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ERIC Number: EJ897193
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1086-296X
Reading-Related Literacy Activities of American Adults: Time Spent, Task Types, and Cognitive Skills Used
White, Sheida; Chen, Jing; Forsyth, Barbara
Journal of Literacy Research, v42 n3 p276-307 2010
This article presents data on the types and duration of reading-related activities reported by a volunteer sample of 400 adults (demographically similar to the U.S. adult population age 20 and older in terms of race, ethnicity, education, and working status) in the 2005 Real-World Tasks Study. This diary study revealed that adults spent, on average, 4.5 hours a day on activities that involve reading printed and electronic texts, a relatively higher percentage of which occurred on working than on nonworking days. Prose and quantitative tasks were more common (98 and 94 minutes, respectively) than hybrid and document tasks (40 and 25 minutes, respectively). Hybrid tasks constituted 15% of the total daily reading-related literacy time, a novel finding because hybrid tasks have not been defined or included in any previous studies. Most reading-related activities required application skills to act on or use information to function in society and achieve goals (e.g., to decide which health insurance plan to purchase). In terms of texts, adults spent about 191 minutes a day using prose texts but only 116 minutes using document texts. The largest portion of reading-related time of prose texts was spent on periodicals, journals, newspapers, electronic correspondence, and informational texts. Lists accounted for over a fourth of the time spent on activities involving reading document texts. These results have been used in assessment development to ensure that assessment tasks reflect everyday literacy activities. The data may also benefit literacy practitioners in creating materials that reflect adults' daily reading practices. (Contains 9 tables, 3 figures, and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A