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The Science of Improving Reading for Adults

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Presentation on theme: "The Science of Improving Reading for Adults"— 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 Topics for this presentation:
1. What are the primary causes of poor reading skills in adults? 2. What should be the “targets” of instruction to improve literacy in adults How can we work most efficiently to increase reading skills in adults? 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 Here are some of the big ideas from the book 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 Primary Causes of Poor Reading in Adults
1. May have a learning disability such as dyslexia – received insufficiently powerful instruction—got off to a very 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. 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.

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. Society School

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

9 What are the most serious challenges faced by adults who have not yet acquired good reading skills?
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

10 What Skills are Required for Good Reading
Reliable strategies for identifying unknown words in text Phonemic analysis- “phonics” Comprehension Decoding Retention 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 A Passage To Poor Readers
______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.

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

20 If we want them to read more fluently, we must help them to read more words “by sight”
Learning to read lots of words “at a single glance” 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 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 Dolch Words 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 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

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 What must we teach adults if we want them to become good readers?
1. We must teach them the knowledge and skills required to identify unknown words in text 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 No matter what the goal, we want them to be able to read with reasonable accuracy
If they are extremely weak in phonics – we need to identify what they don’t know and teach it to them. Phonographix, Lindamood If they have 3rd- 4th 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 12th graders Here are some of the big ideas from the book Individual differences in vocabulary have a powerful impact on reading comprehension beginning about third grade

27 After reviewing recent educational, psychological, linguistic, and neurobiological research on reading, 5 eminent scientists recently concluded: “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) According to the alphabetic principle, letters and combinations of letters are the symbols used to represent the speech sounds of a language based on systematic and predictable relationships between written letters, symbols, and spoken words. The alphabetic principle is the foundation of any alphabetic writing system, which is one of the more common types of writing systems in use today Q …. U 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 5th grade Because of their age and experience, most adults will know most of the words in the text they are reading up until about 4th-5th grade level—when reading vocabulary diverges dramatically from spoken vocabulary.

29 Word Identification Strategy
Discover the context Isolate the prefix Separate the suffix Say the stem Examine the stem Check with someone Try 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 down

33 Helping adults to increase their reading comprehension using research-based strategies
Before Reading Activate prior knowledge Preview headings During Reading Visual imagery Here are some of the big ideas from the book Comprehension monitoring After Reading Summarize in own words Ask clarifying questions


35 The “Recon” Strategy When Beginning a New Reading Event:
1. Look at all the pictures 2. Read the pictures caption 3. Read at all the “clue” boxes 4. Read at all the “bold” words 5. Read the Summary 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.
Do adults really need to learn to read in the same way that young children do? 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 However, adults come to us with many different goals and levels of skill, so we need to have individualized plans

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

39 Another Great Adult Reading Game

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. Here are some of the big ideas from the book

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 How candid is Jack Welch? What kind of aligner is he?! 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.



44 &
ThankYOU For your Attention & Science of Reading

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