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Three underdeveloped models for adult learning

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Three Underdeveloped Models for Adult...

This chapter describes research on effective instructional practices to develop the literacy of adolescents and adults and identifies needed research. Individuals needing to improve their literacy have diverse characteristics, literacy development needs, learning goals, and challenges to learning.

Settings of instruction are wide-ranging and include local education agencies, community organizations, community colleges, prisons, and workplaces. Across these programs and often within a single program, the instruction has diverse aims to help adults attain employment or work skills, career advancement, a general educational development GED credential, a college degree, the ability to assist children with school, or other practical life goals.

Thus, the first part of the Three underdeveloped models for adult learning describes the population and the contexts of literacy instruction. Because formal literacy instruction in the United States occurs mainly in adult education programs and developmental education courses in college, we organize the discussion around these two learning contexts. The second part of the chapter characterizes the state of research on instructional practices for adults.

As explained in Chapter 1adult is defined in this volume as individuals ages 16 and older not enrolled in K school, consistent with the eligibility for participation Three underdeveloped models for adult learning federally funded adult literacy education.

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A recent systematic Three underdeveloped models for adult learning of research on instructional approaches for adult literacy populations has been funded by the National Institute for Literacy in partnership with the U. In synthesizing the evidence on instruction, we draw on this review, which we then augmented with.

We include English language Three underdeveloped models for adult learning and adults with disabilities in describing the population of adults with literacy development needs but discuss the research on instruction with these populations in subsequent chapters.

The chapter concludes with a summary of the extent of current knowledge of effective practices in adult literacy instruction and directions for future research. There are many reasons why individuals seek to develop their literacy skills as adults. Some study to obtain a high school equivalency diploma; others seek to help their children and families with education, health, and other practical life matters; and others seek to learn English or enhance skills for new job responsibilities.

Others may have a higher level of literacy but have not yet developed the reading and writing skills needed in college. Adults who wish to develop their literacy receive instruction in two main types of settings: Two types of adult education are found in college settings: Department of Education reports that nearly 2.

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Adult education programs are largely supported by federal and state funding, which together provides about two-thirds of the funding for adult literacy programs, according to a national survey of adult education programs Tamassia et al. Other sources of funding are local governments, private donations, and, to a small degree, fees and tuition paid by the participants. Each state must provide matching funds Three underdeveloped models for adult learning qualify for this allocation.

More than 1, adult education programs funded under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act participated in the survey. According to the survey, adult education programs offer three main types of literacy instruction:. English as a second language serves the largest number of students, followed closely by adult basic education: Most English language learners 85 percent who attend a program attend ESL programs.


Instruction is offered in many different places and programs that vary widely in size and number of learning sites. According to the AEPS, local education agencies are the major providers of adult education, offering 54 percent of the programs surveyed, followed by community-based organizations 25 percentcommunity colleges 17 percentand correctional. Community colleges offer the largest programs in terms of the median number of students enrolled.

There is not a simple Three underdeveloped models for adult learning of learning goals with program type or location.

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For example, English language learners may be taught reading and writing skills in ESL classes in a workplace education setting or in a community college ABE program.

Although the major goal of students in both settings may be to increase English language proficiency, the instructional aims will differ, with one focused on meeting specific job requirements and the other on developing more general literacy practices. Similarly, the goal of earning a GED certificate may be addressed in settings as diverse as prisons and volunteer library literacy programs.

Most participants 80 percent in adult education programs surveyed in were adolescents and young adults ages 44 and younger pursuing goals related to education, family, and work: Although originally designed for adults, the programs are increasingly attended by youth ages 16 to 20 Hayes, ; Perin, Flugman, and Spiegel, Nonnative adults participating in ESL programs those not born in the United States were somewhat older than native adult learners in ABE and ASE programs, with 60 percent between the ages of 25 and 44 versus 46 percent for native adults.

The diversity of languages spoken by English language learners points to a need to understand the factors that influence the development of literacy in English for speakers of different languages and respond to the practical challenge of delivering instruction effectively to linguistically diverse learners. English was the home language. Community colleges also provide continuing education, apart from the college programs, which are the site of ABE programs; college degrees or certificates Three underdeveloped models for adult learning not awarded as part of these programs.

Community-based organizations are religious and social service Three underdeveloped models for adult learning, libraries, volunteer literacy organizations, literacy coalitions, community action groups, and other kinds of public or private nonprofit groups. Local education agencies are typically public schools or school districts, which in addition to providing K education offer adult education classes open to all members of the community.

Correctional institutions are prisons and jails funded by the state to provide adult basic education services to incarcerated adults. Data are from a nationally representative sample of 3, programs during Of these adults, 3 percent spoke English as the home language, 62 percent spoke Spanish, Nonnative learners show a broader range of educational attainment compared with native-born adults; that is, they appear in larger numbers at both the highest and lowest levels of education.

More nonnative learners had completed some college 28 percent and more had completed high school 22 percentbut more also reported having an education lower than ninth grade 28 percent ; 17 percent completed ninth to eleventh grade. This variation within and across populations presents an Three underdeveloped models for adult learning challenge to programs that must design instruction for adults with such diverse educational backgrounds and degrees of proficiency in a first and second language.

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A portion of adults participating in adult basic literacy studies can be expected to have some form of learning disability that would require differentiated instruction and the provision of appropriate accommodations. There is no consensus, however, on the estimated numbers of adult learners who may have such a disability. The estimates range from one-tenth to more than half Patterson, There are no program reporting requirements regarding the prevalence of learning disabilities among participants in federally supported literacy programs.