Literacy Tips for Adult Non-Readers

A high percentage of adults lack literacy skills (1 out of every 5 adults) around the world. This directly impacts the quality of life of these adults and their families. In addition to finding a literacy program to attend, there are other things that adults can do to improve their reading and writing skills.

Adults who wish to learn to read should discuss the issue openly with family and close friends. These people will serve as a support system and will encourage the person to work hard and be persistent in their efforts. By acknowledging their desire to learn, they can reduce embarrassment and stay motivated.

Sometimes it is easier to learn with the help of a tutor. ProLiteracy is an agency that is committed to working with adults to improve literacy skills. Through their website, users can find programs anywhere in the world. There are also links to adult education materials available for purchase.

Most adults will not want to begin with books aimed at children. This can be degrading and discouraging. One way to start would be to have the adult tell a story to a helper. The helper, or tutor, can write down the story as it is being told. The two can then read it together, with the tutor pointing to the words as they are being read.

Use audiobooks with a copy of the print book. The reader can follow along as the story is being read. On Apple iPod products, users can adjust the speed of the reading to make it comfortable for listeners.

Another idea is to begin by learning the most critical and immediately useful information. Learning to read and write a home address, family member's names, and a grocery list are all great places to start. The volume of information is not as overwhelming as a book or newspaper, yet it is valuable and important to everyday living.

Use high-interest, low-level books to promote interest in reading. One resource is Accessible Book Collection. Individuals may qualify for subscriptions and can contact the site for information.

Graphic novels are great to use for expanding vocabulary because the illustrations enhance the content and help the reader understand the text. The use of visual cues and fast-paced storytelling may appeal to readers who are struggling.

Try poetry or books that tell a story in verse. The pages are not dense with text and can be less overwhelming.

Nonfiction may hold more appeal than fiction. The subject matter is usually known and it is usually easier to follow than fiction. Readers can choose topics that they are interested in and may have a practical impact on their lives.

Remember, the first step is choosing to ask to for help. Literacy opens doors in family, social, cultural, and economic areas. Help someone learn to read today.