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ERIC Number: ED540592
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 59
Using Oral Language Skills to Build on the Emerging Literacy of Adult English Learners. CAELA Network Brief
Vinogradov, Patsy; Bigelow, Martha
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
In addition to learning to read and write for the first time, adult English language learners with limited or emerging literacy skills must acquire oral English. Often, learners with limited print literacy in their first language have oral skills in English that exceed their English literacy skills (Geva & Zadeh, 2006). While this mismatch of oral and written skills can be misleading to teachers, a limited but growing body of research explores the ways in which adults with emerging literacy acquire second language and literacy skills and the ways in which their oral language proficiency affects their literacy learning (e.g., Condelli, Wrigley, & Yoon, 2009; Tarone & Bigelow, 2005, 2007; Tarone, Bigelow, & Hansen, 2009). In this research, learners' oral language proficiency is shown to be a resource that can have a positive impact on literacy development. This brief reviews the research, describes ways to capitalize on adult learners' oral skills to create successful literacy learning experiences, and suggests areas for further research to bolster the knowledge base in working with adult second language learners who are in the process of becoming literate. This brief is written for teachers, program administrators, and teacher trainers seeking ways to work effectively with adult and adolescent English language learners with emerging literacy skills.
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016. Tel: 202-355-1500; Fax: 202-363-7204; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: Center for Adult English Language Acquisition