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Foundational Reading Skills, including phonics and decoding, refer to skills needed for effective reading comprehension. Adult readers who struggle with Foundational Reading Skills may have difficulty understanding texts and complex language. These skills are essential for individuals to successfully find career pathways, develop new skills, and navigate public and social systems.
Approximately 20% (36 million) of adults in the U.S. struggle with basic literacy skills. Some individuals may also have learning challenges, such as dyslexia, which compromise Foundational Reading Skills.
There are several component skills that contribute to understanding language at the word level.
As with younger readers, research among adult populations has demonstrated that Vocabulary knowledge and Reading Fluency, including automaticity and prosody, specifically contribute to reading comprehension. These skills, in addition to Inferencing, are essential for adults to build higher-level reading skills and access complex texts across contexts.
Using language that is accessible and appropriately leveled for each student allows all learners to feel successful and participate in learning.
When annotating, learners engage deeply with a text and make their thinking visible while reading, which supports Foundational Reading Skills.
Experts can answer questions and provide vocabulary, processes, feedback, and scaffolds to help learners deepen their understanding.
Audiobooks allow learners to hear fluent reading and experience books in a flexible format.
When preparing for and executing a debate, learners analyze, form, and express verbal arguments, fostering their critical thinking skills, an essential component of Problem Solving.
Discussions about race can range from celebrating the importance of diversity to understanding the impact of racism from the perspective of those who have been historically marginalized.
Teaching adult learners how to systematically evaluate sources prepares them to navigate information in an increasingly complex, digital world.
Networking and supporting adult learners in expanding their social networks provide access to additional resources and Social Supports, which can impact their trajectory and Motivation.
Giving learners the opportunity to explain their thinking process aloud helps them to solidify their comprehension, and move knowledge into their Long-term Memory.
Research shows that, along with traditional reading comprehension strategies, learners use unique strategies to read the non-linear, hyperlinked structure of online texts.
Adult learners who are struggling with Foundational Reading Skills, including decoding and phonemic awareness, can benefit from explicitly learning phonics skills in an educational setting.
Seeing and using new words repeatedly and across contexts is critical for vocabulary acquisition.
Formative assessment is "assessment for learning" rather than "assessment of learning".
Game-based learning is an active learning experience with clear objectives and measurable outcomes designed to be intrinsically game-like.
Setting overall goals with actionable steps for achievement can help learners feel more confident in their abilities and help minimize procrastination-related behaviors.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps learners construct meaning and strengthens their recall.
Opportunities for students to practice skills in context, with instructor support and also independently, helps to move concepts and ideas into Long-term Memory.
Visual reading aids, such as handouts and online guides, help learners to maintain Attention and serve to support the learning process.
Immediate feedback can improve a learner's confidence, self-awareness and enthusiasm for learning, which leads to increased Motivation.
Giving learners the opportunity to share their knowledge, skills, and understanding with others strengthens learning and increases Motivation while also building Social Supports.
Metaphors and analogies can support learners by helping to form connections and to notice patterns and similarities that promote learning, self-concept, and higher order thinking.
Instruction and training presented in multiple formats allows learners to activate different cognitive skills and Background Knowledge that are necessary to remember procedural and content information.