Frequently Asked Questions
From time to time we are asked questions that you may find interesting and informative. Below is a list of responses to the most commonly asked questions that we have received. We will continually add new questions and answers to the top of the list. Please remember to continue to ask us questions at presentations and webinars or by using our contact form.
Please click on a question to view our response.
A: CSAL’s research objectives include:
* Testing the underlying reading related strengths and weaknesses of adults who read between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels.
* Adapting reading instruction for adults who read between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels.
* Testing our instructional approach, to see if it shows promise of effectiveness.
* Dissemination of our studies’ findings.
A: We are hoping that we can impact adult literacy classrooms in different ways. Some examples are:
* We are gathering information on the underlying reading strengths and weaknesses of adults who read between 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels, and we are developing a reading curriculum for these grade levels. We hope that the results from our tests will help us better understand the underlying strengths and weaknesses of our students, and help inform the development of effective instruction. After developing our curriculum, we plan on testing how well our curriculum works. Additionally, we are hopeful that this information will inform future development of instructional approaches.
* We have developed a repository of web-based texts for adults who read between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels, and we have made this repository accessible to teachers and learners via our website.
* We plan for our website to provide interesting and helpful information for teachers.
A: The adult literacy population is VERY heterogeneous, and includes both native and non-native speakers of English. Therefore we did not want to exclude this group from our population.
Q: Why are you only focusing on adults between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels (i.e., why not below 3.0 or above 7.9)?
A: All adults who struggle with reading, are worthy of literacy research efforts. Our funding is through IES (http://ies.ed.gov/), and their request for applications required us to focus on the learners we had the most experience with. Because our team had research expertise with individuals who read between the 3.0 and 7.9 grade equivalency levels, we focused on them. We hope that others will also conduct research on the same population and adults reading at higher or lower levels.
A: We will not be administering the TABE or GAIN. However, we will report scores from the types of tests that our collaborating adult literacy programs administer. We hope that by doing this, teachers who are used to tests such as the TABE/GAIN will be able to relate to our findings.
Q: When you are ready to test your curriculum, will the human instructors receive professional development?
A: Yes, teachers will receive professional development both before and during implementation of instruction.
Q: Are you going to be assessing the "stick-to-itiveness" of adult learners-basically sticking to it when it gets tough and sustaining motivation when it gets hard. And what about in the intervention-are we going to be addressing this?
A: Stick-to-itiveness, or persistence, is an important attribute. Currently, there aren’t measurement assessments that are very reliable and valid. So we cannot test students for persistence until such assessments are developed. However, we are building our tools to facilitate the measurement of this with our population. And, during the intervention phase of our study, the strategy dialogue that we will be using includes the attribute of persistence which is very explicitly rehearsed and given a very high value in our curriculum.
A: Our repository is categorized both by topic and by reading level.
A: We are using Coh-Metrix because it serves our needs better than other, somewhat similar tools. For example, compared to other readability measures, Coh-Metrix analyzes texts on multiple levels of language and discourse -- not just one level. You can find out more information at: http://csal.gsu.edu/content/readability
A: At our website (http://csal.gsu.edu) you may click on the Contact Us tab and enter your feedback into the message box.