Publications

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

Publication Details

This report, which complements Literacy and Life Skills for Pasifika Adults, investigates the extent to which the distribution of English literacy among Pasifika adults is associated with changes in the distribution of their educational attainment and familiarity with English.

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.

Executive Summary

Talofa lava, Kia orana, Fakaalofa atu, Taloha ni, Ni sa bula vinaka, Malo e lelei, Tënä koe, and warm Pasifika greetings.

This report, which complements Literacy and Life Skills for Pasifika Adults1, investigates the extent to which the distribution of English literacy among Pasifika adults is associated with changes in the distribution of their educational attainment and familiarity with English.

The ALL survey (conducted, in New Zealand, in 2006) was designed to measure the distribution of literacy and numeracy skills among the adult population of New Zealand. It was the sequel to a similar survey, the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), conducted in 1996.

The ALL survey included an oversample of Pasifika adults. This design feature has allowed meaningful analyses of the distribution of literacy and numeracy skills among the adult Pasifika population of New Zealand. In particular, it has permitted the current investigation. For more information about the ALL survey, see The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: An Introduction1.

Key Findings

This report describes, for the adult Pasifika population of New Zealand, a statistical relationship between each of prose literacy and document literacy , and a number of background factors including educational attainment and familiarity with English.

In particular, this report describes the relationship between distributions of these English literacy skills and each of the factors: age; gender; labour force status; educational attainment (in the form of time spent in formal education); language most frequently spoken when at home (representing familiarity with English); first language; place of birth; and income.

  • Of all of these factors, educational attainment (in the form of time spent in formal education) was most closely associated with English prose and document literacy. Pasifika adults who had spent more time in formal education tended to have higher prose and document literacy skills.
  • If educational attainment of Pasifika adults is not taken into consideration, then the language spoken in the home was most closely associated with English prose and document literacy. Pasifika adults who spoke English infrequently in the home tended to have lower prose and document literacy skills.
  • Literacy and Life Skills for Pasifika Adults noted that for Pasifika adults, the patterns of change, between 1996 and 2006, in document literacy differ from the patterns of change in prose literacy over the same period. This paper finds that these differences are not attributable to the relationships between educational attainment, familiarity with English and each of these two forms of English literacy.

Footnotes

  1. Available from The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: An Introduction.
  2. Briefly, prose literacy is the ability to read continuous text such as that found in books, document literacy is the ability to read discontinuous text such as that found in graphs or charts. For more details, please see The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: An Introduction.
     

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