At the SIAE, we’ve prepared two booklets in the ESF project called Adult Competences Development 2016–2022. The booklets are a part of the collection titled Descriptors of Basic Skills, and apply to the core capabilities of Communication in Foreign Languages and Language Competences and Digital Literacy. This way, we are continuing the work of a previous ESF project called Literacy Development, Assessment and Recognition of non-formal Learning, where we also prepared, in cooperation with the teachers practitioners, booklets with descriptors for Basic Competences for Communication in the Mother Tongue, Learning to learn, Self-initiative and Entrepreneurship, and Mathematical Competence and Basic Skills in Science and Technology.

In the scope of this project, we proceed with descriptors for the remaining four basic competences – Communication in Foreign Languages, Digital Literacy, Social and Civic Competences, and Cultural Awareness and Expression. The descriptors for eight basic competences will connect into the collection at the end of the project. The booklets of Communication in Foreign Languages and Digital Literacy are already finished, and the other two will be prepared in 2018–2020 period together with the teachers. The descriptors will contribute to easier monitoring of individual’s progress and will help the adults’ educators in more transparent evaluation of knowledge, gained through the informal routes.

In designing descriptors for selected areas of basic competences, we’ve chosen a method of action research, which requires close cooperation of experts with the practitioners – teachers and mentors. It’s about connecting a profound expert work with mutual learning. A working group ensures the practitioners with an opportunity to get to the core of the theoretical foundations of their work with people and at the same time explore and research individual competence in their direct educational practice. Then, they are able to connect their findings with a theory in the framework of the group’s operations. The experience shows that this is one of the most precious forms of professionals’ learning, within which the practice and theory are constantly intertwined. Here, the colleagues learn about this whole cycle of action research as a method that can be applied to their work in any field. The result of the group’s work are of course descriptors of specific competency, which arise on the basis of real situations and people’s needs, and are tested in the process of the action research.

Both new booklets, as well as the other four (in Slovenian) are available on the Literacy website.

Katja Bider and Diana Volčjak (, SIAE

© 2017-2022 Slovenian Institute for Adult Education

​The publication is co-financed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.

ISSN 2630-2926

Slovenian Institute for Adult Education
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Published by Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE), Šmartinska 134a, SI-1000 Ljubljana | Editor-in-chief: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (E: | Editor: Ana Peklenik (E: | Other members of the editorial board: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, dr Nataša Potočnik, Directress of SIAE, dr Tanja Možina, Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MSc and dr Tanja Rupnik Vec | Computer solution: Franci Lajovic (T: 01 5842 555, E: | Translation/proofreading: Mesto znanja, izobraževanje in svetovanje za osebno rast, Petra Cvek, s. p.  | Design: Larisa Hercog | Corrective reading: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, and Mateja Pečar | W: