Equipped for the future : a reform agenda for adult literacy and lifelong learning /
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Shipping list no.: 97-0193-P.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 27).
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Improving Adult Literacy Outcomes : Lessons from Cognitive Research for Developing CountriesAbadzi, Helen (2013-08-16)Despite the existence of about one
billion illiterates in the world, adult literacy programs
make up 1-5 percent of government or donor budgets, and they
remain severely underfunded in comparison to primary
education. Though dropout and course completion rates
improved in the 1990s, the outcomes of literacy instruction
are still modest and may have improved little since the
1970s. The results may disappoint governments and donors who
expect that once taught, people will have usable skills and
remain literate. The modest results make it hard to increase
coverage and to argue for increased expenditures for this
sector. The results may be due to inefficient instruction
but also to the structure of human memory, which has
important implications for adult literacy acquisition. The
need to learn the rapid recognition of complex patterns
poses problems that are not apparent to people who became
expert readers in their childhood.
Teaching Adults to Read Better and Faster : Results from an Experiment in Burkina FasoAbadzi, Helen (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-05)Two cognitively oriented methods were
tested in Burkina Faso to help illiterates learn to read
more efficiently. These were (a) speeded reading of
increasingly larger word units and (b) phonological
awareness training to help connect letters to speech.
Learners were given reading tests and a computerized
reaction time test. Although the literacy courses were
shortened by the arrival of rains and government delays, the
piloted methods helped adults read better than those in the
standard "control" classes. Learners enrolled in
the experimental classes performed better on the outcome
tests than did learners enrolled in control classes. Ninety
percent of the possible comparisons between treatment
classes and control classes favored classes receiving
treatments, and 72 percent of the measurements in favor of
treatments were statistically significant. The evidence
suggests that phonological awareness training is
particularly effective in situations where the training
period was short, and that rapid reading was more
advantageous in longer training situations. Overall, the
results are indicative of the potential that scientifically
backed methods have in making adult literacy instruction
more effective. However, due to the short duration of the
classes (3-4 months) learners apparently did not receive
sufficient practice to consolidate skills. Literacy skills
may still be prone to being forgotten if readers do not
learn to read automatically and if opportunities to read are few.
STEP Skills Measurement Surveys : Innovative Tools for Assessing SkillsSanchez Puerta, Maria Laura; Rajadel, Tania; Pierre, Gaelle; Valerio, Alexandria (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-07)The Skills Towards Employability and
Productivity (STEP) program was designed to better
understand the interplay between skills on the one hand and
employability and productivity on the other. The STEP
program developed survey instruments tailored to collect
data on skills in low- and middle-income country contexts.
The present note is a reference document for readers seeking
background information on the STEP surveys and for users of
the data, which is publicly available through the World
Bank s Microdata Catalog. The note describes the design of
the survey instruments and the constructs measured as well
as the technical standards and implementation protocols
adopted to ensure data quality and comparability across
countries. It also provides guidance to users for the
construction of aggregated skills indicators and for the use
of the reading literacy assessment data.