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LITERACY DEVELOPMENT OF ADULTSWITH LIMITED FORMAL EDUCATION Aydin Yücesan Durgunoğlu University of Minnesota Duluth LESLLA 2011, Minneapolis
Since in 1996, program in Turkey for adults with limited or no schooling. Has reached 100,000+ learners, UNESCO award Based on research on cognitive and affective dimensions of literacy development includes literacy, numeracy and empowerment components
volunteer instructors professional development mentoring field support
Materials Books (Level 1 and Level 2)program continuously evaluated and booksrevised Outside materials, newspapers… Online version, portal just opened
Back to USA According to the 2000 census, more than 35 million are nonnative speakers of English Majority are Spanish-speakers Approximately 11 million adults (5% of the population) are nonliterate in English (but not necessarily in their L1) In federally-funded adult education classes, 42% are in ESL classeshttp://www.cal.org/caelanetwork/pd_resources/Foreign-Born.htmlBurt, Peyton & Adams, 2003
Practical implications Level of literacy closely tied to employment, income, occupation Chiswick (1991, 1998) reading and writing, rather than speaking, “language capital” Mother’s education strong predictor of child language and literacy development (Snow, Barnes, Chandlar, Goodman & Hemphill, 1991)
HeterogeneityDifferenthome languagesHighly varied educational levels in L1 (from noschooling to postgraduate work)Varied education in L2 Some born and/or mostly educated in US (Generation1.5) Burt, Peyton & Adams, 2003; Condelli, Wrigley & Yoon, 2009; Purcell-Gates,Degener, Jacobson, and Soler, 2002; Strucker & Davidson, 2003; Thonus 2003;Wrigley, Chen, White and Soroui, 2009
Very limited research base Condelli & Wrigley (2004): 111 studies 17 fit the criteria 2 about ESL and only one had an unconfounded design Torgerson, Brooks, Porthouse, Burton, Robinson,Wright & Watt (2004): almost 5000 reports 33 studies with controlled trial designsonly 3 with ESL as a focus. Krudenier (2004): only 9 studies of adult ESL. Adams and Burt (2002): adult LL research between 1980 and 2001 only 44 studies about adult English LLs not in academic post-secondary programs (but some were in English preparatory classes before college)
Informed by research on: Native speakers in Adult Basic Education Second/Foreign Language Acquisition in high schools and colleges Language and literacy development of young LLs Cognition and neuroscience of bilingualismBUT…..Question of generalizability because of differencesin: age; educational context; SESBigelow and Tarone, 2004; Burt, Kreeft, Peyton & Van Duzer, 2005; Davidson &Strucker, 2002; Nanda & Morris, in press; Strucker, Yamamoto & Kirsch, 2007
Child literacy development in L2LL and native speaker similaritiesWith good instruction, LLs = native speakers onword recognition, spelling and phonologicalprocessingSimilar predictors of decoding and spellingproficiencies for beginning readers (e.g.,phonological awareness and concepts of print.)Similar precursors, profiles of reading difficulties(not related to exposure or quality of instruction)and intervention effectsAugust & Shanahan, 2006; Genesee, Lindholm-Leary, Saunders, Christian, 2006Lovett, De Palma, Frijters, Steinbach, Temple, Benson, & Lacerenza, 2008
Child literacy development in L2LL and native speaker similarities (pt. 2) Rapid progress from preliterate to beginner levels but face more challenges around Grades 3 and 4 as reading is used as a tool for knowledge acquisition. Benefit from direct instruction on phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, writing Academic English is different from conversational English. Highlighting linguistic structures and formats in different content areasAchugar & Schleppegrell, 2005; Collier, 1987; Goldenberg, 2008; Schleppegrell, 2007)
Child literacy development in L2 LL and native speaker differences The gap between native speakers and LLs in reading comprehension grows with grade Having a strong literacy foundation in L1 helps for English literacy development Given the interconnectedness of oracy and literacy, developing both skills simultaneously is useful even in young language learners
Child literacy development in L2 LL and native speaker differences (pt. 2) LLs are considerably behind native speakers on reading comprehension tasks (underdeveloped L2 oral proficiency and background knowledge). LLs need support with oral language development, especially vocabulary, syntax and background-cultural knowledge.Farver et al., 2009; Roberts & Neal, 2004; Slavin & Cheung, 2005
Adult Language Learners Data from Durgunoglu et al. (unpublished)Participants Beginning level adult literacy/ESL students Hmong (n=38) three sites in Minnesota Spanish (n=77) two sites in Minnesota and IllinoisProcedureDetermining the existing characteristics of participants as they start their classes Interview (demographics, background, goals conducted in L1) Language test (L2--English vocabulary) Literacy tests (L1 and L2)
Hmong language South East Asian language, spoken by people in Laos, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, China Tonal like Chinese, but from a different language family Subject-Verb-Object word order No tense or case inflections, but noun classifiers Alphabetized in 1850s by missionaries Tones represented by the last letter of the word tib high tone “to pile” tij high but falling tone “older brother”
Predictors of English reading comprehension—Hmong group Reading comprehension Test (level 1)English predictors R2 betaSteps1. Vocabulary 28% -.0072. TOWRE nonwords +15 -.0013. WRAT spelling +17 .454*4. TOWRE Sight words +7 .427* Total 67%
Predictors of English reading comprehension—Spanish1 group Reading comprehension Test (level 1)English predictors R2 betaSteps1. Vocabulary 16% .340*2. TOWRE nonwords +7 .1113. WRAT spelling +1 .0244. TOWRE Sight words +3 .239 Total 27%
Predictors of English reading comprehension—Spanish2 group Reading comprehension Test (level 2)English predictors R2 betaSteps1. Vocabulary 10% -.2132. TOWRE nonwords +8 -.1173. WRAT spelling +19 .606*4. TOWRE Sight words +4 .428 Total 41%
Predictors of English word recognition (combinedTOWREs)—Hmong and combined Spanishgroups Step Spanish Hmong R2 beta R2 beta1. L1 word recognition 13.5 .335* 35 .452*2. English vocabulary +3.5 .193 5 .269 Total 17% 40%
Predictors of English spelling—Hmong andcombined Spanish groupsStep Spanish Hmong R2 beta R2 beta1. L1 word recognition 0 .008 35 .364*2. English vocabulary 28 .532* +14 .441* Total 28% 49%
Conclusions Very low levels of reading comprehension and word recognition (approximately Grade 1 level) of the participants who are just starting the ESL/literacy courses L1 word recognition for both Hmong and Spanish groups is related to English word recognition L1’s similarity to English makes a difference, helps word recognition, but hinders spelling for Spanish speakers Spelling is closely related to vocabulary performance, indicating that vocabulary development related to written language experience Predictors of reading comprehension similar to what is found with children
Factors influencing adult L2development (oral and written)
Existing English proficiencyDecoding develops rapidly, tied to L1 literacyVocabulary (depth, breadth, quality) Higher L2 vocabulary, more progress in children Importance of exposure, incidental learning ~3000 words minimum, ~9000 for college levelCultural context, prior knowledge, academiclanguageAlamperese, 2009 Brantmeier, 2005; Droop & Verhoeven, 1998; Kieffer, 2008;Lesaux, Koda, Siegel & Shanahan, 2006; Perfetti & Hart, 2002; Wrigley, Chen, Whiteand Soroui, 2009; Zareva, Schwanenflugel & Nikolova, 2006
Learner motivation and sociocultural contextMotivation, persistence, attendance are related, but theeffects on the outcomes are not very well known 1. sense of belonging and community 2. clarity of purpose (goals and progress) 3. agency (relying one oneself) 4. competence (self efficacy through mastery) 5. relevance (perceived relevance and connection) 6. stability, safe and structured environmentAdditional issues of cultural integration, level of immersionin the new culture, ties to home cultureAlamperese, 200; Comings 2007; Condelli, Wrigley & Yoon, 2009; Masgoret &Gardner, 2003; Nash & Kallenbach, 2009
Instructional implications--Cognitive For literacy development, similar cognitive underpinnings and similar characteristics of good instruction for native speakers and LLs. L1 support is helpful if available and feasible
Instructional implications--affectiveuse real world applications and documentsmake it relevant and useful e.g., adolescentsperform certain literacy tasks very well outside ofschoolmake it a safe, supportive and comfortableenvironmentencourage collaborative work, peer supportknow the learners’ goals, needs, strengths andchallengesBurt et al., 2003; Condelli & Wrigley, 2004; Gregg, Hull & Moje 2009; Hardman, 1999;Purcell-Gates et al 2002; Taylor, Abasi, Pinsent-Johnson & Evans, 2007; Torgerson,2003; Watanabe &Swain, 2007
Instructional implications—languagedevelopmentlanguage AND content instructionIntegrated instruction oral and written language decoding and comprehension(From monolingual research) higher ordercomprehension skills necessary for reading canalso be developed through listening and visualexercisesCondelli Wrigley 2004; Cumming & Riazi, 2000; Kendeou, Bohn-Gettler, White, &van den Broek, 2008; Strucker & Davidson, 2002; Wrigley, 2007
Instructional implications—languagedevelopment (pt.2) Perspectives from Second/Foreign Language Teaching Task Based Language Teaching (TBLT)Long & Crookes, 1992; Long, 2009
Task-based, active, learning-by-doing, through interaction Sensitive to learners’ needs, goals and developmental levels Genuine materials, rich input (not simplified but clarified through elaboration, chronological restructuring etc.) Taking into consideration both explicit and implicit knowledge of language (e.g., conscious knowledge of rules vs. noticing statistical patterns)
Not mere exposure to meaning, but focus onboth form and meaningExplicit feedback (recasting works but may notbe enough)Explicit teaching and guidance of attention,especially when linguistic cues are not verysalient or do not exist in learner’s L1.
Less is known about effectiveness of TBLT indifferent learner contexts, for different linguisticstructures and for different types of assessmentsEllis, Loewen & Erlam, 2006; Long & Crookes, 1992; Long, 2009; Nassaji, 2009;Nicholas, Lightbown, & Spada, 2001; Norris & Ortega, 2000; Robinson & Ellis, 2008
WritingWriting proficiency develops as a function of language proficiency, so it can be a window to language developmentHard to model its development because many factors in adult L2 writing:variability in L1 background, educational level, L2 proficiency, length of time in the new country, acculturation and familiarity with the L2 writing contexts, the purposes and needs for writing, learners’ past experiences and personal preferencesCumming & Riazi, 2000; Sasaki & Hirose, 1996
L1 and L2 writing processes are fundamentally similar L1 resources are used in L2 writing Those less skilled in L2 tend to devote more attention to form (e.g., finding the right L2 word or syntactic structure, translating from L1), and less attention to idea generation, planning, revising, editingSasaki, 2000
Some promising techniques forteaching L2 writingExplicitly instruction about macro processes ofwritingproviding scaffolding and support (e.g., pre-discussions, peer response, teacher-studentdialogue journals)modeling writing, setting own goalsBerg, 1999; Peyton & Seyoum, 1989; Sasaki, 2000
Language exposure and learningoutside of the classroom Some LLs live in isolated communities with limited exposure to English Providing opportunities to hear and use language outside of the classroomLong, personal communication; Reder, 2009
National Academy of Sciences Taskforce onAdolescent and Adult Literacy Two year effort to review the availableinformation and make recommendations Report now available for free downloading:http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13242
Improving Adult Literacy Instruction:Options for Practice and Research Committee on Learning Sciences: Foundations and Implications for Adolescent and Adult Literacy Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council
Organization of the ReportChapter 1 IntroductionChapter 2 Foundations of Reading and WritingChapter 3 Literacy Instruction for AdultsChapter 4 Principles of Learning for Instructional DesignChapter 5 Motivation, Engagement, and PersistenceChapter 6 Technology to Promote Adult LiteracyChapter 7 Learning, Reading, and Writing DisabilitiesChapter 8 Literacy Development of English Language LearnersChapter 9 Conclusions and Recommendations
Adult Learners and LearningEnvironments Conclusion 1. The population of adult learners is heterogeneous. Optimal reading and writing instruction will therefore vary according to goals for literacy development and learning, knowledge and skill, interests, neurocognitive profiles, and cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The contexts in which adults receive literacy instruction also are highly variable with respect to (1) place and purpose of instruction, (2) literacy development aims and practices, and (3) instructor preparation.
Principles of Effective Literacy InstructionConclusion 2. Effective literacy instruction: targets (as needed) the component processes of literacy: word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, background knowledge, strategies for deeper analysis and understanding of texts, and the component skills of writing; Involves explicit teaching and extensive practice that is motivating and that uses varied texts, tools, and tasks matched to the learner’s skills, educational and cultural backgrounds, literacy needs and goals; explicitly targets the automation and integration of component skills and the transfer of skills to tasks valued by society and the learner; and includes formative assessments to monitor progress, provide feedback, and adjust instruction.
Principles of Effective LiteracyInstruction Conclusion 3. Although findings from research on effective literacy instruction for adults is lacking, research with younger populations can guide the development of instructional approaches for adults if the instruction is modified to account for two major differences between adults and younger populations: (1) adults may experience age-related neurocognitive declines that affect reading and writing processes and speed of learning (2) adults have varied and more substantial life experiences and knowledge, and they have different motivations for learning that need attention in instructional design. Research with adult literacy learners is required to validate, identify the boundaries of, and extend current knowledge to identify how best to meet the particular literacy development needs of well- defined subgroups of adults.
Principles of Effective LiteracyInstruction Conclusion 4. Literacy development is a complex skill that requires thousands of hours of practice to reach the levels needed for full opportunity in modern life, yet many adults do not persist long enough in adult education programs or developmental education courses. Many factors—instructional, cognitive, economic, social—affect persistence. At present, research does not indicate which methods are most effective in supporting adults’ persistence and engagement with instruction. Expertise requires 3,000-10,000 hours of practice. Reading is a form of expertise. 75 min/day from K through 12 equals about 3000 hours. Durations in adult literacy classes are in the range of about 100 hours. Major increases in effective intervention generally are needed. Enough is known, from research on motivation, literacy, and learning with other populations to suggest how to design motivating instructional environments, create more time for practice, and ensure that the time is efficiently used. The efficacy of these approaches will need to be tested rigorously.
English Language Learners Conclusion 5. The component skills of reading and writing in English and the principles of effective literacy instruction derived from research with native English speakers are likely to apply to English language learners. Consistent with principles of learning, effective instruction must (1) meet the particular skill development needs of English learners, which differ in several respects from the needs of native speakers, and (2) utilize existing knowledge of content, language, and literacy whether in the native or the English language.
Assessment Conclusion 6. Improved adult literacy instruction requires the development of measures and comprehensive systems of assessment that • are valid: include measures of language and literacy skills related to a range of literacy forms and tasks, domain knowledge, cognitive abilities, and valued functional as well as psychological outcomes • are instructionally useful: include measures for differentiated placement and instruction, diagnosis, formative assessment, and accountability that are all aligned to work toward common learning goals • are useful for policy and accountability: produce information at learner, classroom, and program levels that is useful to learners, instructors, program administrators, and policy makers.
Technology Conclusion 7. Technologies for learning can help adult learners overcome time and space constraints and may help institutions afford more substantial adult literacy instruction. Technology can assist with multiple aspects of learning and assessment that include diagnosis, feedback, scaffolding, embedded practice with skills in meaningful tasks, tracking of learner progress, and accommodations to create more effective and efficient instruction. Given the costs of human labor, technology also may offer a more cost-effective means of achieving the extended levels of practice needed to gain reading and writing facility.
Technology Conclusion 8. Society increasingly requires broader, more intensive and more complex forms of literacy given new communication technologies. Adults need to be able to use contemporary tools of literacy and become facile with forms of reading and writing that are valued and expected for education, work, health maintenance, social and civic participation, and other life tasks.
Adult Literacy Instruction: State of theEvidence Conclusion 9. There is a lack of research and data of the kind required to better define, prevent, and remediate problems that adolescents and adults enrolled in instruction outside compulsory schooling are experiencing with developing their literacy skills in the United States. Sustained and systematic research is needed to: • identify instructional approaches that show promise of maximizing adults’ literacy skill gains • develop scalable instructional programs and rigorously test their effectiveness • conduct further testing to determine for whom and under what conditions those approaches work.