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Focus On Basics

Volume 8, Issue B ::: May 2006

NCSALL on the Web

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Our Subject Index allows you to access easily all NCSALL publications by topic, including Accountability, GED, Learner Motivation, Curriculum Development, Assessment, Technology, Family Literacy, Math, Program Design, Practitioner Research, Writing, and more — the Subject Index includes more than 50 topics.


Review of Adult Learning and Literacy: Connecting Research, Policy, and Practice, Volume 6,
edited by John Comings, Barbara Garner, and Cristine Smith. Published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. 

Contents: J. Oxenham, Foreword. N. Lopez, The Year 2003 in Review. B. Edmondson, Demographic Change and Low Literacy Americans. M.E. Curtis, The Role of Vocabulary Instruction in Adult Basic Education. D.J. Sawyer & M.T. Joyce, Research in Spelling: Implications for Adult Basic Education. K.M. Bailey, Issues in Teaching Speaking to Adult ESOL Learners. M.C. Smith, The Preparation and Stability of the ABE Teaching Force: Current Conditions and Future Prospects. I. Bailey, Overview of the Adult Literacy System in Ireland and Current Issues in Implementation. M.A. Cowan, Beyond Single Interests: Broad-Based Organizing as a Vehicle for Promoting Adult Literacy. M.A. Cowan, Resources on Community Organizing.

Visit the NCSALL Web site for chapter summaries. Order your copy online; available in hardback ($99.95) and paperback ($32.50).

NCSALL Research Reports

An Evaluation of the NCSALL Publication Focus on Basics - PDF
by Barb Garner, Marco Boscolo, John Comings, Donna Curry, Kelly McClure, and Cristine Smith

The results of a survey on the impact of Focus on Basics on its readers are available.
The findings were overwhelmingly upbeat. The 292 readers who completed the survey report that Focus on Basics has had a positive impact on practitioners in these ways:

  • It has influenced their beliefs about adult basic education.
  • It has helped them feel connected to the larger education community as professionals.
  • It has contributed to the development of communities of practice.
  • It has enabled them to make a connection between research and practice.
  • It has provided them with concrete ideas they have used to change their programs and practice.

The report provides ideas on how the publication can be used as a professional development tool. A Research Brief is also available, at http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/

Learners’ Engagement in Adult Literacy Education - PDF
by Hal Beder, Jessica Tomkins, Patsy Medina, Regina Riccioni, and Weiling Deng

This qualitative study, conducted by the NCSALL research team at Rutgers University in New Jersey, examined the contextual factors that shape engagement in adult literacy education in classrooms that used individualized group instruction. Turn to page 6 for an article excerpted from the full study; a Research Brief is also available at http://www.ncsall.net/fileadmin/

NCSALL Occasional Paper

An Evidence-based Adult Education Program Model Appropriate for Research - PDF
by John Comings, Lisa Soricone, and Maricel Santos

This paper reviews the available empirical evidence and professional wisdom in adult basic education and uses it to define a program model that meets the requirements for good practice.

NCSALL Teaching and Training Materials

Skills for Chronic Disease Management
by Rima Rudd with Lisa Soricone, Maricel Santos, Charlotte Nath, and Janet Smith

This study circle prepares participants to help their students acquire basic literacy skills needed for the management of chronic disease. These skills include reading medicine labels, following directions, and measuring dosages correctly; using measurement tools to monitor health; monitoring symptoms and talking to health care professionals; and making critical decisions about health care.

Skills for Health Care Access and Navigation
by Rima Rudd, Rima Rudd, Lisa Soricone, Maricel Santos, Emily Zobel, Janet Smith, and Winston Lawrence

This study circle prepares participants to help their students acquire basic literacy skills needed for accessing health-related services and for navigating health care systems. These skills include filling out forms, reading signs, and interpreting rights and responsibilities.

Program Administrators’ Sourcebook: A Resource on NCSALL’s Research for Adult Education Program Administrators
by Jackie Taylor, Cristine Smith, and Beth Bingman
This sourcebook presents NCSALL’s research findings in short sections related to key challenges that program administrators face in their work as managers of adult education programs. It also presents the implications of these research findings for program structure and services, as well as some strategies for implementing change based on these implications.

NEW on the Web Site

Practitioner Research, Practitioner Knowledge
This new section in Connecting Practice, Policy, and Research shares what NCSALL has learned through its practitioner knowledge and practitioner knowledge initiatives. Teachers in the Northwest Practitioner Knowledge Institute studied research on English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), made changes in their own practice, and documented the results. Teachers in the Minnesota Practitioner Research in Reading Project and the Practitioner Dissemination and Research Network studied the research of others and also conducted research of their own.

NCSALL by Role
This section offers a variety of professional development ideas on adult multiple intelligences, adult student persistence, authentic context, General Educational Development (GED), and reading. Professional developers and program administrators can access guides for facilitating half-day seminars and multisession study circles. Policymakers can read relevant research articles and reflect on policy-related questions. Teachers and tutors can access self-studies that invite them to (1) read the related research, (2) reflect on this research and their practice, and (3) focus on an aspect of their practice.

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