ERIC Number: ED319008
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-May
Reference Count: 0
Developing Literacy in Children and Adults: Are There Differences?
Curtis, Mary E.
If, by looking more closely at word identification, knowledge of word meanings, and reading comprehension, some interesting similarities and differences are found between children and adults who are learning to read, then the approaches that work best with each group can be identified. When children learn to read, fluency of word identification follows the development of accuracy quite closely, with the initial period of fluency completed by the fourth grade. For adults, however, it is not unusual to find that the level at which they are able to read fluently lags several grade levels behind their level of accuracy. At about the fourth grade level, children can read all words the meanings of which they know, and they begin to see words in print that they can read but which are unfamiliar to them. Adults at the fourth grade level and beyond are much less likely than children to encounter words in print that are totally new to them. In contrast to children, it is not at all unusual to find that adults' grade levels in reading comprehension are higher than the grade levels of words they are able to recognize in print. Children's ability to comprehend by listening exceeds their reading comprehension up until about the eighth grade. Adults, however, differ very little between their reading and listening levels. Building on what is already known may help develop literacy in adults. (Twenty-one references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association (35th, Atlanta, GA, May 6-11, 1990).