OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Current Section

Effective Practices in Reading
Fact Sheet Series 2004 - Adult Basic and Literacy Education
Archived Information

The OVAE Fact Sheet Series highlights efforts currently underway at the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) to support the principles of the President's No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The principle(s) supported by this effort are:

  • Increase Accountability and Academic Achievement
  • Focus on What Works


While various efforts are underway across the country to improve adult literacy, there is little research or consensus on which practices are the most effective in teaching adults to read. The main goal of Effective Practices in Reading is to identify which practices work best.


Effective Practices in Reading in Adult Education and Family Literacy utilizes rigorous methodology to test various approaches for increasing reading comprehension in adult education and family literacy programs. The project consists of six research grants, which are jointly sponsored by the Department of Education, the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute for Literacy. All six projects will take place over the next five years and employ experimental or quasi-experimental designs. These projects should contribute greatly to the major gaps in areas of adult literacy research. The topics to be investigated are:

  • Reading instruction for low literate adults, Georgia State University
  • Testing the impact of health literacy instruction in adult literacy using integrated family approach programs, University of Illinois
  • Improving literacy instruction for adults, University of Kansas - Lawrence
  • Relative effectiveness of reading programs for adults, Educational Testing Services
  • Young adult literacy problems: prevalence and treatment, Wake Forest University
  • Building a knowledge base for teaching adult decoding, University of Delaware

Outcomes and Products

  • New adult literacy interventions for adults
  • Effective methods to teach reading to adults with literacy difficulties
  • More effective means for identifying, recruiting and serving those in need of literacy instruction

FY 2002 to FY 2007



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Last Modified: 09/06/2007