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Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy


VOLUME 4 ISSUE 3 : FALL 2022

Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy

ProLiteracy

The journal’s mission is to publish research on adult basic and secondary education and transitions to college and career programs. It informs practitioners, researchers, policy makers, and funders about best practices in adult literacy, numeracy, and English language education in publicly funded, community and volunteer-based programs in a wide range of contexts. Each issue will consist of research articles focused on a particular theme plus other content of interest to readers (e.g., resource reviews, opinion pieces, and debates and discussions on timely topics of interest to the field).

Contact: ProLiteracy, https://www.proliteracy.org/ALE-Journal

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Research Article

“It’s a Different World”: Language Ideologies, Literacies, and College Readiness

Meagan A. Hoff, Collin College; Jessica S. Reynolds, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Research Article Hoff and Reynolds

For linguistically diverse students, the path to college is often defined by language. Depending on
assessments and institutional policies, students may be placed into course sequences in developmental English, adult basic education, and/or English as a Second Language courses. The purpose of this study was to better understand developmental education, adult basic education, and English as a Second Language instructors’ perceptions of how to best prepare linguistically diverse students for the literacy expectations of college courses.

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Reports from the Field

Digital Financial Literacy

Wil Golden, University of Georgia; Leslie Cordie, Auburn University

An individual with digital financial literacy has the knowledge and skills to use digital devices to make better financial decisions. The pervasiveness of financial technology (fintech) in the daily lives of adults in the United States creates digital literacy training and educational opportunities. This report from the field offers a brief literature review, a discussion on digital financial literacy, and the importance of fintech adult education. Our goal is to guide educators and others on how foundational knowledge on digital technologies in relation to financial literacy education can prepare adult learners for the use of fintech. Expanding the use of technology to financial literacy education and practices are as crucial as reading, writing, and numeracy in today’s digital economy.

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Learning from Each Other: A Partnership Between an Affordable Housing Organization and a Digital Literacy Research Organization

Kathy Harris, Portland State University; Naila Judge, RWS Group; Chris Burger, EAH Housing

EAH Housing, an affordable housing organization, partnered with the Literacy, Language, and Technology Research group at Portland State University for the digital literacies portion of a digital infrastructure and digital literacies program funded by a grant from the California Public Utilities Commission. Working with the Literacy, Language, and Technology Research group, EAH Housing developed a successful digital literacy program building on a variety of research-based factors that support adult learning of digital literacies, including quality self-access learning materials that are relevant to learners’ goals and easy access to human helpers as learners move through pivotal moments in the learning path.

Correspondence: harriska@pdx.edu

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Finally, Some Guidance! Using the Triple E Framework to Shape Technology Integration

Susan Gaer, World Education Partners; Kristi Reyes, MiraCosta College

4-Field Report Gaer and Reyes

How can schools integrate the lessons of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic into their face-to-face teaching. What guidelines can teachers use to be sure they are integrating technology? In this article, we propose an adaptation of the Triple E Framework to guide this work. The goal of the framework is to ensure that technology use supports student engagement, and then, while engaged, students’ learning is enhanced and extended by technology.

Correspondence: susangaer@gmail.com

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A Journey Through the Digital World: Fostering Digital Problem Solving Among Adult Learners

Tyler H.J. Frank, Clark College

To meet the demands of the 21st century, adult learners must display a range of sophisticated strategies for dealing with the digital world. With the switch to online instruction over the last months this need is only greater. In this article, I describe specific activities I implement with adult learners in a math and science class to help them develop these essential abilities while also enhancing their learning toward the content outcomes.

Correspondence: TFrank@clark.edu

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Forum: What's in a Name

Adult Foundational Education: Why a New Name and Definition Is Needed

David J. Rosen, Steering Committee Member, Open Door Collective

What name do you use to describe our field? Adult literacy? Adult education? Adult education and literacy? Adult basic education? Adult ESL or ESOL? Which name best describes our work? Which name do you think is preferred, and why? Which of these is not sometimes interpreted to mean something else? Which, if any, best distinguishes our work from that of those who work in credit-bearing post-secondary education or PreK-12 education? Which, if any, best captures the full range of education services the field offers? The answer to most of those questions, other than that they all distinguish education for adults from PreK-12, is “none of the above.” ...

Correspondence: djrosen123@gmail.com

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Adult Foundational Education: A Fresh Seed Sown?

Ralf St. Clair, University of Victoria, Canada

David J. Rosen’s essay calling for a new unified name for adult literacy, numeracy, and English language education is thought-provoking indeed. His argument is based on the perceived failure of any of the current names to describe the field’s activity adequately. Rosen suggests none of these names is beloved by the field or represents it clearly. They are described as confusing and unclear to people not involved in our work and not very useful for those within it. The replacement he and his colleagues from the Open Door Collective present is “adult foundational education.” I must admit to a little hesitancy about the argument, both in terms of premise and conclusion. ...

Correspondence: rstclair@uvic.ca

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Demystifying a Field: Wonderings on Classifying for Clarity in Adult Education

Leah Katherine Saal, Loyola University Maryland

Last December, I participated in a series of conversations at the Literacy Research Association’s annual conference about changing the name of the Adult Literacy Study Group. The Adult Literacy Study Group, originally facilitated by Erik Jacobson, develops and supports diverse collaborations among scholars and raises awareness of the acute need for adult literacy research. Group members didn’t believe that the current name represented the full range of topics and questions explored by the body. After some discussion and debate, the name was modified to the Adult, Family, and Community Literacies Study Group. ...

Correspondence: lksaal@loyola.edu

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Book Review

Review of Contested Spaces of Teaching and Learning: Practitioner Ethnographies of Adult Education in the United States

Alexis Cherewka, Pennsylvania State University

The purpose of Contested Spaces of Teaching and Learning: Practitioner Ethnographies of Adult Education in the United States is to examine how adults make sense of and change their teaching and learning environments to advocate for social justice. Through practitioner ethnography, the authors (1) argue that adults dispute the educational options they are given in a variety of ways by explaining how adults advocate for their needs and (2) reflect on how their roles as practitioner and researcher affect their own analysis of these processes. Avoiding the typical isolation of teaching and learning as separate practices, these chapters instead demonstrate how teaching and learning are inextricably linked.

Correspondence: atc5068@psu.edu

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Resource Review

Review of the Maryland Department of Labor’s Adult Education Digital Literacy Framework for Adult Learners: Instructor Implementation Guide

Nell Eckersley, Literacy Assistance Center

The Maryland Department of Labor’s Adult Education Digital Literacy Framework for Adult Learners: Instructor Implementation Guide is a very useful resource. The need to teach digital literacy skills has never been more widely recognized than now. This guide goes a long way to illustrate how to think about integrating digital literacy skills into content instruction through the lesson activities and online resources it contains. The crosswalk with College and Career Readiness standards and CASAS standards also makes this guide very helpful for teachers who may be applying these standards already but had no guidance on how to incorporate digital literacy skills into the content they were already teaching. ...

Correspondence: NellE@lacnyc.org

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Research Digest

Mathematical Word Problems in Adult Education: What the Research Says

Lynda Ginsburg, Rutgers University (retired)

Mathematical word problems, sometimes called story problems, are generally defined as “verbal descriptions of problem situations, presented within a scholastic setting, wherein one or more questions are raised the answer to which can be obtained by the application of mathematical operations to numerical data available in the problem statement or on numerical data derived from them” (Verschaffel et al., 2020, para. 1). The problems are positioned as representing how math is applied in real life, although in real life there is usually less clarity about the specific questions that need to be answered as well as the available situational data. Students are urged to limit their focus to the facts or data which is provided within the word problem itself.

Correspondence: ginsburg@scarletmail.rutgers.edu