Preparing Adult English Learners to Read for College and the Workplace

Subjects: Applied Linguistics & Linguistics, English as a Second Language (ESL)
Ebook : 9780472221721, 247 pages, 3 b&w illustrations, 4 photos, 6 x 9, July 2024
Paperback : 9780472039661, 247 pages, 3 b&w illustrations, 4 photos, 6 x 9, July 2024
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How to prepare adult English learners for reading success

Table of contents

Introduction: The importance of academic and professional reading in adult English language education 
Chapter 1: Research-based reading processes and strategies for adult learners; Dolores Perin, Teacher’s College, Columbia University
Chapter 2: Learning to think critically about texts; Robyn Cox, RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia)
Chapter 3: Selecting engaging texts for intensive and extensive reading; Annie Barron, Wake Technical Community College
Chapter 4: Improving the comprehension and vocabulary skills of adult English language learners with content integrated language instruction; Shawn Slakk, ABCDS&S Consulting
Chapter 5: The importance of interactive writing for developing readers; Joy Kreeft Peyton, Senior Fellow, Center for Applied Linguistics, Jana Staton, Faculty Affiliate, Counseling Department, University of Montana
Chapter 6: Building literacy and reading in the digital age; Jen Vanek, World Education
Chapter 7: Teaching reading to adult English learners with learning differences; Rebeca Fernandez, Davidson College
Chapter 8: Teachers and students reading for pleasure: Teachers as role models; Kirsten Schaetzel, Emory University
Epilogue: JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall, University of Maryland


The ability to read effectively—to work with a text, understand its meaning, and talk and write about it with and for others—is a critical aspect of academic and workplace success. However, many adults who are learning English as a second or additional language do not have the skills needed to be successful and may drop out of college and university programs before they reach their goal. Bringing together a rich collection of topics and authors, this edited volume provides theory, research, and instructional approaches to help adult education ESL practitioners work effectively with adult learners and prepare them to be successful with reading in academic and workplace settings. 

After reading this book, adult ESL practitioners will be able to

  • Prepare adults learning English to apply appropriate reading strategies to a variety of academic and professional contexts and purposes
  • Use instructional strategies, including digital technology, to help struggling and developing readers close gaps in skills and conceptual knowledge
  • Improve reading comprehension through robust vocabulary instruction
  • Enhance reading skills and comprehension through writing instruction that balances sentence-level, discourse, and interactive processes and practices
  • Inspire students to become lifelong readers who engage in extensive reading outside of school and professional contexts

Kirsten Schaetzel is an English Language Specialist at Emory University. 
Joy Kreeft Peyton is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC. 
Rebeca Fernández is Associate Professor of Writing and Educational Studies at Davidson College.