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Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework

OALCF Overview

Posted 2011

Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF) is a competency-based framework that supports the development of adult literacy programming delivered through the Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program. This program helps learner transition to their goals of work, apprenticeship, high school credit, college or university, or independence.

The new framework supports the elements outlined in the Curriculum.
They are as follows:


  •  supports the development of task-based programming;

  • helps practitioners focus on strengthening the learner’s ability to integrate skills, knowledge and behaviours (attitude) to perform authentic, goal-related tasks;

  • supports the development of contextualized programming that reflects the learner’s culture, language and other features specific to the learner and her or his goal;

  • builds on current literacy practice and strengthens the links between the LBS program and Ontario’s employment, education and training system;

  • is learner- centered, goal-directed and transition-oriented;

  • focuses on competencies, assessment, learner transitions to work, apprenticeship, high school credit, college or university, or independence.


To understand how those elements work as a whole, the Curriculum Framework (CF) has to be primarily understood. It is one part of OALCF’s multi-part framework. It includes six competencies that organize learning content and describe learner proficiency, using three levels of complexity. They are as follows:

  1. Find and Use Information

  2. Communicate Ideas and Information

  3. Understand and Use Numbers

  4. Use Digital Technology

  5. Manage Learning and

  6. Engage with Others


Meaningful tasks are assigned with a purpose based on two things respectively:

1) action verb and what the person is asked to do and;

2) ends with a purpose why is a person asked to do it.

The competencies are necessary to complete the tasks assigned realistically; sometimes they work together even more than two at a time.

The tasks focus on skills, knowledge and behaviours in which learners can expect to improve while participating in the adult literacy program.


1) Skills – choose and apply appropriate working methods for the task

2) Knowledge – find and learn about appropriate steps to try a new task

3) Behaviours – accepting about making mistakes/accept that s/he is wrong.

To sum up, with the new curriculum implemented within OALCF, the tools necessary for practitioners to use specifically and precisely are made possible in order to accommodate the needs of varying students within the four streams under the LBS program in Ontario. It helps support and specify the learners’ goals realistically in which meaningful tasks are carried out.

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