Adult Literacy Teachers' Perspective on Reading Difficulties and the Origins of These Perspectives

Janet McHardy, Elaine Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Studies of the teaching practices used in adult reading programs suggest that these practices often reflect
the personal perspectives of teachers on factors that contribute to less-skilled reading development.
In this study, 19 adult reading teachers were interviewed to explore their perspectives on how adults
become less-skilled readers and the origins of these perspectives. Four themes were identified in terms of
teachers’ perspectives, which attributed less-skilled reading respectively to: (a) learners’ distinct needs not
being met, (b) readers’ “life baggage”, (c) under-developed sense of joy in reading, and (d) inappropriate
learning environments. Four main types of experiences appeared to have contributed to the development
of these perspectives: (a) teachers’ own experiences in learning reading, (b) teachers’ general teaching
experience, (c) teachers’ experiences of teaching reading specifically, and (d) teachers’ knowledge of
formal reading theories and/or empirical research findings. Potential implications for enhancing the
outcomes of adult reading instruction programs are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-18
Number of pages13
JournalAdult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language and Numeracy
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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