Reading Patterns and Profiles of Adult Literacy Participants - Reading and Writing Skills - Discussion Lists

Reading Patterns and Profiles of Adult Literacy Participants
June 21 - 25, 2010

Description | Guest Discussion Leaders | Preparation and Suggested Readings | Discussion Summary

From June 21 -25, the National Institute for Literacy and World Education presented “Reading Patterns and Profiles of Adult Literacy Participants,” the fourth and final special online discussion of the Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles (ASRP).  

The ASRP discussions are presented in cooperation with the Institute’s LINCS Discussion Lists, and are led by prominent researchers in that field and by practitioners who are also content experts.

In July 2009, the Institute and a team from World Education that included John Strucker, Steve Quann, Sally Waldron, and consultant Rosalind Davidson completed extensive revisions and updates to its web-based ASRP. In addition to providing useful information and free resources on reading assessment and reading profiles, the ASRP site offers a unique interactive feature that allows teachers to match their adult learners' test scores to research-based adult reading profiles. It also provides teachers with additional instructional suggestions based on those matches.


In this discussion Daryl Mellard, Ph.D., Kansas University, and Daphne Greenberg, Ph.D., Georgia State University, will describe aspects of their research and work with adult learners to engage participants.  Mellard will share his research findings on the reading practices of struggling adult readers. He surveyed 213 participants about their frequency of reading books, newspapers, magazines, and work documents. He also looked at characteristics such as age, gender, educational level, learning disability status, and employment status. Knowing adults' reading practices can help adult literacy practitioners to know which types of reading materials should be promoted and introduced into the classroom.

Greenberg will share results of a study where she implemented an "extensive reading program" with 43 struggling adult readers. Extensive reading is an instructional approach which encourages a significant amount of reading during class sessions.  Her study focused on sustained silent reading, book talk, and reading aloud. To implement an approach like extensive reading, an adult literacy classroom needs access to a well-equipped library, and teachers need criteria for selecting books for the read-aloud activity. These aspects of extensive reading and criteria will be addressed during the discussion.

Guests Discussants:
Daryl Mellard, Ph.D. (Kansas University)
Daphne Greenberg, Ph.D. (Georgia State University)

Biographies of Guest Discussion Leaders

Daryl Mellard, Ph.D., carries out research on education and employment issues for adolescents and adults. Currently, Mellard serves as the Principal Investigator for an adolescent and adult literacy intervention study with Job Corps participants funded under the Institute of Education Sciences. He is a member of the National Academies of Sciences’ Committee on Learning Sciences: Foundations and Applications to Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Mellard is also one of the principal investigators at the National Dissemination and Technical Assistance Center on Response to Intervention. With the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities, he coordinated the largest national study of local school districts' implementation of responsiveness to intervention involving 41 school settings.

Mellard is particularly interested in how to generate widespread support for evidence-based practices in secondary schools, adult education programs, community and technical colleges, and vocational rehabilitation agencies.  To that end, Mellard has made numerous presentations at national conferences on state policies and evidence-based practices for learning disabilities identification, adolescent literacy, and adult education. He has published articles in the Journal of Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities Quarterly, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, NAESP Leadership, Reading Research Quarterly, the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Adult Education and Literacy Journal.  With Evelyn Johnson, he wrote RTI: The Practitioners Guide to Response to Intervention (Corwin Press, 2008). Mellard received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas.

Daphne Greenberg, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education at Georgia State University.  She is also the Associate Director of Georgia State University’s Coalition for the Study of Adult Literacy. Her research interests have focused on family literacy, health literacy, and word reading processes of children and adults. Two of her current research projects include the evaluation of various reading instructional approaches for adults with low literacy skills, and an investigation of the climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) learners in adult literacy programs.  Greenberg has received funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute for Literacy, the U.S. Department of Education, the Komen Foundation, and the U.s. Department of Defense.

She is a founding member of the Georgia Adult Literacy Advocacy group, and serves as the moderator of the National Institute for Literacy’s Diversity and Literacy and the Reading and Writing Skills Discussion Lists. Greenberg has tutored native and non-native, English speaking, adult nonreaders and has helped organize and develop community-based adult literacy programs. She is the book review editor for the Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal and her articles have appeared in the Journal of Educational Psychology, Scientific Studies of Reading, the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Annals of Dyslexia. . Greenberg received her Ph.D. from the City University of New York.

Preparation and Suggested Readings for this discussion:

In preparation for the discussion, participants are encouraged to think about the following:

  1. What do your students read inside the classroom?
  2. What do your students read outside the classroom?
  3. Have you tried to engage your students in sustained silent reading, or read-aloud activities?  What were your success and/or challenges?

Suggested readings:

Rodrigo, V., Greenberg, D., Burke, V., Hall, R., Berry, A., Brinck, T., Joseph, H., & Oby, M. (2007). Implementing an extensive reading program and library for adult literacy learners., Reading in a Foreign Language, 19.

Mellard, D., Patterson, M., Prewett, S. (2007). Reading practices among
adult education participants. Reading Research Quarterly, 42, 188-203.
doi:10.1598/RRQ.42.2.1 can be found at: (type in Mellard)

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