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Community Literacy Summit March 19, 2007 Daphne Greenberg, PhD Georgia State University Palomar Hotel, Washington, DC.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Literacy Summit March 19, 2007 Daphne Greenberg, PhD Georgia State University Palomar Hotel, Washington, DC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Literacy Summit March 19, 2007 Daphne Greenberg, PhD Georgia State University Palomar Hotel, Washington, DC

2 Literacy “An individual’s ability to read, write, and speak in English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential.” The National Literacy Act of 1991

3 WHO ARE ADULT LITERACY STUDENTS?  We belong to all races, religions, ethnicities, genders, and live in all neighborhoods.  Some of us may be:  employed  recent high school dropouts  non-English speakers  prison inmates  parents  high school graduates  people with special learning needs  senior citizens

4 DIFFERENT TYPES OF INSTRUCTION  ESL  Basic Skills  Functional Skills  Pre-GED  GED  Developmental/Remedial

5 DIFFERENT APPROACHES  Family Literacy  Workplace Literacy  Community-Oriented Literacy  1:1 Tutoring  Small Group Instruction

6 LOCATIONS OF PROGRAMS  Community Colleges  Community Based Organizations  Work Sites  Libraries  Prisons  Religious Institutions  Housing Projects  Homeless Shelters

7 WHAT ARE SOME OF THE GOALS OF ADULT LITERACY STUDENTS?  Functional (balancing a checking account; reading bus schedules)  Spiritual (reading the Bible)  Pleasure (reading the newspaper; playing word games)  Family (reading to children; helping with homework)  Job/economic advancement (GED; completing job applications)

8 Adult Education Target Population  More than 51 million adults, or approximately 23 percent of the adult population of the United States have not completed a high school diploma or equivalent (2000 Census). women and men are equally distributed (about 50 percent each) : 29% 25-44: 26% >60: 29%

9 Findings from the Adult Education Program and Learner Surveys  Federally funded programs 2.7 million adult learners are served. On average, learners participate under 100 hours over the course of a year. Of those learners, about a third gained one or more educational levels during the year.

10 Are there significant improvements- pre to post? TestNPre Mean Post Meansig. Effect Size BNT ***0.47 WJ Reading Fluency ***0.44 WJ Letter ID ***0.19 WJ Passage Comp ***0.15 GORT Rate ***0.15 TOWRE Sight Word ***0.15 Blending ***0.12 Elision ***0.11

11 Are there significant improvements- pre to post? TestN Pre Mean Post Meansig. Effect Size GORT Comp ***0.11 GORT Fluency ***0.10 PPVT ***0.09 Sight Word ***0.08 WJ Word Attack **0.06 TOLD **0.05 GORT Accuracy **0.05 TOWRE Phonemic *0.03

12 Findings from the Adult Education Program and Learner Surveys  About 75% of adults who attend adult literacy programs are unable to meet “a minimum standard for success in today’s labor markets” (Sum, Kirsch, & Taggart, 2002, pg. 11). Therefore, more at risk for: lower paying jobs and less likely to be offered : promotions and job training opportunities

13 Strengths and Weaknesses  Deficiency noted in phonological based tasks  Performance on oral language skills more similar to children’s reading ages, than to adult ages  Poor integration of componential skills  Difficulties in world knowledge and reasoning tasks  Relative strengths in sight word tasks

14 Assessment  If our learners are interested, we need to assess their strengths and weaknesses.  We need to share these results with learners in language they can understand.  We need to work with learners to create a plan that takes into account their test results, AND their goals  All of the above is CONTINUOUS!

15 Good assessment:  Takes into account learners’ goals -if don’t address them, learners will leave!  Tests various skills - readers with similar scores on a silent reading comprehension test still vary greatly in fluency, decoding, and vocabulary.

16 Examples of Possible Clusters Cluster # WJ Passage Comp. GORT Comp WJ Word Attack TOWRE Sight Word TOWRE Phonemic Sight Word Reading WJ Fluency TOLD 1  2  3  4 

17 Adult Learners  Learning takes TIME!!!!! - We need to be realistic about goals  Many learners attend, stop, and then come back, or go to a different location - Therefore, we need to develop strategies that they can use to continue work on their own as self- study while away

18 Learner Issues  Child care  Transportation  Counseling

19 Program Related Issues  Very few full time staff. -Mainly part-time and volunteer. -Very few that are trained.  Many classes involve mixed skill levels. - Problematic for teachers and learners.

20 What does the field need?  Well trained teachers  Ongoing classroom observations and feedback provided to the teachers  Ongoing assessment that takes into account learner goals and various skills  Direct, explicit instruction AS NEEDED in areas such as word-reading, spelling, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary  Sequential instruction so that one skill builds upon the other.  COMMUNITY SUPPORT

21 Finally… Denton, Vaughn, & Fletcher, (2003) write that there is a need for “the provision of clear documentation of practices that are research-based and opportunities for teachers to access this information” (p. 203).

22 Finally… Instruction should be based on “the integration of professional wisdom with the best available empirical evidence” (Whitehurst, 2002)

23 Finally… Voices: Learners Teachers Program site administrators Community needs

24 How can this occur?  Need time  Need support services  Community involvement MONEY

25 WHY?????????????  Health  Workplace  Intergenerational  Democratic principles


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