"Reading is the most basic of skills.
Reading provides access to other skills and knowledge,
facilitates life-long learning, and opens doors to opportunity" (McShane, 2005).
Results from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) reflect that about 43% of individuals nationally are functioning at the lower two performance levels (Basic and Below Basic) in prose literacy while about 34% of individuals nationally are functioning at those levels with regard to document literacy.
In order to help classroom teachers and tutors recognize the reading problems experienced by their students and to help them become better readers, the Connecticut Department of Education has supported reading reform efforts to promote greater reading gains across all disciplines. In 1999, the Department established a voluntary leadership team, the Reading and Language Arts Task Force (see their membership, mission and goals), to raise reading awareness among providers and policy makers, improve assessment processes, and enhance instruction. The task force has fostered strategic inroads to improve teaching practices among teachers of adult learners. The task force has introduced research supported professional development, compiled a teacher-directed reading resource manual and helped to develop reading workshops.
To continue these efforts, the Department developed a comprehensive training and technical assistance program that was modeled after the U.S. Department of Education's STudent A chievement in Reading (STAR) project.
The STAR model emphasizes four components of reading:
Alphabetics – the process readers use to translate, or decode, printed words into meaningful, spoken words
Fluency – the ability to read with efficiency and ease
Vocabulary – the body of words whose meanings an individual knows and understands
Comprehension – the process and a product of understanding
Connecticut has begun implementation of a statewide professional development diffusion of STAR by launching the “STAR Reading Institute” (register online)
. This institute is offered in partnership with the Department's Reading and Language Arts Task Force and the Adult Training and Development Network. The goals of the STAR Reading institute are to:
- increase the familiarity of adult educators with evidenced-based reading education;
- help them translate research findings into sound teaching processes and products that will improve their instruction; and
- build capacity of the STAR model among providers of adult education in the state.
Content Last Modified on 12/13/2010 6:34:07 PM