By Guest Writer, Stephen Dolainski, ABE Consultant
Imagine you are an observer in an adult reading classroom. Twenty or so students are present; their reading abilities range from the 4th-grade level to the 8th-grade level. The teacher, like many adult reading teachers, has no specialized training in reading instruction. She relies on a variety of texts and instructional resources and is deeply committed to helping her students improve their reading ability so they can move on to the GED prep class or a job-training program.
On this particular occasion, the students are going to read a selection about cells that is from one of the texts. The teacher puts up a diagram of a cell that is labeled with the cell’s various parts. Before the students read the selection, the teacher asks students to study a vocabulary list that contains words from the selection, such as nucleus, cell membrane, cytoplasm, and vacuole. Next to each word is the definition. At the bottom of the list is a matching exercise. When the vocabulary activity is complete, the teacher conducts a brief discussion with the students about what they already know about cells. Then she has the students silently read the selection and answer a few questions at the end of the reading. After going over the correct answers with the class, the teacher has the students draw a cell and label the different parts.
Based on your “observation,” what can you say about the reading instruction that took place in the class? ...