ERIC Number: ED197302
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Adult Readers and the Texts They Need or Want to Read.
Sherman, Debora C.; Buchanan, Barbara M.
Two teachers from very diverse backgrounds combined their resources in the College of Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts to set up an adult literacy program. Based on the assumptions that instruction should be based on the needs of the learners, that reading is a cognitive rather than a mechanical process, and that reading is inseparable from other linguistic processes, they experimented with different forms of literacy instruction. The first form was an adjunct course that complemented a content course, in which most of the students were human service workers with inadequate communication skills for their jobs. A later model was developed by the students themselves. Their planning the program, deciding on the texts they needed and wanted, and using faculty as facilitators gave them competence and confidence. The texts in this and later models were regulations, manuals, handbooks, reports, and technical textbooks required by the students' jobs. Unlike traditional texts in reading programs, the content is perceived by the learner as vitally important, while at the same time being both familiar and immediately applicable to his or her needs. It is material that enables the learner to change his or her life in some recognizable way--feeling more competent, gaining skills for job advancement, and becoming more in control of the work environment. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the United Kingdom Reading Conference (17th, Warwick, England, July 28-August 1, 1980).