTE_SI2013_EnglSumm.pdf
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