The image is a familiar one: a benevolent volunteer tutor working patiently one on one, week after week, teaching a proud but illiterate adult how to read. The problem, according to an Atlanta literacy organization, is that too often, it does not work. Traditional adult literacy programs have a success rate of about 20 percent, said Lunette Hayes, vice president of Literacy Action. So this local group, which has taught adults to read for 15 years, recently abandoned its one-on-one approach and began offering twice-a-week group sessions led by professional reading teachers. Using this method, the group can take a class of illiterate adults and, in less than a year, have 80 percent of them reading and writing at a 10th grade level, according to Vern Pulling, its president. Problem Is More Than Reading.
NEW APPROACH USED TO TEACH ILLITERATE ADULTS
Functional illiteracy - Wikipedia
The brain did not evolve to read. It uses the neural muscle of pre-existing visual and language processing areas to enable us to take in works by Tolstoy and Tom Clancy. Reading, of course, begins in the first years of schooling, a time when these brain regions are still in development. What happens, though, when an adult starts learning after the age of 30? A study published May 24 in Science Advances turned up a few unexpected findings. In the report, a broad-ranging group of researchers—from universities in Germany, India and the Netherlands—taught reading to 21 women, all about 30 years of age from near the city of Lucknow in northern India, comparing them to a placebo group of nine women.
Functional illiteracy is reading and writing skills that are inadequate "to manage daily living and employment tasks that require reading skills beyond a basic level". People who can read and write only in a language other than the predominant language of where they live may also be considered functionally illiterate. A person is illiterate who cannot with understanding both read and write a short simple statement on his everyday life. The characteristics of functional illiteracy vary from one culture to another, as some cultures require better reading and writing skills than others.
Today, on the way to work, at the grocery store or when you went to pick up your kids from school, you may have crossed paths with someone who is illiterate. You may even have exchanged a few words with them without being aware of their difficulties. Or they may be someone close to you: your spouse, father, sister or friend. To find out whether you know someone who is illiterate or has difficulty reading, read the statements below and place a check against situations you have encountered.