Literacy and Life Skills for Pasifika Adults: Results from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey
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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Place of birthThis 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 7.2: Prose literacy level by place of birth, IALS and ALL
Figure 7.3: Document literacy level by place of birth, IALS and ALL
Figure 7.4: Numeracy level by place of birth, ALL only
Figure 7.5: Problem-solving level by place of birth, ALL only
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