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Tags: Adult literacy, Communities and local areas, NLT Campaigns, Policy, Schools & teaching

2 Comments

  • sallykelly replied on 18 Apr 2012 at 14:47

    As an adult literacy tutor working with low level literacy adult learners in a community setting in Mitcham, Croydon (Surrey), I am deeply saddened, but not surprised at the results of this survey "Could do better: latest overview of adult literacy in the UK". Funding for adults with pre-entry skills, or Entry 1-3 skills, is extremely difficult. Progress is very slow with such learners due to the enormous barries they are addressing in attending classes, dealing with their own frustrations and difficulties, often living in poor socio-economic circumstances. Of mixed race and gender (although mostly women) these adults need a lot of time to build self-confidence, belief that they can learn before progress begins. Many are affected by personal ill-health or are caring for children/relatives with poor health, affecting attendance. Resources for adult learners at this level are truly poor and I spend much time adapting and creating my own (without pay). I am sure there are many literacy teachers like myself working hard but without support or recognition for the very hard task of teaching adults to read and write and become confident enough to pick up a newspaper or book and read!
    Sally Kelly (38 years teaching and watching it all fall apart - no children left my first primary school unable to read!!)

  • Ruthie replied on 9 Apr 2014 at 15:39

    I agree with your comments. We have a range of adult literacy classes in our local communities, but the focus is getting people through the level 1 and 2 functional skills tests. Those with Entry 1 skills or below do get tuition, but often they remain struggling readers / writers because there is just not enough class time to help them effectively. As part of my specialist Dyslexia training I've been working as a volunteer with several E1 readers in a one to one session. I've seen definite improvements over 20 weeks, but people with dyslexic-type difficulties ideally need sessions 2 or 3 times a week to make good progress, and this is just not fundable in our area. Luckily, there is much more focus now on intervening early to help struggling readers in primary school. Let's hope that similar interventions could help older adult readers.

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