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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This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  To view the individual chapters please refer to the 'Sections' inset box.  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.

Section 12: Discussion

This report provides statistical confirmation of many widely held beliefs. For example, this report confirms that among Pasifika adults, those with greater educational attainment tend to have greater English literacy skills. It also provides quantitative information on the extent to which these beliefs hold.

There are several questions which this report does not address, but which are highlighted by the contained findings. One such question is: which of the factors reported on (i.e. age, gender, labour force status etc) is most closely associated with English Literacy? The answer to this type of question can better direct policy makers or researchers on where to expend further investigate effort.

Another related question centres on the marked changes, between 1996 and 2006, in the distributions of educational attainment, language spoken most frequently when at home and how these changes relate to each of the (differing) patterns of change in prose literacy and document literacy. One might imagine that increases in the proportion of Pasifika adults with higher educational attainment would have a positive effect on literacy skill whereas increases in the proportion of Pasifika adults who were less familiar with English would have a negative effect. Whether this is true or not for Pasifika adults in general (or even for specific subgroups), remains to be seen.

These questions are addressed in a complementary publication, The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey: Literacy and Life Skills for Pasifika Adults: Further Investigation.

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