Publications

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.

Place of birth

This section is concerned with the distribution of skills by respondents’ place of birth (within New Zealand or otherwise) amongst Pasifika peoples.

Figure 7.1 shows the distribution of those who were born in New Zealand and those who were born elsewhere as measured by the IALS and ALL surveys. Figures 7.2 to 7.5 show the distributions of each of prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy and problem solving skill by place of birth for Pasifika adults in New Zealand. In addition, Figures 7.2 and 7.3 show the comparable statistics available from the IALS survey.

Recall that the ALL and IALS surveys measure skills using tests in English. The place of birth of a Pasifika adult will influence, to some extent, their familiarity with English. Therefore the results of Sections 5 and 6 (related to familiarity with English) should be kept in mind when reading the current section.

Overall, Figures 7.1 to 7.5 indicate that:

  • Between 1996 and 2006 there was an increase in the proportion of Pasifika adults born outside of New Zealand.
  • For all four skill domains (prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy, and problem solving skill), regardless of place of birth, the majority (from 64 percent to 94 percent) of Pasifika adults in 2006 had level 1 or 2 skills.
  • Where comparison was possible (i.e. for prose literacy, document literacy and numeracy), Pasifika adults born in New Zealand had substantially higher skills than Pasifika adults born elsewhere.
  • The percentage of Pasifika adults born in New Zealand who had level 3, 4, or 5 prose literacy appeared to decrease from 1996 to 2006. Assessment of the significance of this decrease is difficult as the number of Pasifika respondents in the IALS survey was relatively small.


Figure 7.1: Place of birth, IALS and ALL

Figure 7.1: Place of birth, IALS and ALL


Figure 7.2: Prose literacy level by place of birth, IALS and ALL
Figure 7.2: Prose literacy level by place of birth, 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 “Elsewhere” in IALS were not included because of their low statistical quality.


Figure 7.3: Document literacy level by place of birth, IALS and ALLFigure 7.3: Document literacy level by place of birth, 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 IALS were not included because of their low statistical quality.


Figure 7.4: Numeracy level by place of birth, ALL onlyFigure 7.4: Numeracy level by place of birth, 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 7.5: Problem-solving level by place of birth, ALL onlyFigure 7.5: Problem-solving level by place of birth, 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 “Elsewhere” were not included because of their low statistical quality.

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