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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin

Recent research suggests that when adults are beginning to learn to read, they use more visual strategies than school-aged beginners, and rely more on memory and recognition than on decoding skills in the reading process.52

This finding does not imply, however, that decoding skills are not important to adults; reading will not continue to develop if readers are not able to decode. Nevertheless, it would suggest that it is worth spending time with adult learners on developing word recognition skills.

At the most basic level, adults who are learning to read need to be able to read very clear, simple notices and instructions,53 such as those in public places.

Learning for adults must have immediate relevance,54so a study of familiar and meaningful print in the environment is a good place to start. We cannot assume, however, that environmental print leads to reading using decoding; research with adult learners in Brazil showed that, in practice, learners did not use letter knowledge to read signs.55

52 Greenberg, Ehri and Perin, 2002.

53 Association of Language Testers in Europe, 2007a.

54 Knowles, 1990.

55 Cardosa-Martins and Rodrigues with Ehri, 2003.

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