Basic Literacy & Numeracy

ProLiteracy Presents First Award for Adult Literacy Research

May 13, 2024

ProLiteracy awarded a group of researchers our inaugural Dollar General Research to Practice Award for their paper The Effects of an Adult Literacy App on Word Decoding, published in 2023 in our Adult Literacy Education research journal. The award underscores our dedication to providing adult literacy educators and programs with free access to leading research that can both inform and improve their practice.

The winning paper was written by Dawn M. Woods, Oakland University; Diane B. Gifford, Southern Methodist University; Paul Yovanoff, Southern Methodist University; and Ashley Sandoval, Southern Methodist University. The paper is a case study on the effectiveness of the game app Codex: The Lost Words of Atlantis with adult multilingual learners. The researchers analyzed the adults’ significantly increased ability to phonologically decode common English words by comparing test results from before and after using the app.

This research was chosen for the award, funded through a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, because it gives practitioners a model for incorporating app-based learning into adult education curriculum in a way that will lead to improved outcomes.

“Our goal with the research journal has always been to provide proven practices that the everyday adult educator can adapt and apply to their own circumstances,” said Lauren Osowski, ProLiteracy’s Senior Advocacy, Research, and Projects Manager. “With the support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, we can now formally recognize the work of researchers who are offering important insights that can improve the way we approach adult education.”

The Dollar General Research to Practice Award will be an annual award to recognize a paper published in Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy that has the most potential to impact practice at the program or classroom level. The research can focus on adult literacy, numeracy, or English language education in publicly funded, community- and volunteer-based programs in a wide range of contexts. Research may use qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods with implications for practice that are clearly articulated, actionable, and realistic.

Research reviews were completed by a committee of experts in the adult education and literacy field who are familiar with trends in research. The group determined that this paper held the most relevance and actionable items for practitioners to implement. Additionally, this research paper was clearly articulated for adult educators who were less familiar with reading research and had the greatest potential to inspire future research.

About ProLiteracy

We are the world’s leader in adult education practice, innovating and building the capacity of literacy programs everywhere—from small community-based organizations to large adult education programs and institutions. We serve over 5,000 adult literacy programs annually and work with 32 partners worldwide. By providing comprehensive training and professional learning, accessible research, grant funding, and leading-edge digital and print learning resources through New Readers Press, we advocate for and unleash the power of literacy to transform lives.