In Québec, 73.1% of young adults aged 16 to 25 who are no longer attending school and who do not have a secondary school diploma have a literacy level of 1 or 2 (CSE, 2013). For such students, obtaining a first diploma through Adult General Education (AGE) or Vocational Training (VT) represents a major challenge. The same is true for the teaching staff working with them.
There is a strong recommendation for the direct and explicit teaching of the fundamental components of reading and writing.
Little research has been carried out on practices for teaching reading and writing to this population of learners (around 65,000 students between the ages of 15-19). The identification of effective practices remains fragmented and often relies on research findings involving children and adolescents. Given the nuances that have been established between young and adult student populations in relation to reading and writing, more research is necessary in order to better inform decision-makers and equip practitioners.
This knowledge synthesis provides a body of knowledge that presents basic principles as well as approaches or practices that can be adopted, or adapted, to support reading and writing among students aged 15-19. These principles include a strong recommendation for the direct and explicit teaching of the fundamental components of reading and the writing process.
Practitioners need to keep in mind that there are similarities but also differences between elementary and secondary school students and those in Adult Education and Vocational Training programs.
Chantal Ouellet, Université du Québec à Montréal
Deposit of the research report: August 2017