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Reading Difficulties

Step 1: Read the related research

First read:
“There’s Reading and Then There’s Reading: Process Models and Instruction.”
Victoria Purcell Gates, Focus on Basics, Volume 1, Issue B, May 1997.

The author reviews general theories of the reading process and outlines their implications for instruction of adults. She rejects dichotomous views and, instead, looks at various theories that emphasize the role of letter and word recognition, phonemic awareness, comprehension, and social and cultural contexts in the process of reading. Purcell-Gates argues that teachers need to be cognizant of their assumptions and beliefs about reading development and instruction.

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Then read:
Excerpt from “Lessons from Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children for Adult Learning and Literacy."
Catherine E. Snow and John Strucker, The Annual Review of Adult Learning and Literacy, Volume 1, Chapter 2, pp. 25-38.

The authors outline risk factors identified in children with reading difficulties and compare these characteristics to those of adult literacy students. They provide case studies of adult learners in which component reading skills (word analysis/phonics, word recognition, spelling, oral reading, silent reading comprehension, and oral vocabulary) are tested to identify reading strengths and weaknesses. Adults, like children, require ample opportunities to learn and master alphabetic principles, to develop fluency, and to become enthusiastic readers. All instruction should engage students in meaningful reading activities. It should also address the social risk factors with which adult learners contend.

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Updated 7/27/07 :: Copyright © 2005 NCSALL