Adult Learners’ Week – Celebrating the Value of Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning is great for health, wellbeing and mental agility. Adult learners of all ages and backgrounds report benefits like better self-esteem, greater tolerance, confidence and career prospects.

Adult Learners’ Week/He Tangata Mātauranga runs 4-10 September and celebrates all adult learning whether it’s upskilling for a better job, preparing for further study, improving life skills or having fun. It is supported by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and incorporates International Literacy Day on September 8.

If you’ve ever been curious about our learning programmes for adults – sessions on learning how to use a new piece of technology, family history research, or polishing up your CV – Adult Learners’ Week is a great time to head along and try out what we have to offer.

Library events during Adult Learners’ Week

  • eResource Taster sessions, Central Library Peterborough –  Each session focuses on a different eResource. Learn about accessing/downloading digital newspapers (PressReader), eBooks (Overdrive), eAudiobooks (BorrowBox), and eMagazines (RBdigital Magazines) as well as tips for researching family history (Ancestry Library) or online language learning (Mango Languages)
  • Technology Help Drop-in Sessions, several libraries – Have a specific issue relating to a device or piece of technology? Drop-in and get some guidance.
  • ESOL Club, Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre – This club is for non-native speakers who would like to practice English in a relaxed, pressure free environment. Every week we will have a different themed topics to guide conversational practice.
  • Family History Help, Fendalton and Upper Riccarton Libraries – Looking for more help with your family history research? A volunteer from the New Zealand Society of Genealogists will be available to help you with your family history questions.
  • CV drop-in, New Brighton Library – A librarian will be on hand to assist customers who are needing help with their resume. We can offer guidance on creating, updating, and editing your CV.
  • Learner License Course, Aranui Library – This course, delivered by Literacy Christchurch, is designed to give you all the knowledge and confidence needed for best success at passing when sitting for your learners licence test. Laptops and devices will be available for use during the class times to sit practice tests and for researching questions.
  • How to organise and edit your digital photos, South Library – Learn how to organise your photographs and do some basic editing using online photo editing software. Please ensure that you bring your camera and USB download cables. Cost: $7. To make a booking please call 941 5140

Find out more

Adult Learners’ Week – a time to learn something new

If you think that learning is for children or for university students, then think again. Learning is for everyone and it is possible to teach ‘an old 0dog a new trick’.

If you don’t believe me, then think about this: I’m writing a blog on a computer. Computers were around when I was at school, but they were very big, very expensive and not very fast. Blogs hadn’t been invented and if you made a typing mistake, then you either had to start all-over again, or use correction tape. Thank goodness I continued to learn new things.

For those of you who would like to learn something new, Then Adult Learners’ Week / He Tangata Mātauranga is for you. It is supported by UNESCO, the Tertiary Education Commission, and adult education course providers. It takes place from Monday 5 September to Sunday 11 September. It includes International Literacy Day which is held on 8 September.

Lifelong learning not only teaches you new skills, it helps keep the “little grey cells” active and is a way of meeting new people. Our website can connect you with e-resources, books and courses. There will be something just right for you.

International Literacy Day celebrates the fact that literacy is a human right. The library has many tools which can help you improve literacy skills and those aimed at both students and tutors.

To get yourself  started, You will find English language skills collection material in our libraries. This collection includes resources for both people with literacy difficulties and their tutors. We also have Simplified readers. These books are popular titles that have been re-written to cater for people with different levels of reading ability.

When you can’t get to the library to borrow books, try our eResources. You can access these from home with your library card and password / PIN

  • Road to IELTS: General  Access a self-study preparation course to help candidates prepare for the globally recognised IELTS exam. It tests English use at a general level.
  • World Book Discover  World Book Discover offers access to reference resources for reluctant readers, students with learning difficulties, adult literacy students or those who are learning English as a second language.

For more handy hints, check the following, which you’ll also find on our Adult Learners’ Week page –

Adult Learners’ Week — He Tangata Mātauranga: an opportunity to try something new

My grade three teacher confused me. He told me that he learned something new every day. How could that be? He was a teacher and he knew everything. My grandmother and her sister added to my primary school-aged confusion by telling me that they enjoyed learning new things all the time. What was going on? Adults know everything.

What I didn’t realise then, but I am well aware of now, is that adults don’t know everything, and that many, if not most, like learning new skills and information, and expanding their horizons by trying new experiences. The importance of this lifelong learning is celebrated every year during  Adult Learners’ Week — He Tangata Mātauranga.

Adult Learners' Week brochureThe library fosters learning at all times, of course, but during Adult Learners’ Week it particularly encourages you to learn something new and to celebrate your successes and achievements as a lifelong learner. If you want to take on a new challenge, I recommend you:

Adult Learners’ Week also incorporates International Literacy Day on 8 September. Find out about our English Language Skills resources for both people with literacy difficulties and their tutors.

Adult Learners’ Week – Take That First Step

As someone who doesn’t  remember a time when I couldn’t write, read and use mathematics, I find it hard to imagine how life must be if you have limited or no literacy. I’ve known adults who have hidden their lack of literacy well into their middle age, for fear of ridicule and embarrassment, but who, with support, have taken the steps to literacy and now are enjoying the freedom and excitement of even small things, such as reading the newspaper, writing emails to friends and yes, even reading the back of the cereal packet.

Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope – Kofi Annan

Literacy is fundamental in our ability to interact with the world, and our prisons, for example,  are filled with those who have fallen through the literacy cracks and struggle with even the most basic levels of writing, reading and numeracy. It creates a separateness and isolates through embarrassment and usually unfounded feelings of being stupid or inadequate.

September 2- 8 is Adult Learners’ Week. The week incorporates International Literacy Day on September 8 and here at the Christchurch City Libraries, we have a wealth of resources to help increase literacy, whether you are a native speaker of English or not.

Libraries in your community are holding events during the week

You can also search our CINCH database to find community based programs aimed at improving and encouraging literacy, no matter where you are on the literacy ladder.  Your local library has easy readers aimed at adults and books that can test you and give you practice on essential skills.

Mango languageIf you are looking for ways to be a life long learner, check out the resources available at your local library and online. We also have a large number of resources for people learning English as a second language. Our Mango Languages database has lessons for Japanese, Korean and Mandarin speaking people wanting to learn English.

If you are someone who struggles with literacy in any way, there is help out there, and the first step you take will help you travel into a whole new world.

International Literacy Day – Are you feeling privileged to be reading this?

CoverProbably not a great deal, but you should.  Not because of the opportunity to sample my ever-so-sparkling prose (yeah, right!), but because far too many people in Aotearoa have difficulty in reading and understanding what they read at all.  In fact,  according to the results of  the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey, over 40% of the adult population in New Zealand have low literacy skills.

It is hard to fully comprehend the difficulties that this large minority of people faces in dealing with the demands of everyday life.  So here’s my challenge to you on this International Literacy Day, 8 September:  stop and think about how often you rely on the written word … And how reading involves a lot more than just deciphering letters (ever felt lost trying to fill in an official form? I know I have, and I have a Master’s degree). Literacy Aotearoa has some suggestions.

So how can we help those who struggle with reading, writing and basic maths? Well, if you have taken my challenge, you are already helping: having an awareness of the issue is a great start.

If you would like to improve your literacy skills, or want to help someone else do so, try the following links.