[AAACE-NLA] cuses of low adult literacy
merleayres at hotmail.com
Thu May 25 18:35:57 EDT 2006
I an not so sure of number 3. I think it has to be a big factor. Its fuzzy
for me. I always had kids not at grade level. Many teacher librarians have
helped in getting kids at grade level. College instructors claim the kids
entering college are not at grade level. I don't think you can speed reading
up by taking a course or say catch up with your peers if you try harder.
Wish I had an answer, Years of teaching I could not get readers to catch up
and be ready for the next grade. I think it may be environment. access to
books, parental expectations or motivation on the student. I had some
horrible stories we had kids read that were not culturally familiar with the
kids and I think it may have hurt them. Its like teaching geography to
kindergarten kids about China when they don't know the geography of their
412 8th st. North
>From: Andrea Wilder <andreawilder at comcast.net>
>Reply-To: National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by
>AAACE<aaace-nla at lists.literacytent.org>
>To: National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by
>AAACE<aaace-nla at lists.literacytent.org>
>Subject: Re: [AAACE-NLA] cuses of low adult literacy
>Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 09:07:10 -0400
>George, I'd distinguish between LEARNING DIFFICULTIES and LEARNING
>IDEA has a legal definition of LEARNING DISABILITY. (see google)
>Sometimes this is helpful, sometimes not.
>People with a brain that learns to read DIFFERENTLY is called a person
>with a LEARNING DISABILITY. by the LD community.. This is a person with a
>COGNITIVE DISORDER. In most cases this difference can be modified by
>knowledgeable teachers. What is needed is DIAGNOSIS, so the adult learner
>and adult teacher don't just spin their wheels. DIAGNOSIS means MONEY.
>of these people, many have a problem with MATCHING SOUNDS TO LETTERS.
>Some have the disability of MATCHING VISION TO LETTERS, a small number
>have problems in BOTH AREAS. WHO PAYS is a big problem.
>A person who is poorly taught may have DIFFICULTY in reading, but not a
>(All this may be more than you want to say....)
>Tell us how it goes!!! Also tell us what questions are asked!!!! This
>would be useful in advocacy.
>On May 24, 2006, at 2:06 PM, George Demetrion wrote:
>>For an upcoming presentation on adult literacy to a civic group, I've
>>mostly borrowed and amplified on the following five points to identify
>>major causes of low literacy in the US. On the last category, learning
>>difficulties, I improvised. My request is twofold:
>>1. Are there areas that I'm missing?
>>2. Do the areas I have identified sound reasonable?
>>If you prefer please contact me personally at george.demetrion at lvgh.org,
>>although the topic, I assume is of general interest that may elicit some
>>public interest on the list.
>>Thank you very much.
>>Causes of Low Level English literacy amongst adults
>>1. Increasing standards of what counts as literacy. Literacy is not
>>something that can be defined by a static grade level, but is measured
>>against the perceived literacy needs of individuals shaped, in part, by
>>society and culture. For basic literacy population the higher end
>>achievement is high school equivalency achievement. Also important is
>>mastering the print-based needs of obtaining and keeping a sustainable
>>job, understanding and filling out forms of various types, basic math,
>>capacity to write a basic letter, rudimentary computer-based mastery and
>>knowing how to access information from various print sources in home,
>>work, community, and commercial environments. All of these pertain to
>>the ESOL population. The higher end here would be entrance into college
>>and obtaining a professional or entry level administrative position. A
>>cause of low literacy is that the ladder has been raised on what
>>functional proficiency consists of.
>>2. Increasing immigrant population. 31.4 million immigrants identified
>>in 2000 census. Immigrant groups are at the lowest levels of English
>>literacy. This pertains also to immigrants from English speaking
>>countries, particularly the Caribbean Islands where those who sign up for
>>literacy classes are typically at a much lower literacy level than US
>>3. Student mobility. About 60% of students in the US make unscheduled
>>school changes between grades 1 and 12. The student who moves a lot is
>>typically from a lower income family and/or attends an inner city school.
>> In areas of high rent, poor housing and economic hardship, school
>>populations changing as much as 100% per year are increasingly common.
>>Such mobility creates much instability and is a contributing cause to
>>high numbers of inner city students not reading to grade school level.
>>4. Drop out rates and increasing numbers of students, especially in the
>>cities not reading at grade level all the way through their schooling and
>>getting further behind and socially passed year after year. This would
>>be bad enough if high school drop outs were ready to prepare for the GED,
>>but this is rarely the case. Most, in fact, lack the basic literacy and
>>numeracy skills needed to succeed in a GED program, and may lack the
>>basic skills to succeed in a pre-GED program. This, in turn, contributes
>>to the alarming life long gap between the educationally haves and have
>>nots, which, in turn, help to foster generational cycles of low literacy.
>>5. Learning Difficulties. Undiagnosed learning disabilities, has been
>>identified as an important cause of adult illiteracy. Whether one wants
>>to stay with the specific notion of learning disabilities, it is at the
>>least indisputable that millions of adults have tremendous learning
>>difficulties in relation to reading and writing. For many, those
>>difficulties were pervasive throughout their public schooling, which
>>acted to keep them back in their learning, and in any event, impacts on
>>their ability to learn as adults even if they have enrolled in an adult
>>literacy or adult basic education programs. What we typically see in
>>adult literacy, even among the most dedicated students, is modest
>>progress, which, except for the most advanced students is still a far cry
>>from fluent, independent literacy. Thus, one of the causes of adult
>>illiteracy is the current rate of low literacy, for whatever reasons, and
>>the difficulty of moving substantially beyond current levels of mastery.
>>One might say that illiteracy is self-perpetuating even as people can and
>>do make progress in ways that matter to them as we have seen in the
>>AAACE-NLA mailing list: AAACE-NLA at lists.literacytent.org
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