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ERIC Number: ED455494
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jul
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Reading--A Perspective on Life.
Lowe, Kaye
A study explored the holistic nature of reading failure from the perspective of those who have endured the emotional and intellectual burden of not being able to read. Reading failure is frequently viewed from a fragmented, reductionist perspective. Getting to know and understand the individual's perception of literacy failure is ignored in the literature. This study draws on the stories of seven adults and their experiences of being illiterate; illiteracy is examined within the context of their lives. A remedial program was negotiated with the participants--they chose what they read and what they wrote about. These choices served as the basis for discussion, demonstration, and the application of remedial strategies. Participants were required to read every night for 10 minutes and to write for 10 minutes. To become writers, they had to write despite their vulnerability, since it was the only way to overcome the fear and trepidation often associated with being exposed on a piece of paper. Three to four hours were set aside to discuss the participants' reading histories, memories of schooling, family support and reading habits, how they coped with failure, and knowledge of the reading/writing processes. At weekly meetings they were observed reading and writing. Additionally, participants nominated for interview someone who understood their literacy failure. After ceasing the remedial program, follow-up interviews were conducted. Findings suggest fear of failure and lack of literacy success go hand in hand. Whenever participants confronted texts, they were reminded of the humiliation attached to previous unsuccessful experiences, and they relived the experience in every subsequent literacy attempt. Confronting the problem was crucial. When participants identified real purpose for reading, it had to be important enough to outweigh any reason for remaining tethered to past literacy experiences. (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A