Literacy Information and Communication System

Note: RR = "Research-related," designating a link to a reference or to more information about relevant papers, reports, or studies.

ARCS (The Adult Reading Components Study)

The ARCS was conducted by the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL). Data from the ARCS provide the foundation for the 11profiles featured on this site. The 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS)RR revealed that approximately 46% of US adults had limited ability to perform a variety of real-world literacy tasks. But before the ARCS, little was known about what these adults might need in the way of instruction in order to improve their reading skills.

For the study, 955 randomly selected learners (676 enrolled in ABE and 279 enrolled in ESOL) were interviewed and assessed at adult literacy programs in Texas, Tennessee, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Each learner was given a battery of reading and language assessments to determine his or her profile of strengths and needs in reading. Over half of this testing was done by local ABE and ESOL practitioners who were trained to administer the battery and conduct the interviews.

The profiles of the 676 ABE enrollees were subjected to cluster analysis that yielded 10 instructionally relevant profiles of ABE learners.  Data from these 676 ABE enrollees were used to construct the 11 ASRP Profiles that appear on this site. (Data from the 279 ESOL enrollees were subjected to separate cluster analyses, and those data were not used for the ASRP site.)

For more on the ARCS results and how the data were collected and analyzed, please download:

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