Research about Adult Reading Instruction

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Research about Adult Reading Instruction


Adult Education Literacy Instruction: A Review of the Research (Kruidenier, MacArthur, & Wrigley, 2010)

  • (from the preface) This report is the product of the NIFL/NCSALL Adult Literacy Research Working Group (ALRWG), a panel of experts on reading research and practice convened by the Institute and the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy to identify and evaluate existing research in adult reading instruction and to provide a summary of scientifically based findings. This report is a follow-up to the Group’s initial effort, Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction, published in 2002.

Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning (1998-2008)

  • This website provides information about a longitudinal study of adult learning conducted by Stephen Reder's team at Portland State University over a 10-year period. The study investigated 4 research questions: To what extent do adults' literacy abilities continue to develop after they are out of school? What life experiences are associated with adult literacy development? How do formally organized basic skills programs contribute to these learning trajectories? Workplace training? Other contexts and activities? What are adult learners' patterns of participation over time in literacy training and education? In other learning contexts? What are the impacts of adult literacy development on social and economic outcomes?
  • For a summary of a discussion with Stephen Reder held on the Reading and Writing Skills Discussion List May 2-6, 2011, click here.

Adult Literacy Research Consortium (2002-2007)

  • This webpage overviews six research projects in adult literacy funded by The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL), and the U.S. Department of Education - Office of Vocational and Adult Education. All studies used either experimental or quasi-experimental designs, and some also included qualitative methods. Following the description of each project is a list of the peer-reviewed publications related to the study.

Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults (McShane, 2005)

Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction(Kruidenier, 2002)

  • This Partnership for Reading publication summarizes research findings related to teaching reading in adult basic education classes. Findings are categorized according to the weight of the research evidence behind them: Emerging Principles, Trends, Ideas, and Comments. (128 pages)
  • Teaching Reading to Adults (2005) is a 14-page publication based on the larger report. The primary audience is adult basic education teachers, and the authors present implications for instruction in alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Affecting Change in the Literacy Practice of Adult Learners: Impact of Two Dimensions of Instruction (Purcell-Gates, Degener, Jacobson, & Soler, 2000)

  • This NCSALL report describes an investigation of the relationship between two dimensions of instruction (authenticity of instructional texts/activities and degree of student/teacher collaboration) and change in adult learners' literacy practices.
  • A 2-page NSCALL Research Brief about this study is available.
  • Taking Literacy Skills Home (April 2001) is a Focus on Basics article about this study.
  • A peer-reviewed article about this study ("Impact of Authentic Literacy Instruction on Adult Literacy Practices") is published in the Reading Research Quarterly (2002), 37[1], 70-92.

ESOL Reading Instruction

Learners' Perspectives on Reading

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