ing, and goal attainment. Chapter 6 applies what is known about literacy, learning, and motivation to examine in greater depth one aspect of the instructional environment—instructional technologies—that may motivate essential practice with literacy activities, scaffold learning, and help to assess learners’ progress. Technology also may help to resolve some of the practical barriers to more extensive literacy practice related to life demands, child care, and transportation, which adult learners cannot always afford, in either dollars or time.
The next two chapters discuss the research for two subgroups of the adult learner population. Chapter 7 synthesizes what is known about the cognitive, linguistic, and other learning challenges experienced by adults with learning disabilities and the uses of accommodations that facilitate learning. Chapter 8 considers the literacy development needs and processes for the population of adults learning English as a second language, which includes both immigrants and U.S. citizens and is diverse in terms of education, language background, and familiarity with U.S. culture. This chapter points to the major challenges experienced by English language learners in developing their literacy skills and outlines the research needed to facilitate literacy development. Given that the basic principles of reading, writing, learning, and motivation have been discussed in previous chapters, this chapter focuses on issues specific to the literacy development of adults who are learning a second language.
Chapter 9 presents the committee’s conclusions and recommendations in light of the research reviewed in previous chapters. Our conclusions stress that it should be possible to develop approaches that improve adults’ literacy given the wealth of knowledge that exists. The challenge is to determine how to integrate the various principles we have derived from the research findings into coordinated and comprehensive programs of instruction that meet the needs of diverse populations of adults. In this final chapter, we urge attention to several issues in research and policy that impinge directly on the quality of instruction, the feasibility of completing the much-needed research, and the potential for much broader dissemination and implementation of the practices that emerge as effective.