Dear Reader,

This is the last issue of EBSN-EPALE newsletter in 2015 to deliver recent EPALE news, publications and resources in relation to BASIC SKILLS to your mailbox. At the same time we are glad to inform you, that the European Commission has asked EPALE Consortium led by Ecorys UK to continue the operation for the next 2 years. This will open up new opportunities also for EBSN to utilize the platform in new ways to enhance professional discussions, knowledge sharing both inside and outside the EBSN membership, and even to offer actual learning and professional development by accommodating some of the EBSN Academy’s initiative on EPALE. So we shall be back in 2016 with the EBSN-EPALE newsletter and will be seeking to better serve your needs for selected basic skills related information, as well as to engage you in professional dialogues, sharing of experience and group activities relevant to your special interest.

Closing to the very special season of the year, the EBSN- EPALE Team wishes you and your Family a Merry Christmas and relaxing, refilling period of time at the end of the year. Thank you for all your attention, interests and contributions in 1915, and HAPPY NEW YEAR for 2016!!!  

Best wishes


Zoltán Várkonyi, Maria Toia, Zsolt Vincze, Erika Répási, Zoltán Szabó



Maria Toia /Member of the Executive Committee, European Basic Skills Network (EBSN)/  about eliminating disparities between rural and urban areas in the field of adult education. The blog entry appeared both in English, and in German, French, Romanian, Italien and Polish, and it refers to an initiative, which overcomes economic, social and educational disparities in rural areas from the West Region of Romania.

From community development to basic skills (EN)

Von der Entwicklung der Gemeinschaft zum Erwerb von Grundkompetenzen (D)

Du développement communautaire aux compétences de base (F)

De la dezvoltarea comunității la competențele de bază  (Ro)

Dallo sviluppo delle comunità alle competenze di base (I)

Od rozwoju społeczności po umiejętności podstawowe (PL)

Is it time to move adult literacy education online?

The blog post of Nicola Davenport from Intrasoft-International Belgium is about adults’ basic skills problems in Europe, and creating opportunities for upgrading skills online via internet. She raises the question: is this the best way to reach those struggling with literacy, be it reading and writing, numeracy or computer literacy?


How can we improve literacy skills among adults in Europe?

Maria Toia, thematic coordinator for life skills on EPALE moderated the first online discussion on EPALE on the 8th of September. You can still access the discussion and read the threads.

COMING SOON - ON LINE discussion on prison education on EPALE!!!

EBSN organizes an open online discussion on prison education hosted by EPALE at the beginning of 2016.

‘ON line discussion on prison education week’ will be announced on the early days of January supplemented by a research paper and case presentation from Norway as preliminary reading and feeds for thoughts and comments. The discussion shall be going on for three days in the period 25-29 January, and shall be open for joining by anyone at anytime who is interested in the topic in the announced period. The discussion is organised and facilitated by EBSN, the threads and comments of the experts and participants shall be wrapped up and concluded in a Summary Paper, and will be accesible for reading also after the online event. Practitioners who will be interested to continue the discussions and sharing experience will be able to join EBSN Special Interest Group to be organised under the theme and  utlise EPALE community discussion fora. 

5 Principles of Good Adult Literacy Work

NALA from Ireland elaborated guidelines for good adult literacy work defining the 5 most important principles of quality work in adult literacy.

Basic skills and CVET: a missing link?

Graciela Sbertoli,chair of the Executive Committee of the EBSN, European Basic Skills Network, and Assistant Director for International Affairs at Vox, Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning, wrote about the causal link between a lack of a functional level of basic skills and participation in continuous vocational and education and training.


International Day of Education in Prison

The European Prison Education Association (EPEA) would like to invite you to support them in establishing an International Day of Education in Prison, to be observed annually on the 13th of October.

On the 13th of October 1989, the Council of Europe adopted a set of recommendations outlining the needs and responsibilities concerning the education of imprisoned persons.

This day will serve to encourage activities and events within prisons, raising awareness of – and celebrating the successes of – educational work in prisons, but also to keep prison education an important issue amongst policy makers, ombudsmen and other critical stakeholders.

This day will not only result in practical activities, promoting grass-roots participation by prisoners and educational professionals, but also foster symbolic support from major international organizations, furthering highlighting the importance of prison education at an international policy-making level.

In acknowledgement of your support for establishing an International Day of Education in Prison EPEA would like to ask for your signature on this petition, showing solidarity and strengthening our collective vision.

Hopefully this day will be important in helping to maintain an international awareness of the issues concerning prison education in an ever-changing world.

More research and diverse variety of evidence types needed to persuade better the decision makers

On September 2015 a challenging and thought-provoking conference was organised by NIACE as the UK National Coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning.

As for kick-off keynote speaker Tim Harford (Financial Times) argued for randomised control trials (RCTs) and has given insight their widespread effective use.

The most important lessons and messages of the conference ’Realising Impact: Making a difference through adult learning’ can be read on EBSN website.


The Benefits of Adult Learning

This document was produced by the University of Exeter on behalf of Learning South West.  It contains a summary of research findings showing the impacts of lifelong learning on individuals, the economy and society at large.

It was produced for Learning South West, who were tasked with coordinating Adult Learners' Week, a celebration of the benefits of lifelong learning and an opportunity to explore the many types of learning available to adults from all walks of life.

Knowledge on initial literacy training

The authors of this report, Pernille Birkeland and Magnus Fodstad Larsen from Vox (Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning) present research on initial literacy and 2nd language acquisition.

The mapping of relevant literature in this subject area, is conducted by search in various databases and on the Internet, and by means of manual search in selected references.

Write on for work- Guidelines for web-based basic skills support in organisations that help people into work

There is a strong correlation between low literacy, low educational attainment and unemployment. On the flip side, many activation programmes are designed on the assumption of people having stronger literacy and numeracy skills than exists in the population. This limits the opportunities for people who are unemployed with literacy and numeracy difficulties. NALA (National Adult Literacy Agency, Ireland)is compiling these guidelines with a view to enhancing labour market activation programmes to better serve these people.

Professionalization of literacy and basic education – Qualification Concept for Literacy Practitioners (Handbook)

This handbook is one of the results of the project titled "Professionalization of Literacy and Basic Education –Basic Modules for Teacher Training - TRAIN" (a multilateral Socrates Grundtvig 1 project), coordinated by the German Institute for Adult Education (DIE) Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning. The project partners were the following adult learning organizations German Institute for Adult Education (DIE),Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT),National Agency to Fight Illiteracy (ANLCI), Cyprus Adult Education Association (CAEA),Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (ACS),Swiss Federation for Adult Learning (SVEB).

This handbook includes guidelines, concept of teacher training modules, learning materials, good practice examples in the field of literacy and basic education.

The handbook is available in five languages: English, German, French, Slovenian and Greek.

Outreach Empowerment Diversity: Guidelines for Trainers and Management Staff in Adult Education

These guidelines aim to support managers, course designers and practitioners in adult education institutions in their work with socially and educationally disadvantaged groups.

 It is based on examples of good practice collected from 14 European countries and reflects the experiences of adult educators working in the field.

The guidelines were made within the framework of a project coordinated by EAEA, aims at creating a European Network on outreach, empowerment and diversity. This Grundtvig Network brings together 17 organisations from 14 countries.

Basic skills competence goals and teacher guidelines

The objective of basic skills training is to provide benefits for learners, labor market and society.

To help improving basic skills in the Norwegian adult population, and establish national standards in Norway, Vox (Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning) has developed a comprehensive set of competence goals for basic skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy, oral communication and the use of ICT. The goals are examples of local curricula in basic skills for adults.

Based on the competence goals, Vox has also prepared a book with detailed and elaborated guidelines to show teachers how to plan and facilitate basic skills training adapted for adults learners.

Along with teacher training, this toolbox is intended to increase the quality of teaching, and to ensure that learners receive consistent training programs tailored to their needs as adults. 

As the national agency in Norway, Vox is currently chairing the ESBN executive committee. (European Basic Skills Network). Through EBSN, the above resources have been presented to a range of international adult learning communities, and adopted for local use in e.g. Luxembourg, Hungary.

Integrating Literacy: Guidelines for further education staff

This is an updated version of the guide first published in 2002 from NALA (National Adult Literacy Agency, Ireland). It is intended as a resource for managers and staff in further education and training centres. Guideline 8 is particularly intended for teachers on vocational and academic courses for adults and young people.

OTHER interesting items

INFOGRAPHIC: Digital skills in Europe

Interesting infographic about digital skills in Europe. Take a look! http://buff.ly/1LayCqd