ERIC Number: ED363732
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Sep
Should Reading-Disabled Adults Be Distinguished from Other Adults Seeking Literacy Instruction? A Review of Theory and Research.
Fowler, Anne E.; Scarborough, Hollis S.
A fresh look should be taken at the traditional distinction between adults with reading disabilities and those with little or no literacy skills. Although the distinction may still be valuable for theoretical purposes, it may not be as useful as it once was for practical situations. Many adults seeking literacy instruction today have limited reading skills concomitant with a more generalized learning problem or the motivational and educational disadvantages of a history of failure and a lower socioeconomic status. It is nearly impossible to disentangle the multiple problems contributing to and stemming from the reading difficulty. Research suggests that, if a person remains a poor reader in adulthood, it matters little whether the problem stemmed initially from a localized intrinsic limitation, a general learning problem, or inadequate educational opportunity. Their reading abilities appear to be hindered by weaknesses in the same components of the reading process that have been shown to pose the greatest challenges to children learning to read. To plan effective instructional programs for adults seeking literacy assistance, a sensitive diagnostic battery should be used that will be informative about which aspects of the reading process are most problematic for an individual. The most effective approach to adult reading instruction would be a skill-based one that is tailored to the client's current levels of skill in word recognition, decoding automatically, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension. (Contains 85 references.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Adult Reading Programs, Dyslexia, Educational Diagnosis, Educationally Disadvantaged, Illiteracy, Language Acquisition, Learning Problems, Literacy Education, Reading Ability, Reading Difficulties, Reading Failure, Reading Instruction
National Center on Adult Literacy, Dissemination/Publications, University of Pennsylvania, 3910 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3111 ($7; checks payable to Kinko's Copy Center).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.