Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

RaPAL Looks Wider

We are delighted to announce that RaPAL will be part of the newly formed European Network of National Literacy Organisations (ELINET).  This umbrella organisation has been formed following recommendations in the 2012 Report of the European High Level Expert Group on Literacy (EHLG) and aims to gather evidence on literacies policies; facilitate the exchange of expertise and good practice; and support organisations in campaigning to raise awareness of the importance of literacy across a range of policy areas.

There are 80 European organisations involved to varying degrees, with a number from the UK.  Work streams will include adult literacy, early childhood & primary schools (including family literacy) and adolescents.  We hope that with RaPAL members’ particular focus on literacies research and practice that we will have much to offer and this will open up opportunities for RaPAL members and establish new working links across Europe.  More details will follow for members in due course.


  1. Official Press Release, for those interested:

    80 European organisations launch the European Literacy Policy Network ELINET in Vienna

    From the 24th until the 27th of February, 80 organisations from 28 countries mark the start of the European Literacy Policy Network (ELINET) in Vienna, Austria. One in five European 15 year olds, as well as nearly 75 million adults, lack basic reading and writing skills, which makes it hard for them to get a job, and increases their risk of poverty and social exclusion. H.R.H. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands will launch the network to prevent and reduce illiteracy in Europe. Furthermore, Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth will elucidate this major new step in a special video message.

    In 2011 the European Commission established a High Level Group of experts in the field of literacy. This group examined how to support literacy throughout lifelong learning, identified common success factors of literacy programmes and policy initiatives, and came up with proposals for improving literacy. Following the work of the Group, the European Commission initiated a network to raise awareness, gather and analyse policy information, and exchange policy approaches, good practices, and initiatives to reduce the number of children, young people and adults with low literacy skills by 2020.
    The launch of the network is organized by the network´s Coordinator, the University of Cologne (Prof. Dr. Christine Garbe, Martin Gross), in cooperation with the Austrian Book Club in Vienna. The official opening will be at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research. The 80 partner organisations from 28 countries (of which 24 are EU Member States) consist of existing national literacy associations and foundations, policymakers, literacy centres, and other stakeholder groups working in the field.

    To learn more about the European Literacy Network, please contact: Prof. Dr. Christine Garbe, University of Cologne, Germany: +49-221-7895-5588 or +49-170-4086-321, christine.garbe@uni-koeln.de. For information on the Austrian Book Club, please contact Henrike Blum: +43 /1/ 505 17 54-36 or 0680/133 95 26, henrike.blum@buchklub.at

  2. I am here in Vienna representing RaPAL at the launch of ELiNET. To open the event, we heard speeches from various people; the network coordinator, representatives from the High Level European Literacy Group and HRH Princess Laurentien of The Netherlands, along with an Austrian minister and the Book Club in Vienna, who are hosting this event. This was followed by speed dating between representatives from the 79 network member organisations (from 28 countries!) and team leaders from the 8 main areas that the network will focus on, one of which is adult literacy. It has been a long and full day and I have lots to report back to members about how we can participate in and contribute to the project! I will post again soon.

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