1. From the President

Hello everyone, and happy wishes for the weeks ahead from the eVALBEC news team as we all relaxedly (we hope) swing through the final days of December, and look forward to 2022.

As I write this final post for 2021, my thoughts of gratitude flow to you, our eVALBEC readers. You are  an extraordinary community of thinkers, makers, presenters, creators, researchers, providers, and human capacity developers. Your collective contributions strengthen and sustain VALBEC at a magnitude that is both awe-inspiring and undetectable on an individual level. Together, these gestures of connection have had impact, on the Conference, the PD Forums, on the 3 editions of Fine Print and the VALBEC Facebook Group. Thank you for energising and enlivening  our community of practice as we faced the challenges of 2021.

And it’s been our pleasure keeping you connected to news and resources from the Victorian adult language literacy and numeracy education scene. In our last post for the year, we share a holiday hamper of activities and resources from well-known makers in the VALBEC community. We hope these offerings keep your spirits high, through the Christmas holiday festivities in December and on into the new year.

Here’s Cheers, 2022!

Elizabeth Gunn
Valbec President

Photo by William White on Unsplash

2. Valbec Membership

Join or renew online.


If you join in November, December or January pay full membership and get bonus time. Renewal falls due in February one full year later.

Members receive:

  • Fine Print three times a year – a high quality journal for discussion and debate about good practice, theory and policy issues. Feedback and contributions are actively sought from members about content and issues.
  • eVALBEC – our e-mail communication keeping members informed of professional development activities, general committee activities and more up to date policy changes.
  • Discounts for the Annual Conference and other VALBEC statewide professional development.
  • Issues-based forums.
  • Focus on significant policy issues impacting on the field.
  • Free numeracy resources

3. Holiday wishes and 2022 resources and activities from our LLN Maker Community

The Language Scene

How can we teach grammar in a way that is meaningful, effective and engaging for our learners? In this energising, online, 2-hour online workshop, Dramatically Grammatical- Part 1, facilitated by Jodie Whitehurst, language teachers will learn how to empower their students to explore and master some common grammatical challenges through drama. The techniques taught in the workshop are non-threatening, accessible and adaptable to all age groups and language learning contexts. No drama experience is required, just a sense of fun and an openness to facilitating transformative learning.

‘Dramatically Grammatical-Part 1’ is on Thursday, January 27, 2022 from 10.30am-12.30pm (AEDT).

Venue: Online (Zoom link provided before workshop)
Cost:  $40.00
Booking link:https://www.trybooking.com/BVYWV  (Maximum participants-12)

“Jodie’s workshop is fun and enlightening. The easy to apply activities create a student-centred and contextualised learning environment that has great scope to enhance fluency and confidence in language learners of all levels.”  Stephanie Daley, workshop participant.

For more information, visit www.thelanguagescene.com.au or contact Jodie: jodie@thelanguagescene.com.au
See Jodie’s short video overview of what participants can expect:  https://youtu.be/Tp_IBwutAo4

Urban Lyrebirds

Urban Lyrebirds have been busy during lockdown.

They’ve written the Sing with Me Stories  –  a beautifully illustrated series of ten readers for post beginner and literacy students. They will be available from Bookery and the Urban Lyrebirds website (Pdf/audio) in early 2022.

They can’t wait to share them with you!

The Book Next Door

Happy holidays, everyone! Thanks so much for the chance to be part of the VALBEC conference!

Look out for your next newsletter from The Book Next Door, with news about digital versions of the ESL Extras books, inspired by Bernard’s English Express. A little later in the year there’ll be ‘Book Club’ print and digital versions of three intermediate e-books… that’s all I can promise for now!

Clare Harris, The Book Next Door

Your Business Writing Coach: Marie Alafaci

Elementary, My Dear Writer Writing Workshop, January 24, 2022

More information: contact@mariealafaci.com

English Express by Bernard Miles


The English Express Beginner Workbook is a new topic-based workbook for adult learners of English. There are nine topics that present language in the context of everyday situations, such as house hunting, health and transport. The book uses Australian conventions and vocabulary. There are over 80 animated videos to accompany the book, which are conveniently hosted online.

Teachers around Australia are already enjoying this new resource. Here’s one example:

“I just wanted to say that I’ve bought the new Beginner Workbook and I absolutely love it!! It’s fantastic!! The videos are a great complement to the worksheets and my students have already told me they love it too! Excellent work! I can’t wait for the next.” (Carla, AMEP and ESOL Teacher)

English Express – My Busy Day is a new resource for beginner learners of English. It presents simple sentences that describe what people do every day in different jobs and occupations. To aid understanding, every sentence is accompanied by an image. The book is ideal for learning verbs, developing reading skills, practising speaking and strengthening grammatical knowledge (such as subject-verb agreement). With over 30 jobs and occupations to choose from, you can easily integrate them into your classroom topics. (Available in early 2022.)

These resources are available as PDF eBooks, which makes them easy to print, display on a projector, or share with students online. They are available as an individual licence (for one teacher) or a team licence (for an entire site).

You can visit englishexpress.com.au to access free sample lessons and previews. There’s even a full 192-page preview of the English Express Beginner Workbook.


PageTurners hope you have a wonderful summer break, and manage to have a well-deserved holiday!

And, make sure you keep an eye out for Series 10 coming in 2022.

Chris Malakar, PageTurners

4. Fine Print

Thank you to all the contributors and readers of Fine Print in 2021. Volume 44 was a cracker and we’re looking forward to sharing Volume 45 with you in 2022 (make sure your membership is current so you don’t miss out).

Volume 45 will have a focus on sustainability. Get in touch with Fine Print editor, Deryn Mansell fineprintvalbec@gmail.com, to share your ideas on how teachers, managers and organisations can go about their work in ways that limit the cost to the planet. One example is to get resources from a library. Our most recent issue included a great overview of LMERC, a library that every adult literacy and numeracy teacher should know about. We’ve linked to it here for readers of eVALBEC who might not have the hard copy of the journal to hand: https://bit.ly/FinePrintDecemberRead

5. Unions

Australian Education Union


National Tertiary Education Union



eVALBEC is the monthly electronic newsletter of (VALBEC) the Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council and is sent to about 1000 practitioners on the first of each month (other than January). It is also available in the ‘News’ section of our web site


The activities, goods and services mentioned in eVALBEC are not endorsed by Valbec in any way. People should make their own judgment about the suitability of each item.

How to submit items: https://www.valbec.org.au/evalbec

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