Goal Orientations of Low-Literacy Learners in Adult Basic Education: Some Issues for Adult Literacy Instruction (added November 19, 2001)
Wendy D. Warnken
M Cecil Smith
Northern Illinois University
September 13, 2001
Literacy learners in adult basic education programs have goal orientations that are likely to contribute to their success in such programs in different ways. This report describes the motivational orientations of two adult learners in one high school equivalency (GED) program. Both participants were interviewed on several occasions over a three-month period, were observed in their classes, and were found to demonstrate differences in their goal orientations. These cases provide insights into the motivations underlying adults' desire for literacy and persistence in a GED program. We conclude with several issues for adult educators to consider regarding adults' motivation and how motivational orientations influence adults' behaviors and attitudes toward literacy learning.
Relationship Between Interest And Importance Of Text As Rated By College Readers (added July 23, 2001)
Nannette Evans Commander, Ph.D.
Maria Valeri-Gold, Ph.D.
Georgia State University
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between two characteristics of text--structural importance and text-based interest--as rated by college readers. Text structure has been defined as the logical connections among ideas with some ideas being more important than others to the author's message (Meyer & Rice, 1984), and text-based interest refers to the interestingness of materials (Hidi & Baird, 1986). College students rated paragraphs in a mixed text (expository material containing narrative anecdotes) for both interest and importance. These ratings were compared to ratings by expert readers of interest and importance for paragraphs of the same passage from a previous study (Jetton & Alexander, 1997). Ratings by college readers were in agreement with ratings by expert readers for main idea paragraphs indicating little relationship between importance and interest. That is, main idea paragraphs were rated as high in importance but low in interest. However, contrary to ratings by expert readers, ratings by college readers for detail paragraphs showed a strong relationship between importance and interest with these paragraphs rated as moderate in importance and interest. When subjects were identified as poor or good readers according to SAT verbal scores, no clear pattern emerged in agreement of ratings with expert readers for either group.
Workplace English: From Literature Classics to Workplace Literacy (added March 09, 2001)
Associate Professor, Reading Education
Florida International University
University Park, ZEB 259A
Miami, FL 33199
Reading Resource Teacher
Armwood High School
This paper explains the rationale and methods for integrating workplace literacy with English literature instruction. The workplace literacy/English literature activities presented include: (a) a newsletter format reporting on the major historical periods in English literature, (b) a business project report used with Beowulf, and (c) a business training or education proposal used with Pgymalion. Authentic examples of students' work are included.
Journal Writing as a Tool to Enhance Adult Literacy Processes (added January 08, 2001)
College of Education
Northern Illinois University
The links between journal writing and the learning process have been well documented in the literature on adult literacy. This article is based on the author's experience as a literacy tutor with an adult learner. The article explores the ongoing process of journal writing in relation to the complex dynamics of literacy acquisition for adults. The student's progress is viewed in the larger framework of his life and learning history. The gradual expansion in length and breadth of the journals as well as increased self-confidence is documented. The article draws on previous research, includes a transcript of an interview with the student and several journal entries. It recommends that literacy tutors try introducing journal writing with their adult students.