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Return-Path: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Received: from literacy (localhost [127.0.0.1]) by literacy.nifl.gov (8.10.2/8.10.2) with SMTP id j5MLpRG10684; Wed, 22 Jun 2005 17:51:27 -0400 (EDT) Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 17:51:27 -0400 (EDT) Message-Id: <71753DAC.14AB3426.0A349A3F@aol.com> Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk From: AWilder106@aol.com To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com> Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:1114] Re: Tom Sticht's concerns about ALL X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 X-Mailer: Atlas Mailer 2.0 Status: O Content-Length: 3041 Lines: 33 I want to talk about definitions--thanks Debbie. One point Tom made some posts ago (or maybe on another web site) was about the technology/format (what you will) of literacy problems and presentation. The difficulty he pointed out was the problem of extracting information when the format was different, for example, a bus schedule. This is a literacy problem, not a reading problem--it is the set-up for completion of a task: understanding,extracting meaning, from a bus schedule. So the format can trip up a naive reader, and if they have trouble reading words, the difficulty is compounded. Anyone who has trouble reading a guide for installing software knows what I mean. 5 terms to define, and we have gone around lots of time on these, I don't know that there is much more to say: 1) literacy 2) reading 3) adult education 4) proficiency 5) measurement In my mind, there is considerable overlap between literacy and reading--literate has the root of "letter," and also suggests "to be educated." I take this last to mean some skill in understanding a topic through the mastery of terms, concepts, words, associated with that topic (domain). Literate without reading skill? Nope. Reading I take to mean skill in decoding, that is knowledge of English (or other) spelling patterns and the ability to pronounce and "read" and understand words up to say a 6th grade level. This is where reading and literacy may divide--there are lots of words that the adult may be able to read easily which do not fit into a domain, are in fact scattered all over the place in different domains. And not all words are nouns and verbs--many are "function" words that have to be mastered in the "reading" process. Proficiency and measurement. If I were judging the proficiency of a person's use of software manuals (an art form), then I would measure that proficiency by seeing the person follow the manual--or maybe translate it into usable English (which would imply proficiency with the words and concepts). "Reading" implies more general skills, like finding a core idea, knowing vocabulary, writing in full sentences, using quotation marks, etc. I'd toss "inference" in there, too, and other skills associated with skilled reading. Various kinds of standardized tests could be used to measure just reading. I say that based on Art LaChance's observation on various lists that progressively higher TABE scores correlated well with ability to pass the GED--so these are basic reading skills and schooled skills. I would put in this domain (reading) the Wilson program, and some LVA materials, for example "Adult Education" is too mushy a term to be able to define well, though I use it myself as a catch all when I want to avoid more precise definitions. Tom did interesting work which"translated" grade levels into FCE levels--I hope I've got that right, Tom. Maybe not, time for review? EFF is kind of a hybrid, tosses in other elements. Thanks for a great post, Debbie. Andrea
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