Reading Instruction

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Reading and writing are two of the main features of literacy education for both children and out-of-school adults. Components of reading and writing are not mutually exclusive and some educators argue that reading paves way for writing. Therefore, it is crucial to develop reading programs are strong and skill building. Reading processes for children and adults are different but some practices are applicable to both populations despite developmental differences. Therefore, reading programs should take into consideration the literacy program philosophy about reading, unique characteristics of adult learners, strategies to be used and literacy environment.

The purpose of literacy shapes the characteristics of a reading instruction in literacy programs. The mission and purpose of a particular program determines the teaching methods employed in reading. The REFLECT (Regenerated Freirean Literacy through Empowering Community Techniques) approach is a good example that illustrates the significance of a literacy philosophy in designing methods for teaching reading or writing. In this approach, literacy builds on new knowledge and leads to empowerment through discussion (Matrix for Discussing Program Elements, Handout ED 635-2011). Even though reading is critical for beginning literacy classes, the REFLECT program has a stronger emphasis on writing than reading thus encourages students to interact through pen pals. The teachers are the primers in the classroom hence the program conducts thorough training for teachers and provides regular support. Investing in teacher training also ensures that the teachers grasp the philosophy of the program; knowledgeable teachers in a program will teach effectively and the goals of the literacy prog...

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... to make meaning from text. When considering a suitable reading instruction, educators also need to take into consideration the philosophy of the program in order to meet the expected outcomes. Despite the different philosophies about literacy, reading instruction should ensure that component skills provide adults with the tools to become life-long learners.

Works Cited

Collins, N. D. (1994). Metacognition and reading to learn. ERIC Digest. ED376427.

Comings & Smith (In press). Teaching Basic Skills to ABLE adults

Comings & Soricone (2005): Teaching Adults to Read: The World Education Approach to Adult Literacy Program Design. World Education, Boston, MA.

OECD, 2007: Literacy and the Brain, Chapter 4 in Understanding the Brain: The

Birth of a Learning Science

Mezirow, J. (1996). Toward a learning theory of adult literacy. Adult Basic Education, 6(3), 115.
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