ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Reading Strategies for Adults

Updated on April 26, 2015

Adults Can Learn to Read When Given Strategies that Work!

According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (2005) 30 million adults are basically illiterate. This accounts for almost 10% of the US population. This means that a large number of adults in the US lack the most basic of reading skills. What are basic reading skills? These are the skills that we take for granted that enable us to read the newspaper or the label on a pill bottle. Also, people with poor literacy skills have trouble filling out all kinds of forms, especially job applications.

Teaching an adult to read is much like teaching a child to read. The same skills are taught in basically the same order. Reading skills require hard work and motivation, whether it be adult or child. Learning to become a better reader is not easy but so worth it. With intense reading instruction adults can become better readers. What follows is an explanation of reading skills needed to become a reader and the order in which they're taught. As readers become more proficient, these skills are taught simultaneously.

.

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic Awareness is an important prereading strategy used by preschool and kindergarten teachers. Rhyming words are taught in the context of fun and silly books like the Dr. Seuss books. Separating words into syllables by clapping and pointing to words and word parts while reading are also examples of phonemic awareness.

Adults can also be taught phonemic awareness but not as formally. Skills such as rhyming and syllable instruction can be taught in conjunction with phonics instruction. Rhyming games along with changing beginning, middle, and ending letters on words being studied can be fun and entertaining with adult learners.

Phonemic Awareness Activities for Adults

Finding fun lessons and activities for adult learners can be difficult. I have used many of Patricia Cunningham's activity books while teaching reading, especially in a small group setting. The lessons are easy to follow and can be supplemented with letter tiles and other materials that students can manipulate.

Phonics

In any language, learning the alphabetic principle (or code) is essential for learning how to read. What do I mean by the alphabetic principle? There are 2 parts to learning the alphabetic principle:

1. The names of the letters and the sounds they make

2. The (phonics) rules associated with the pronunciation of the letters and letter combinations

There are essentially 2 ways to figure out a word while reading:

* Beginning readers learn to sound out a word or decode it.

*As readers become more confident, words can be partially decoded then figured out through context clues, or what makes sense.

Fluency

Once the alphabetic principle has been acquired, fluency is the next step. Fluency is having the ability to sound out words quickly and accurately, and with expression. Another essential part of fluency are the lists of sight words that have to be learned. Sight words are words like "the" and "was" that appear most often throughout reading material, but don't necessarily follow the phonics rules.

Vocabulary

Vocabulary instruction is made up of strategies that directly explain the meanings of words along with thoughtful and playful interactive practice. Direct vocabulary instruction is imperative in order to understand the meanings of words in context while reading.

Comprehension

Comprehension is the ability to think about meaning while reading the words, or in other words the reader should be asking, "What the heck am I reading?" and "What can I learn?" Reading comprehension can be taught or improved through activities before, during, and after reading (teachers like to say: into, through, and beyond).

A "Before" reading activity might be activating prior knowledge by brainstorming what you know about the subject." During" reading, an activity would be pausing to visualize or talk about what is being read. Examples of "After" reading activities would be summarizing or asking questions about what has been read..

A common comprehension activity is the making of a chart called KWL. This is a great activity for those who are visual learners or second language learners.. A piece of chart paper is divided into 3 columns. In the first column the "K" stands for what we Know about the subject; In the middle column the "W" stands for What we want to learn; and the "L" represents what we Learned about the subject... Pictures along with words can also be useful in this activity.

Strategies that Work

This comprehension book is great for all grade levels, but also is a wonderful guide for someone who is teaching adults and homeschooling.

More Resources for teachers and reading tutors

"Tips at Your Fingertips" is designed for tutors who want to use proven teaching techniques but have limited time to do the research. This book has lots of teaching ideas along with background information and reading materials suitable for your particular student.

Tips at Your Fingertips: Teaching Strategies for Adult Literacy Tutors
Tips at Your Fingertips: Teaching Strategies for Adult Literacy Tutors

Quick activities for tutors with no time for reaearch

 

Do you have experience teaching adults to read?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)