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Feature of the month | February 2011

The third in a series of national summer institutes on workplace literacy and essential skills will take place June 27-29, 2011, at Dawson College in Montreal.

Hosted by The Centre for Literacy with support from nine international partners including key national organizations such as NALD, ABC Life Literacy Canada and the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network, the annual event contributes greatly to the body of knowledge that exists on the subject of adult literacy and workplace essential skills.

This year’s institute will focus on Workplace Literacy and Essential Skills: Embedding Practice, Preparing Providers, themes that emerged from the 2010 event. It will also continue to explore the most effective ways of engaging employers and learners.

Keynote speakers

  • Ann Kelly, PhD, is at the School of Education and Professional Studies, Adult & Vocational Education, Griffiths University in Australia. Previously, she worked in a technical and further education institution managing a range of adult literacy activities. She implemented the first centrally funded workplace literacy programs in Queensland and developed a vocational graduate certificate in adult literacy and numeracy to prepare teachers to work in the adult literacy/numeracy field.
  • Anne McKeown is Professional Development Manager for the London Strategic Unit at the National Research and Development Centre (NRDC) for adult literacy and numeracy in the UK. Her background is in teaching English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and teacher education in adult language, literacy and numeracy (LLN). Her recent research includes examining the role of unions in workplace ESOL and looking at programs for pre-service LLN teacher education. Recent presentations have included ESOL in the workplace for a Skills for Life at Work seminar, and ESOL and functional skills

The Centre for Literacy’s summer institutes have informed policy and practice in Canada and abroad for more than 20 years. When a small group of policy-makers, practitioners and researchers in a field meet and work together for three days in a participatory setting, there is valuable sharing of ideas, information and experience.

“Designing a series of institutes on the same topic – workplace literacy and essential skills – has led to a more in-depth analysis of the issues and critical examination of potential solutions,” says Linda Shohet, The Centre’s executive director. “We know from ongoing follow-up and evaluation that participants are using what they’ve learned at the institutes in their own work, and we expect to see impacts in current and future projects, policies and programs.”

For more information on the Summer Institute, go to


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