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Lessons from Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children for Adult Learning and Literacy

Volume 1: Chapter Two

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In this chapter, Catherine E. Snow and John Strucker discuss the implications of the 1998 National Research Council's report, Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children for Adult Learning and Literacy, for adult literacy, family literacy and adult ESOL programs. The authors explore the relevance of the report's research on children's reading difficulties to understanding adult literacy performance and the applicability to adult learners of the risk factors associated with literacy problems as identified in the report.

The chapter begins with a brief summary of the findings of Preventing Reading Difficulties that seem most relevant to ABE and ESOL. Among these findings is the identification of a set of risk factors commonly associated with literacy problems, as well as some key elements in the development of effective reading skills, some of which pertain to the experience of adults in both their childhood experiences and in their adult lives. The authors present six case studies of adult literacy learners to illustrate how the issues raised in Preventing Reading Difficulties are and are not directly relevant to adult literacy difficulties. They conclude by suggesting areas of adult literacy in need of further research, such as exploration of the instructional strategies that work to promote comprehension, analysis, word learning, inference, and critical thinking among children and adults. In addition, the authors suggest that teacher preparation for adult literacy practitioners might be improved with greater attention given to reading so that adult educators might better understand the full continuum of reading development, and recognize the impact of childhood literacy experiences on adult literacy students.

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Contact Information

The Annual Review was published in October 1999.
The ISBN is 0-787-94741-5
Price: $37

To order The Annual Review of Adult Learning and Literacy, click on to the Jossey-Bass Publishers web site
Or call Jossey-Bass Publishers toll free at (800) 956-7739.

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