If you ever take the time to pore through adult literacy statistics,
you'll find a number of highly disquieting items of interest:
according to the Department of Labor, about 50 percent of unemployed
individuals in the United States are functionally illiterate.
In New York City specifically, according to the National Center
for Literacy, the mean level of literacy assessment is .246,
which means almost 30 percent of adults here do not have sufficient
reading ability to master a college curriculum.
Even worse, a parent's literacy is the single most effective
predictor variable to determine a child's likelihood of growing
up in poverty. In fact, the National Assessment of Education
Progress tells us, a child with functionally illiterate parents
is twice as likely to be illiterate themselves than their peers.
Historically, particularly in this technological age, civilizations
with high rates of literacy even win wars more often than their
less literate peers; it's a key factor in a civilization's
As imperative as the fight to create reading competency would
appear to be, it's not a battle easily won. Sadly, the odds
of successfully improving an adult's written decoding skills
using conventional instructional methods aren't good: studies
cited by the Literacy Volunteers of America indicate that 35
to 40 hours of tutoring are required to raise a typical adult's
reading level one grade.
Fortunately, there's a new tool available for the adult literacy
student, Reading Horizon's Discover Phonics for Yourself program.
Through direct instruction, which can be supplemented with
a computer component, logical sequencing and multi-sensory
techniques, it accomplishes the primary goal of phonics instruction:
learning to recognize words rapidly and automatically. By the
end of the course, adult functional illiterates are reading
85 percent of commonly used English words. Simultaneously,
they also learn spelling, vocabulary, grammar, handwriting,
listening and thinking skills.
The new online software provides not only extensive tutorials,
but an easy to administer online reading assessment to measure
success via a number of important variables. According to pilot
programs conducted in both the Peel Adult Learning Center in
Ontario, Canada, and the California Board of Corrections, adults
were quickly able to master not only the basics, but as the
director of the Peel Center explained: “The Reading Horizons
program filled in the gaps that adult learners often have,
in a controlled sequential manner (including)Émarked
improvement in reading comprehensionÉword attack skills
and fluency automatically.”
Any adult with either functional illiteracy or struggles with
ESL should immediately log on to the company's site at www.readinghorizons.com,
where more information for programs for both primary students
in grades K-6 or adult learners and secondary students can be