• Teaching Phonics to Adult Students Using Job Relevant Reading Materials

      Stridiron, Andrea R.; The College at Brockport (1998-08-01)
      When adult students make the decision to return to school after being away a year or more, they may have forgotten many skills, rules and/or generalizations of reading that will be crucial for their success in the work force. One of these is phonics. Many students have forgotten basic phonics rules. This has prevented them from reading for pleasure, but more importantly, it has kept them from being successful on the job. It keeps them from reading and following simple instructions or understanding written memos from their supervisors or fellow workers. Lack of following directions can lead to accidents and unproductivity, and may eventually cost them their job. This study asked the question: Will teaching phonics to adult students help improve their comprehension skills so that they might better perform their responsibilities while on the job? Phonics instruction was given daily to a study group of 13 women and 1 man from an inner city ABE/GED program. Prior to instruction, the study group was administered the pre-test of the Bader Reading and Language Inventory phonics subtest and the TABE comprehension sub test. Instruction lasted for a period of seven weeks. Job relevant materials such as the classified ads in the local newspaper were used because it helped to keep the students motivated. (Most of these students will be entering the job market in the next year or two). After seven weeks of phonics instruction, the study group was administered phonics and comprehension post-tests. A control group from another inner city ABE/GED program was selected consisting of 11 women. The same pre-tests were administered. This group did not receive any phonics instruction. There was no statistical difference between the study and control groups on the pre-tests. When administered the post-tests, both groups made gains, however, the control group performed somewhat better than the study group.