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The Science of Improving Reading for Adults Dr. Joseph Torgesen Florida Center for Reading Research www.fcrr.org Ken L. Hendricks Sr. Ed.S, NR/TAC/CCEMTP.

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Presentation on theme: "The Science of Improving Reading for Adults Dr. Joseph Torgesen Florida Center for Reading Research www.fcrr.org Ken L. Hendricks Sr. Ed.S, NR/TAC/CCEMTP."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Science of Improving Reading for Adults Dr. Joseph Torgesen Florida Center for Reading Research Ken L. Hendricks Sr. Ed.S, NR/TAC/CCEMTP Street Warrior Education

2 Lets Get Started

3 1. What are the primary causes of poor reading skills in adults? Topics for this presentation: 2. What should be the “targets” of instruction to improve literacy in adults 3.How can we work most efficiently to increase reading skills in adults? 4.Reading vs Reader

4 What can we expect from high quality interventions with adults? Most should be able to acquire beginning word analysis strategies relatively quickly (15-60 hrs), depending on where they start, which will increase their reading accuracy and independence Reading fluency will take longer to acquire, and will depend a lot on their willingness to practice Comprehension will increase as their reading accuracy and fluency grows, and will also be helped as they learn to think actively while they read

5 1. May have a learning disability such as dyslexia – received insufficiently powerful instruction—got off to a very poor start and never recovered Primary Causes of Poor Reading in Adults 3. May not have valued literacy, may have attended school sporadically, might have generally low learning ability – received insufficiently powerful instruction, got off to a poor start and never recovered. 2. May have entered school with very poor preparation for learning to read, and been “left behind” because of inadequate instruction—got of to a very poor start and never recovered.

6 The report of the National Research Council pointed out that these concerns about literacy derive not from declining levels of literacy in our schools but rather from recognition that the demands for high levels of literacy are rapidly accelerating in our society. School Society

7 I want to read to my children…. Goals for adult literacy instruction I want to be able to read the bible…. I want to go to technical school….. I want to read the newspaper….. I want to not have to depend on my wife to read my manuals for me…. I want to get my GED….

8 4. Word by Word Reading - Primary Causes of Poor Reading in Adults 6 Moving Lips while reading 5. Needless or Unconscious ReReading – lack of concentration 7. Talking to your self while reading - silently 8. Physical Habits – tapping foot, pencil 9. Distracters: TV, radio, eating 10. Lack of Practice

9 1. They still do not understand how letters are used to represent the sounds in words and cannot reliably “decode” print accurately. 2. Their reading is so slow and labored that they do not enjoy reading, and they have difficulty concentrating on the meaning of what they read 3. Their background knowledge and vocabulary are so limited that it is hard for them to understand what they read What are the most serious challenges faced by adults who have not yet acquired good reading skills?

10 What Skills are Required for Good Reading Reliable strategies for identifying unknown words in text Phonemic analysis- “phonics” ComprehensionDecodingRetention Other analytic strategies Guessing from the context Phoneme awareness is the ability to identify phonemes, the vocal gestures from which words are constructed, when they are found in their natural context--spoken words.

11 Average Reading Rates 1. Adult – 250 wpm / 70% comprehension 2. College – 300 wpm 3. Slow Readers - <150 wpm or <250wpm with ~25% comprehension

12 What Factors Increase Reading Rate and Comprehension 1. Set a Good Reading Environment 2. Do Not Read on Your Bed 3. Read Actively: Purpose and Self Monitor 4. Increase Eye Span – Improve Chunking 5. Practice – Practice - Practice

13 TYPES OF READING Scanning – Telephone book, dictionary Skimming – Surveying, previewing, checking relevance of text Light Reading – Reading for leisure, novels, wpm Word by word – Scientific information, unfamiliar terms Study Reading – SQ4R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Rite, Review) Goal: In depth comprehension ADJUST YOUR SPEED ACCORDING TO YOUR PURPOSE FOR READING AND THE DIFFICULTY OF THE TEXT

14 ______the middle ____, it was the ______for a ______ to wear his full set of _____ whenever he ________ in ______ – even in times of______! When a ______ believed he was _____ friends, he would ______ his ______. This ______ of __________ showed that the ______ felt ______ and safe. A Passage To Poor Readers

15 Same Passage To Good Readers During the middle ages, it was the custom for a knight to wear his full set of armor whenever he appeared in public – even in times of peace ! When a knight believed he was among friends, he would remove his helmet. This symbol of friendship showed that the knight felt welcome and safe.

16 Facts about reading from scientific research: The most efficient way to make an “accurate first guess” of the identity of a new word is: First, do phonemic analysis and try an approximate pronunciation Then, close in on the exact right word by selecting a word with the right sounds in it, that also makes sense in the passage Phoneme awareness is the ability to identify phonemes, the vocal gestures from which words are constructed, when they are found in their natural context--spoken words.

17 - clothes - prerogative - governor - arctic - calvary - February

18 Sight Words Reliable strategy for identifying unknown words in text - context Must know many thousands of words “by sight” to be a fluent reader

19 What is a “sight word”? To be a fluent reader, an adult must be able to recognize most of the words in a passage “by sight” Adults must correctly pronounce words 5-10 times before they become “sight words” “Sight words include any word that readers have practiced reading sufficiently often to be read from memory” (Ehri, 2002))

20 Learning to read lots of words “at a single glance” If we want them to read more fluently, we must help them to read more words “by sight” Focused practice with words from the 1,000 most frequent – “Teacher’s Book of Lists” Focused practice with words from the kind of texts they will be reading Repeated, timed reading of phrases and paragraphs from the texts they will be reading

21 a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, giving, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold, does, don't, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its, made, many, off, or, pull, read, right, sing, sit, sleep, tell, their, these, those, upon, us, use, very, wash, which, why, wish, work, would, write, your about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep, kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm Dolch Words

22 These are iNTirEStinG and cHallinGinG times for anyone whose pRoFEshuNle responsibilities are rEelaTed in any way to liTiRucY outcomes among school children. For, in spite of all our new NaWLEGe about reading and reading iNstRukshun, there is a wide-spread concern that public EdgUkAshuN is not as eFfEktIve as it shood be in tEecHiNg all children to read.

23 1. We must teach them the knowledge and skills required to identify unknown words in text What must we teach adults if we want them to become good readers? 2. We must help them learn to accurately recognize many thousands of words “at a single glance 3. We must help them to understand the meanings of the words they will be encountering in their reading material 4. We must help them to “think about meaning” at the same time they are identifying the words, so they can comprehend

24 If they are extremely weak in phonics – we need to identify what they don’t know and teach it to them. No matter what the goal, we want them to be able to read with reasonable accuracy Phonographix, Lindamood If they have 3 rd - 4 th grade skills, we need to teach them how to attack multisyllable words and apply word analysis in context The DISSECT strategy- Strategies Intervention Model

25 What skills are required to be a good reader? Reliable strategies for identifying unknown words in text Must know many thousands of words “by sight” to be a fluent reader - chunking Must know the meanings of many thousands of words Must have a large vocabulary

26 Important facts about difference in vocabulary First-grade children from higher SES groups know about twice as many words as lower SES children High school seniors near the top of their class knew about four times as many words as their lower performing classmates High-knowledge third graders have vocabularies about equal to lowest-performing 12 th graders Individual differences in vocabulary have a powerful impact on reading comprehension beginning about third grade

27 “From all these different perspectives, two inescapable conclusions emerge. The first is that mastering the alphabetic principle is essential to becoming proficient in the skill of reading….” (Rayner, et al., 2001) After reviewing recent educational, psychological, linguistic, and neurobiological research on reading, 5 eminent scientists recently concluded: Raynor, K., Foorman, B.R., Perfetti, C.A., Pesetsky, D., & Seidenberg, M.S How psychological science informs the teaching of reading. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 2:

28 If the goal is to attain proficient reading skills, then vocabulary instruction will be a challenge There are 26 letters to learn There are 44 phonemes to worry about There are 8,400 root words to know by 5 th grade Because of their age and experience, most adults will know most of the words in the text they are reading up until about 4 th -5 th grade level—when reading vocabulary diverges dramatically from spoken vocabulary.

29 Word Identification Strategy D iscover the contextD iscover the context I solate the prefixI solate the prefix S eparate the suffixS eparate the suffix S ay the stemS ay the stem E xamine the stemE xamine the stem C heck with someoneC heck with someone T ry the dictionaryT ry the dictionary

30 What Skills are Required to be a Good Reader? Anyone who is still learning to read has very frequent encounters with words they have never seen before in print. Unless they have been taught how to “decipher” these unknown words, they will be frustrated by making two many errors, and they will not become fluent readers

31 What skills are required to be a Good Reader? Reliable strategies for identifying unknown words in text Must know many thousands of words “by sight” to be a fluent reader Must know the meanings of many thousands of words Must know how to “think” while reading – reading strategies

32 Comprehension Strategies Thinking activities that are used to increase comprehension or repair it when it breaks downThinking activities that are used to increase comprehension or repair it when it breaks down

33 Helping adults to increase their reading comprehension using research-based strategies Before Reading Activate prior knowledge Preview headings During Reading Visual imagery Comprehension monitoring After Reading Summarize in own words Ask clarifying questions

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35 The “Recon” Strategy When Beginning a New Reading Event: 1. Look at all the pictures Read at all the “clue” boxes Read the pictures caption 5. Read the Summary 4. Read at all the “bold” words Read at all the “bold” words 6. Now Read the Event

36 The “Paragraph Shrinking” Strategy Learning to identify and state the main idea 1. Name the who or what (the main person, animal, place, or thing the selection is about) 2. Tell the most important thing about the who or what 3. Say the main idea in 10 words or less

37 Our best answer to the question at present is YES. Our best answer to the question at present is YES. In order to become skilled readers, adults need to learn the same set of skills and knowledge that are required for reading growth in children Do adults really need to learn to read in the same way that young children do? However, adults come to us with many different goals and levels of skill, so we need to have individualized plans

38 Teach vocabulary and reading strategies If we want them to read more complex text with understanding…. Bringing Words to Life Isabel Beck M. McKeown L. Kucan Guilford Press

39 AnotherGreatAdultReadingGame

40 Big ideas from “Bringing Words to Life” Research has discovered much more powerful ways of teaching vocabulary than are typically used in classrooms A “robust” approach to vocabulary instruction involves directly explaining the meanings of words along with thought-provoking, playful, interactive follow-up.

41 A concluding thought…. There is no evidence for a biological “critical period” in the development of reading skills that makes it harder for adults to learn than children However, we all know that it will take steady determination and sufficient time and practice for illiterate adults to become fluent readers If we will work with focus and determination to apply new knowledge about reading to our work with adults, we will find ever increasing levels of success.

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