In this study adult learners’ attainment in and attitudes to reading were assessed, and the strategies their teachers used were observed. The aim was to correlate learners’ progress in reading and changes in their attitudes with their teachers’ strategies, and thus get some purchase on what enables learners to make progress and/or develop more positive attitudes.
There were two cohorts of learners, in academic years 2003/04 and 2004/05. Each cohort was assessed at three points, pre, mid and post. The purpose of assessing at three points was to strengthen the statistical analyses. 454 learners in 59 classes (an average of 7.7 per class) were recruited for the study. The classes consisted of 34 provided by Colleges of Further Education (FE), 19 provided by Local Education Authorities (LEAs), three provided by a charity, 2 run by private Training Providers, and one in a prison.
The instruments used to assess reading on five of the six occasions (that is, all except the pre assessment in the first year) were the Go! suite of tests produced for NRDC by the National Foundation for Educational Research in 2003.