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Literacy and Life Skills for Pasifika Adults: Results from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey

Publication Details

The 2006 ALL survey was designed to measure the distribution of literacy and numeracy skills among the adult population of New Zealand. The ALL survey included an oversample of Pasifika adults. This design feature has allowed meaningful insights into the distribution of literacy and numeracy skills among the adult Pasifika population of New Zealand.

Author(s): Elliot Lawes, Research Division, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: August 2009


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Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report.

Language spoken most frequently in the home

This section is concerned with the distribution of skills by language spoken most frequently in the home amongst Pasifika peoples.

Figure 5.1 shows the distribution (among Pasifika peoples measured by the ALL and IALS surveys) of those who spoke English most frequently in the home and those who spoke another language. Figures 5.2 to 5.5 show the distributions of each of prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy and problem solving skill by language spoken most frequently in the home for Pasifika adults in New Zealand. In addition, Figures 5.2 and 5.3 show the comparable statistics available from the IALS survey.

Recall that the ALL and IALS surveys measure skills using tests in English.

Overall, Figures 5.1 to 5.5 indicate that:

  • There was a substantial increase in the proportion of Pasifika adults who, when at home, most frequently spoke a language other than English.
  • Where comparison was possible (i.e. for prose literacy and document literacy), regardless of language spoken most frequently in the home, the majority (from 65 percent to 93 percent) of Pasifika adults in 2006 had level 1 or 2 skills.
  • Where comparison was possible (i.e. for prose literacy and document literacy), Pasifika adults who, when at home, most frequently spoke English had substantially higher skills than Pasifika adults who, when at home, most frequently spoke another language.
  • The percentage of Pasifika adults who, when at home, most frequently spoke English and who had level 3, 4, or 5 prose literacy appeared to decrease from 1996 to 2006. However, there was a substantial increase in the percentage of Pasifika adults who, when at home, most frequently spoke English and who had level 3, 4, or 5 document literacy.


Figure 5.1: Language spoken most frequently in the home, IALS and ALLImage of Figure 5.1: Language spoken most frequently in the home, IALS and ALL.

Figure 5.2: Prose literacy level by language spoken most frequently in the home, IALS and ALLImage of Figure 5.2: Prose literacy level by language spoken most frequently in the home, IALS and ALL.
Notes:
  1. To allow statistically robust estimates, levels 1 and 2 and levels 3, 4 and 5 were grouped together.
  2. Figures for “Other” in IALS were not included because of their low statistical quality.


Figure 5.3: Document literacy level by language spoken most frequently in the home, IALS and ALLImage of Figure 5.3: Document literacy level by language spoken most frequently in the home, IALS and ALL.
Notes:
  1. To allow statistically robust estimates, levels 1 and 2 and levels 3, 4 and 5 were grouped together.
  2. Figures for “Other” in IALS were not included because of their low statistical quality.


Figure 5.4: Numeracy level by language spoken most frequently in the home, ALL onlyImage of Figure 5.4: Numeracy level by language spoken most frequently in the home, ALL only.
Notes:
  1. To allow statistically robust estimates, levels 3, 4 and 5 were grouped together.
  2. Numeracy was not measured in the IALS survey.
  3. Figures for “Other” were not included because of their low statistical quality.


Figure 5.5: Problem-solving level by language spoken most frequently in the home, ALL onlyImage of Figure 5.5: Problem-solving level by language spoken most frequently in the home, ALL only.
Notes:
  1. To allow statistically robust estimates, levels 1 and 2 and levels 3 and 4 were grouped together.
  2. Problem-solving was not measured in the IALS survey.
  3. Figures for “Other” were not included because of their low statistical quality.

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