Literacy Awareness

Launch of new UIL publication on family literacy and learning

A new FL resource has been developed by UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning (with a sub Saharan African focus) .

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) is launching a new publication highlighting the critical role family literacy and learning play in breaking down barriers between different learning contexts and engaging hard-to-reach adults and children in education. Learning Together Across Generations: Guidelines for Family Literacy and Learning Programmes was developed as part of a family learning project initiated by UIL in 2016. Based on the experiences of promising family literacy and learning programmes implemented in all world regions, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa, it provides stakeholders in Member States with evidence-informed guidance on how to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a pilot family learning programme, stressing, in particular, the value of an intergenerational approach in addressing the learning needs of disadvantaged families and communities.

An innovative approach to literacy and learning

The innovative family-centred and community-based approach to literacy and learning has great potential in overcoming the barriers between school, home and community. It requires providers of early childhood care and development or pre-school education, primary education, and adult literacy and education to work together to redress educational disadvantage among vulnerable families. Evidence shows that such an approach also helps to overcome gender disparities. The publication provides guidance on how to respond to the learning needs of women and their families through the strengthening of positive, gender-conscious and culturally sensitive intergenerational learning practices.

The Guidelines are divided into three sections:

  • A theoretical introduction clarifying the concept of intergenerational and family learning.
  • A set of guidelines supporting potential providers in planning and delivering a pilot family learning programme.
  • A collection of examples of pedagogical materials.

The Guidelines aim to support stakeholders in Member States in successfully piloting a family learning programme. The principles, recommendations and examples of pedagogical materials featured in the publication were gathered during the International Workshop for the Development of a Resource Pack to Reach Vulnerable Families with Intergenerational Approaches to Literacy, which took place in Hamburg, Germany, in November 2016.

While they speak to all Member States, the examples included in this publication should resonate most with those who plan to implement a family learning programme in multilingual and multicultural contexts in rural or peri-urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa.

This piece is taken from:


This document is available to download in the ALOA downloads page.

Empowering Adult Learners Through Digital Literacy

group-keep-calmCelebrating Adult Literacy Awareness Week 2016

Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (ETB) with Waterford Library Services saw Mayor John Hearne launch a Digital Literacy Project called ‘Keep Calm and Love Learning’ in Central Library, Waterford City.

This Digital Literacy Project will invite adult learners from across Waterford County and City Adult Learning Centres to blog about their experiences of learning as an adult.  The aim of this project is to empower learners to express personal stories in their own words and to inspire other adults to join an adult education course.


In the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) 10% of Irish adults said they had no computer experience.  In the 21st century, it is important to be literate with technology.  The Internet is a way for people to network and learn new things, but also a potential barrier to further educational and work opportunities.


Finding work can be hard for adults with no digital literacy skills. At a very basic level, most job applications are now submitted online without ever using a piece of paper.  Not knowing how to use a computer severely limits a person’s ability to find work.


Waterford and Wexford ETB Adult Literacy Centres provide a range of digital literacy classes for adults including introduction to technology, computer skills, desktop publishing, spreadsheets, and internet skills.  Many of the classes include using social media for learning and teaching giving students the skills to participate in modern life. Waterford Library Services provide additional support for learners who return to education.


Learners attending classes with Waterford and Wexford Education Board are learning the Digital literacy skills that are required in the modern workplace and education environments.


For information with regard to Adult Literacy Classes please contact Joann Power in Waterford City (, Emma Coles in Tramore ( and Nicola Hanlon In Dungarvan at