NALA helps to improve quality assurance in the adult literacy field by providing Guidelines for Good Adult Literacy Work, updating it and including current developments.
We work with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and National University of Ireland (Maynooth) on providing training courses and accreditation for adult literacy practitioners. We support the quality of these courses.
NALA ensures the quality of provision by supporting student development, so that adult literacy students can contribute more effectively to their local service. We try to ensure that the students’ voice is influential in developing policy and provision nationally.
NALA carries out research to ensure that the adult literacy field is informed by the latest developments, new teaching methods and models of good practice. We are currently doing research with WIT on good practice in adult literacy teaching and learning. We share our research with agencies and institutions such as the Department of Education and Skills (DES), Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA) and the adult literacy service, so that the findings can help improve and modify the adult literacy service.
New teaching methods are discussed and analysed at NALA professional development events. The aim of our professional development events is to pass best practice in teaching and learning to those who attend so that the practitioners will use what they’ve learned and will change the way that they work as a result of attending these event. In post event surveys we measure the extent to which practitioners learned something new and used what they learned in their work after the event.
Adult Literacy Organiser (ALO), tutor and student events and forums provide an opportunity for practitioners and students to come together to share their own experience of what works well and to inform NALA in order to help practitioner and students solve problems together and implement good quality adult literacy work. These forums and student days are ideal for developing solutions to address issues raised. NALA also visit adult literacy centres to talk to ALOs, tutors and students re issues in practice and policy. The information gleaned helps inform NALA as to where the opportunities and challenges lie. This in turn allows NALA to further refine and develop their policy, approach and supports for good adult literacy practice.
NALA act as a conduit between practitioners and students on the one hand, and to various agencies, institutions and departments such as DES, FETAC, IVEA and other decision makers who influence and shape adult literacy provision. NALA ensures that the experience and views of adult literacy practitioners and students are clearly communicated to decision makers, so that policy, procedures and practice can be modified in line with student-centred quality guidelines that the adult literacy service espouses.