ERIC Number: ED240299
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jan
Reference Count: 0
New Views on Developing Basic Skills with Adults.
Chall, Jeanne S.
During the past 40 years, the definition of literacy and the needs of adult literacy education have changed. Before World War II, adult literacy programs usually focused on teaching totally illiterate adults to read and write at the simplest levels. Later, functional literacy at about the fifth grade level was promoted through the programs. Now, however, a reading level of twelfth grade is needed for adults to function in an increasingly complex technical society. Reading instructional materials can be classified in stages from one to five from a low to an advanced level, with one being simple reading skills such as those acquired by primary grade children, and five being more abstract reasoning skills such as those acquired by the average high school graduates. The amount of time required for adults to pass through these various stages of reading has not been determined, but unless adults have acquired a broad general education, it takes considerably longer than the usual attendance period at literacy programs. If literacy programs are to be successful at raising the reading levels of their participants to a twelfth grade level, more research is needed on how this can be accomplished. More appropriate materials need to be developed, along with diagnostic tests for adult programs. Finally, research is needed to show the influence of cognition on reading and the influence of reading on cognition. Such research efforts can help to prepare adults for the increasingly technical jobs of the future. (KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: National Adult Literacy Project
Note: Paper presented at the National Adult Literacy Conference (Washington, DC, January 19-20, 1984). For other conference papers, see CE 038 126-139.