Teaching an adult to read can be rewarding, but teachers and mentors must be sensitive to the unique needs of students during class. Adult learners are generally highly motivated, but they may have a low threshold of frustration and a history of failure with reading. They often have a clear goal and want a simple and effective way to achieve that end. It is important to approach teaching reading with respect and using materials designed for adult learners instead of books and activities designed for young students working on similar skills.
Evaluate the reading proficiency level of the adult student. Simple assessments include reading the text at increasingly difficult levels, reading common words in isolation and reading nonsense syllables that illustrate common phonic skills. Classified passages can be taken in books with known reading levels or input into a word processor and evaluated using the grammar check function. It is important to monitor the understanding that the student reads, so be sure to ask questions that involve details reminding the text, sequencing events and understanding the main idea of the passage. These activities should give the teacher a clear picture of the skills that the reader has mastered and those that need to be examined or retaught.
Second, students engage in a discussion on the objectives and the playback history. Adult students are usually goal-oriented and choose to improve reading skills as a means to an end. The student’s objectives must be clearly linked to each lesson. Many have succumbed to reading during their school years and have become convinced that reading is difficult. Therefore, lessons should also be presented in small increments with a lot of strengthening and practice planned before moving on to new skills. Move at a comfortable pace for your student instead of a program dictated rhythm.
Lessons can be learned from an adult or formal program created for individual students and circumstances based on your understanding of the sequence of the development of reading skills. Design lessons with a clear practical application for life or everyday goals of the student. A model for a lesson includes a warm-up or revision exercise that has ensured the student’s success, a time to work on sight words, phonetics or mastery, a reading passage with a comprehension task that is meaningful for the adult and a final activity that closes the lesson and examines new concepts. Overall skill lists suggested taught order and activity ideas can be found in most adult corrective reading program packages and numerous tutor guides produced by reputable literary associations.
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Keep adult students committed to making the practical and meaningful lessons, beginning and ending each lesson with a successful track and monitor progress on the goals of the selected students. Use materials the student encounters in everyday life, such as bus schedules, recipes, blogs and assembly instructions. Use clear and graphic progress symbols such as checklists, graphs, and diagrams. Be sure to record a record of the student’s first lessons and compare his / her current performance of his / her previous performance regularly so that the student can see clearly the progress made. Maintain a portfolio of student missions and achievements so that the student can note progress towards the chosen goals.
Tips and Warnings
Hold lessons in a quiet, private area with good lighting, a smooth workspace and access to reading materials.
Incorporate multiple learning modalities into each lesson (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) until you are certain of the student’s dominant learning style. Maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the student.
Avoid making assumptions about the student’s ability, skills, experience or motivation.
Never tell a student in difficulty that a difficult concept should be “easy” for him to provide insurance. Learning can be difficult for him no matter how obvious it seems to you.