Using the PIAAC Literacy Framework to Guide Instruction: An Introduction for Adult Educators

Introductory guide describing how adult literacy practitioners might support adult learners by incorporating relevant tools from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies' (PIAAC) literacy framework to frame reading instruction.

Amy R. Trawick
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Center for Adult Learning Leadership and Advancement
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Number of Pages
Product Type

Using the PIAAC Literacy Framework to Guide Instruction is a report based on PIAAC’s data released in October 2013. Thisintroductory guide describes how adult literacy practitioners (teachers, lead instructors, professional developers, and program administrators) might support adult learners by incorporating relevant tools from PIAAC’s literacy framework to frame reading instruction. The Guide provides suggested instructional practices in relation to how instructors can support adult developing readers.

Benefits and Uses

This Guide provides recommendations related to the following practices:

  1. Phase 1: How to Contextualize the Skill Instruction, Using the Basic PIAAC Framework Elements
  2. Phase 2: How to Incorporate the Factors Affecting Task Difficulty
  3. Phase 3: How to Embed and Sequence Instruction in the Most Relevant Skills

The Appendices include a number of additional resources to be adopted by instructors in order to implement quality learning strategies, as follows:

  1. Level for Sample Tasks
  2. A Description of Rhetorical Stances
  3. Samples of Non-Continuous Texts
  4. Digital Text Considerations
  5. A Reading and Writing Goal Sheet
  6. A List of Free Texts for Adult Learners
  7. A Descriptive Chart Demonstrating Contextualized Reading Instruction

Adult-literacy practitioners will benefit in several ways from adopting this Guide as a resource to plan effective literacy instruction among adults striving to develop skills with an eye towards college, careers, and citizenship. They will…

  • Acquire strong evidence provided by the PIAAC study to implement recommended instructional strategies.
  • Access standards-based models for teaching reading among adults.
  • Access several resources to help expand on the strategies offered for implementing CCR Standards-based instruction.
  • Have a reliable guide for implementing literacy professional development among other adult educators.
  • Initiate the development of a reliable instructional toolbox from the resources shared and referenced in the Guide.


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