At present, millions of adults have low literacy levels that severely restrict their educational and occupational prospects. Although there is increasing evidence that many of these """"""""low-intermediate"""""""" adult readers have marked deficiencies in fundamental word-level skills, improving their decoding of printed words and the fluency of their word recognition is rarely the central focus of instruction in traditional adult education programs. In this project, four supplemental instructional programs that directly target decoding and fluency will be compared with regard to their effectiveness in improving word-level reading abilities of adult learners. The planned interventions are all adult-appropriate adaptations of programs with demonstrated value for enhancing reading abilities of children with skill levels equivalent to those of low-intermediate adult readers. They vary primarily in the relative emphasis given to the teaching of decoding versus fluency. The participants will be drawn from the population of adults who seek assistance at several large adult education centers in two major cities, yielding a sample that will be socioeconomically, ethnically, and linguistically diverse. To examine gains resulting from the interventions, numerous reading skills and related,cognitive- linguistic abilities will be assessed before, during, and after the instructional period. Measures of cortical activation during reading tasks will also be made using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), permitting an examination of the relationship between cortical organization and reading skills, and of brain changes in response to effective instruction, in low-literate adults. Individual differences on both behavioral and neurobiological measures will also be examined as moderators of instructional effects. The findings will provide valuable information about what kinds of literacy instruction are most effective for raising the reading abilities of low-intermediate adult readers, about how to identify these adults' instructional needs accurately and efficiently by using an appropriate battery of assessments, and about how literacy instruction might be tailored to the specific needs of individual adults in the target population.
|Sabatini, John P; Shore, Jane; Holtzman, Steven et al. (2011) Relative Effectiveness of Reading Intervention Programs for Adults with Low Literacy. J Res Educ Eff 4:118-13|
|Sabatini, John P; Sawaki, Yasuyo; Shore, Jane R et al. (2010) Relationships among reading skills of adults with low literacy. J Learn Disabil 43:122-38|