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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


Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report. This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads/Links' inset box, top right).
Please consider the environment before printing the contents of this report.

First language

This section is concerned with the distribution of skills by first language spoken (i.e. first language learned and spoken as a child) amongst Pasifika peoples.

Figure 6.1 shows the distribution of those whose first language was English and those whose first language was other than English as measured by the IALS and ALL surveys. Figures 6.2 to 6.5 show the distributions of each of prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy and problem solving skill by first language for Pasifika adults in New Zealand. In addition, Figures 6.2 and 6.3 show the comparable statistics available from the IALS survey.

Recall that the ALL and IALS surveys measure skills using tests in English. Whether or not a Pasifika adult’s first language was English will depend, to some extent, on their place of birth. Therefore the results of Section 7 (related to place of birth) should be born in mind when reading the current section.

Overall, Figures 6.1 to 6.5 indicate that:

  • There was a substantial decrease in the proportion of Pasifika adults whose first language was English.
  • For all four skill domains (prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy, and problem solving skill), regardless of first language, the majority (from 60 percent to 98 percent) of Pasifika adults in 2006 had level 1 or 2 skills.
  • For all four skill domains (prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy, and problem solving skill), Pasifika adults whose first language was English had substantially higher skills than Pasifika adults whose first language was other than English.
  • The percentage of Pasifika adults whose first language was English and who had level 3, 4, or 5 prose literacy appeared to decrease from 1996 to 2006. However, the percentage of Pasifika adults whose first language was English and who had level 3, 4, or 5 document literacy skills was stable.


Figure 6.1: First language, IALS and ALL

Image of Figure 6.1: First language, IALS and ALL.


Figure 6.2: Prose literacy level by first language, IALS and ALL
pubID-54836-fig6-2
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 6.3: Document literacy level by first language, IALS and ALLFigure 6.3: Document literacy level by first language, 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 6.4: Numeracy level by first language, ALL onlyFigure 6.4: Numeracy level by first language, 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.


Figure 6.5: Problem-solving level by first language, ALL onlyFigure 6.5: Problem-solving level by first language, 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.


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