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Adult Literacy Practices and Associated Motivational Needs

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004383/00001

Material Information

Title: Adult Literacy Practices and Associated Motivational Needs
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Klein, Kathryn A.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Self Determination Theory
Adult Literacy
Literacy Practices
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Several factors have been linked to positive adult literacy program outcomes, however many possible influential factors on program success have yet to be researched. On the other hand, autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the three needs described by Self Determination Theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000) as crucial for the existence of intrinsic motivation, have been linked to a variety of positive outcomes in many academic contexts with students of a variety of age groups. The current study used SDT as a framework with which to investigate predictors of adult literacy practices through assessment of these students� needs as learners. Three adult literacy tutoring students (ages 23, 56, and 59 years; all female ESL students) were surveyed with a structured interview about the support of the three needs described by SDT along with their literacy practices engaged in both during and outside of tutoring. Although all participants scored fairly similarly on the SDT scales, clear differences in the amounts, types, and frequencies of literacy practices suggested that future research may find variables such as age, length of time with current instructor, support of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, instructional material and activity relevance and the strength of teacher-student relationships to predict successful adult
Statement of Responsibility: by Kathryn A. Klein
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Barton, Michelle

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 K6
System ID: NCFE004383:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004383/00001

Material Information

Title: Adult Literacy Practices and Associated Motivational Needs
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Klein, Kathryn A.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Self Determination Theory
Adult Literacy
Literacy Practices
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Several factors have been linked to positive adult literacy program outcomes, however many possible influential factors on program success have yet to be researched. On the other hand, autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the three needs described by Self Determination Theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000) as crucial for the existence of intrinsic motivation, have been linked to a variety of positive outcomes in many academic contexts with students of a variety of age groups. The current study used SDT as a framework with which to investigate predictors of adult literacy practices through assessment of these students� needs as learners. Three adult literacy tutoring students (ages 23, 56, and 59 years; all female ESL students) were surveyed with a structured interview about the support of the three needs described by SDT along with their literacy practices engaged in both during and outside of tutoring. Although all participants scored fairly similarly on the SDT scales, clear differences in the amounts, types, and frequencies of literacy practices suggested that future research may find variables such as age, length of time with current instructor, support of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, instructional material and activity relevance and the strength of teacher-student relationships to predict successful adult
Statement of Responsibility: by Kathryn A. Klein
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Barton, Michelle

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 K6
System ID: NCFE004383:00001


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ADULT LITERACY PRACT ICES AND ASSOCIATED MOTIVATIONAL NEEDS BY KATHRYN KLEIN A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Michelle Barton Sarasota, Florida May, 2011

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ii Acknowledgments I wo uld like to sincerely thank Dr. Michelle Barton, my thesis sponsor, along with Drs. Heidi Harley and Steve Graham for all of their incredibly appreciated support a nd guidance throughout this process and throughout all of my time at New College. I would also like to thank all of the professors and students who are part of Psychology Senior Seminar for their valuable feedback I would also like to thank the director, tutors, and students of the literacy council I worked with. Your participation made this possible and was extremely appreciated. Thank s and so much love to: all of my roommates, official and unofficial, for going through this with me, complete with so ma ny wonderfully silly times and words/hugs of support ; Elaine for her feedback, reassurance and steady supply of restorative and ridiculously cute animal pictures ; all of the W girls, who showed and constantly reminded me that that there is always light at the end of the thesis tunnel; Sarah Gregory for being my thesis buddy extraordinaire; and my friends plus all of the amazing people here who have helped me grow so much. Thank you especially to David for your endless encouragement and putting up with most of my whims and all of my thesis freak outs. I am eternally grateful to all of you for being part of so many experiences of ecstatic wonder. Finally, I want to particularly thank my family for their unwavering faith in me, support, love, acceptance, and encouragement.

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iii Table of Contents Acknowledgments ii Table of Contents iii List of Tables iv List of Illustrations v Abstract v i Literature Review 1 The Current State of Adult Literacy 2 Measures of and Factors in Literacy Program Success 5 Self Determination Theory 12 Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness in Academic Settings 13 The Current Study 20 Method 22 Results and Discussion 25 References 36 Tables 39 Figures 42 Appendix 48

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iv List of Tables Table 1: Literacy Practices Categorized by Text Complexity Level Table 2: Participant Scores on SDT Variable Measures, Social Desirability Measure, and Authenticity and Collaboration Questions Table 3: Participant Amounts of Literacy Practices

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v List of Illustratio ns Figure 1.Real life Literacy Practices Per Frequency Figure 2. Practices Per Frequency During Tutoring Figure 3. Real life Practice Amounts Per Text Complexity Level Figure 4. Practice Amounts Per Text Complexity Level During Tutoring Figure 5. Frequency of Real life Practices Per Complexity Level Figure 6. Frequency of Real life Practices Per Complexity Level

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vi ADULT LITERACY PRACT ICES AND ASSOCIATED MOTIVATIONAL NEEDS Kathryn A. Klein New College of Florida, 2011 ABSTRACT Several fac tors have been linked to positive adult literacy program outcomes, however many possible influential factors on program success have yet to be researched. On the other hand, autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the three needs described by Self Determina tion Theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000) as crucial for the existence of intrinsic motivation, have been linked to a variety of positive outcomes in many academic contexts with students of a variety of age groups. The current study used SDT as a framework with which to investigate predictors of adult literacy practices through (ages 23, 56, and 59 years; all female ESL students) were surveyed with a structured interview abou t the support of the three needs described by SDT along with their literacy practices engaged in both during and outside of tutoring. Although all participants scored fairly similarly on the SDT scales, clear differences in the amounts, types, and frequenc ies of literacy practices suggested that future research may find variables such as age, length of time with current instructor, support of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, instructional material and activity relevance and the strength of teacher stu dent relationships to predict successful adult literacy program outcomes. Dr. Michelle Barton Division of Social Sciences

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1 As exemplified by the above quote of an adult literacy student describing her previous educational experiences, English literacy is considered by most to be a very valuable skill in to in a variety of situations commonly encountered in adult life, such as applying and training for jobs, completing financial transactions, and dealing with forms and reports at ffices, schools, and more. One striking example of this is the disparity in full employment prevalence between adults who exhibited below basic prose literacy (35 %) and those proficient in prose literacy (64 %), as determined by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (Kutner, Greenberg, & Baer ,2005, as cited in Mellard, Patterson, & Prewett, 2007). Thus, the services offered by adult literacy programs are incredibly valuable to adults who are looking to improve their English literacy, particularly cons idering how necessary this may be for navigating the situations mentioned above, such as securing a job. Especially important, then, is understanding factors that contribute But what defines this success? Purcell Gates, Degene r, Jacobson, and Soler (2002) argue against using norm referenced tests as the main method of assessing literacy skill change or achievement. Instead, they assert that a more appropriate assessment should examine increases in the real life writing and read ing practices of students as the true and final goal of literacy programs. With these outcomes in mind, they explored the

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2 authenticity of program activities and materials along with teacher student collaboration as the factors possibly predictive of these outcomes. However, there remains much potential for the exploration of other factors affecting the real life literacy practices of such factors that have yet to be inves tigated in the context of adult literacy programs and their outcomes. This theory describes autonomy, competence, and relatedness as needs crucial for intrinsic motivation. The support and satisfaction of these needs could, with further research, be shown to influence the success of literacy programs. Thus, these needs are worthy of study in relation to measures of program outcomes such as adult literacy practices, particularly since successful outcomes (e.g. increased frequencies and amounts of such practi ces) have the potential for important influence on job eligibility and more. The following literature review, then, will include: an overview of demographics and key issues related to adult literacy programs and learners; possible factors in adult litera cy program success and how they have been measured; a review of research done on Self Determination Theory and its application in academic settings; and a discussion of Self Determination Theory as a framework that can be used to investigate successful out comes of adult literacy programs. The Current State of Adult Literacy Tamassia, Lennon, Yamamoto, and Kirsch (2007) reviewed the results of the Adult Education Program Survey (AEPS), which collected adult education program and learner information from a nationally representative sample of more than 1,200 programs during the 2001 2002 program year. Adult education programs include those geared

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3 toward Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL), and Adult Secondary Education (ASE). It wa s found that part time and volunteer workers made up most of the staff of the surveyed programs, most of which were run by community colleges, local education agencies, and community based organizations such as literacy coalitions and volunteer literacy or ganizations. Programs typically coordinate classes and one on one tutoring, commonly with open enrollment policies letting learners start and stop classes at any time. But who are the learners? The AEPS surveyed over 6,100 learners enrolled in adult educat ion programs during that program year, representative of approximately 2.7 million nation wide. Information about the general U.S. population used for comparison came from the results of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALL) conducted in 2003 an international examination of adult numeracy and literacy skills (OECD and Statistics Canada, 2005 as cited in Tamassia et al., 2007). The AEPS reported that around half of all adult education students were not native English speakers, a fact mirrored by t he largest percentage of adult education students being in ESL programs and by adult education learners being close to four times as likely to be non natives as adults from th e general population. Around 80 % of these learners were between 16 and 44 years o f age (with a full age range of 16 65), making the sample younger compared to the general population. Though adult learners are of course distributed widely across the United States, the AEPS found that 40 % of these lived in the Southern region, with aroun d 37 % of participants in that region living in Florida in particular. In terms of e ducation and job attainment, 90 % of adult education participants had not comple ted high school, compared to 18 % of the general adult population surveyed, while a quarter mor e AEPS

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4 participants than ALL participants were unemployed. The AEPS assessed adult learners on three literacy domains : numeracy, prose literacy, and document literacy. Results found no significant performance differences between male and female adult lea rners, but younger participants scored higher than older adults and not being native to the U.S. strongly corresponded with lower scores. Overall, the largest proportion of adult learners tested was found to be at Level 1 of a 5 level range of literacy ski ll (including all three literacy domains). This is in contrast to the Level 3 considered to be a minimum for efficacy in the current labor market. This disparity clearly speaks to the significance of the work that literacy councils do to improve not only t he reading, writing, and speaking skills of adult literacy learners, but also their likelihood of employment attainment and success and so ultimately their quality th ose who frequently participated in literacy activities such as reading books, newspapers, and magazines as well as writing emails, etc.) in the general adult population did perform at Level 3 (on average and across literacy domains), while adult learners i dentified as highly engaged readers, on average, performed at Level 1 for numeracy and at Level 2 for prose and document literacy. Interestingly, AEPS data showed adult education learners to, on average, participate for considerably less than 100 hours ov er the course of a year. This is notable since it is despite the most frequently reported category of instructional hours offered being four to six hours per week and the majority of programs offering instruction for more than 40 weeks a year with, as ment ioned above, open enrollment policies being common. A bit over a quarter of learners stopped program participation before gaining an

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5 educational level and overall, only about a third of learners reported gains of one educational level. Finally, only about a fifth advanced beyond that over the year, illuminating the concern of whether or not learners spend enough time in these programs to make useful progress. Measures of and Factors in Literacy Program Success Adult literacy program success and factors in this success have been studied with a variety of measures. Learner persistence in program involvement along with attendance rate and length are factors that have received a lot of attention. The National Reporting System (NRS), which holds all federally f unded ABE, ASE, and ESL programs in the U.S. accountable for reporting instruction outcomes, suggests between 40 and 120 hours as the minimum amount between pretesting and posttesting (NRS, 2006, as cited in Center for Applied Linguistics [CAL], 2007). In a descriptive study conducted by the CAL (2007), however, a widely varying number of total instructional hours was reported. Approximately 30 % of students logged less than 60 hours over the course of 14 months and around 25 % logged 120 or more hours, wit h 17 % more of the latter group attaining educational level gain on the Basic English Skills Test (BEST; an ESL assessment). Whether or not persistence actually has significant effects on learner achievement has been questioned by some, however. Fitzgera ld and Young (1997), for example, employed a stricter research design to investigate student persistence (specifically total hours of instruction) in ABE, ASE, and ESL programs. Using path analysis, they found persistence to influence increased reading ski lls in ESL classes alone. Interestingly, they actually found that overall persistence in ABE and ASE programs had no significant effect on achievement, while for ABE programs, the use of very individualized curricula

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6 was one variable noted to have direct positive influences. Studies exploring how learner persistence comes into play in successful adult literacy program outcomes have brought up the issue of barriers to this persistence. These hindrances have been the focus of much research by the National C enter for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL), particularly through examination of the 1996 Literacy in Libraries Across America (LILAA) initiative to increase adult learner persistence in library based literacy programs across the country (C omings, Parrella, & Soricone, 2000). From interviewing students near the beginning of a GED program (and a second time, four months later), they found that students who expressed self efficacy and had been previously involved in basic education were among those more likely to persist in program attendance at the time of the second interview. They concluded that this previous educational experience may support persistence by boosting self confidence in learning and that this relationship emphasizes the impor tance of motivation (as seen in clear goal formation, for example) in persistence maintenance. Additionally, Comings et al. (2000) interpreted the interview data to show that in general, participants brought up personal support from family, friends, teache rs, and peers as the strongest positive force influencing their persistence. In terms of actual literacy skills assessment, the AEPS (Tamassia et al., 2007) reported a group of norm referenced tests of general basic education skills called the Test of Adu lt Basic Education (TABE) as the most common standardized test for ABE and ASE learners, with BEST the most common ESL learner assessment. Of course not all of these measures and ways of interpreting their results have been well received. Venezky, Bristow, and Sabatini (1994) recognized potential problems with current adult literacy

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7 assessment practices. They noted troubles with the common use of single measure change scores for effective overall assessment and with interpreting grade equivalent scores on n on equal interval scales. Thus, they held the goal of revealing these problems to policymakers by investigating and comparing several individual measures. In addition, they endeavored to investigate differences between measures of basic skills versus those of functional literacy, since they hypothesized that there were key differences between the different measure types that could result in conflicting judgments of learning outcomes. The participants were students in ABE or GED classes at one school of adu lt and programs. It was noted that teaching was done in varying group sizes, including one on one, small or large groups, and some peer tutoring. Several times over the course of the school year, these students took the Tests of Applied Literacy Skills (TALS), which is a group of norm referenced functional literacy tests, along with the reading (Vocabulary and Comprehension) and math tests of the norm referenced TABE. At the first and last testings (5 months apart for day students and 6 months apart for evening students), oral reading tests involving both passages and pseudowords were administered. Participants also completed background questionnaire about literacy activities. The TALS Document Literacy scores showed large increases, but TABE Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension scores did not. Thus it was concluded that since the scores on these measures of functional literacy (the TALS Document Literacy) and of basic reading skill s (the TABE Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension) did not correspond, the measures themselves were not equivalent and neither by itself painted a

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8 complete and accurate picture of learner progress. Overall, they did not dismiss norm referenced tests entirel y, but rather concluded that evaluation of adult literacy program success though single mean change scores was misleading. Instead they advocated various goals (e.g., improvement in both basic reading skills and functional literacy) of adult literacy programs as well as issues such as group heterogeneity (Venezky et al., 1994, p.129). Based on the score variance across tests, clearly convergent validity of the tests in any such system would be a crucial concern. Finally, aside from measurement of functional literacy skills with the TALS, writing and applied life skills were not assessed in this study. These are areas with definite potential for future study. For example how learners apply literacy skills outside of academic settings could be researched through examination of literacy activities done whether skills taught in adult lite racy programs are well retained and translate into lasting positive impacts on the actual day to day lives of adult learners ostensibly a central goal of such programs Although Venezky et al. (1994) did collect information about such literacy practices they did so only as background and did not discuss any related findings. Purcell Gates et al. (2 002), on the other hand, did not consider norm referenced testing to be a satisfactory outcome measure of adult literacy program success at all, regardless of how many tests were involved. Instead, they focused on assessing what they considered to be the true end measure actual use of reading and writing skills in the practice of literacy activities outside of class So to assess these practices, they collected

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9 data from 173 adult literacy students distributed among 83 classes in 22 states. Questionnaires, observations, and group student interviews provided information about the amount of teacher student collaboration (the extent to which teachers shared choice making with students) and authenticity (the extent to which their literacy activities and materials connected to real life literacy purposes). These two dimensions were analyzed in terms of their relations with the outcome of student change in literacy pra ctices, which was operationalized as an increase both in types of new practices and per type of practice outside of school. These changes were measured through individual questionnaires administered several times throughout the course of the study, while t eachers reported Item Response Theory (Lord, 1980, as cited in Purcell Gates et al., 2002) was used to create scales of the literacy practices reported by participants at their first interviews as well as of literacy practic e changes occurring since class enrollment. This allowed individual participant probability scores to be generated for engagement in literacy practice and for tendency toward changes in literacy practices. Next, hierarchical linear modeling revealed lower levels of literacy at the beginning of class and longer class attendance as the most powerful predictors of higher reported literacy practice change. A major finding of the study was that higher material and activity authenticity levels were significantly associated with greater literacy practice change. This finding could be particularly meaningful to literacy programs as evidence of the importance of daily lives, especially since the AEPS (Tamassia et al., 2007) recently noted that only slightly less than half of adult education programs surveyed reported employing

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10 personalized instruction a great deal. In addition, Purcell Gates et al. (2002) found reading expos itory texts such as essays and fictional stories to be the two practices which showed the most change. Thus it was concluded that adult literacy students who increased either the kinds or numbers of literacy practices did so with more complex texts. It was also concluded that the lack of influence of teacher student collaboration on literacy practice change could have been a result of a sample that was not large enough or due to difficulty in measuring collaboration as they operationalized it. Despite this random participant selection, its unique examination of two dimensions of adult literacy instruction in connection with real life literacy practice has important implications for choices of materials, activities, and ov erall structure in adult education courses. The real life literacy practices of adults have, in fact, been examined in other knowledge, as in research done by Purcel l Gates (1996) and Leseman and de Jong emergent literacy of increased adult home literacy practices and involving text with more complex levels of discourse (Purcell Gates, 1996) as well as of parent child cooperation and overall relationship social emotional quality (Leseman & de Jong (1998). These studies neglect to shed any light on how, in general, these adult practices are themselves influenced, or in particular, on how these practices may be shaped by the quality of However, considering how positive parent child relationships along with adult literacy practices involving more complex

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11 literacy, this research can be considered suggestive of the important impact these and other factors may have on emergent literacy in adults Mellard et al. (2007) are among those who have research ed the reading practices so to explore relationships between the types, amounts, and frequencies of these practices and a number of demographic characteristics. With a structured interview questionnaire, it was found that older participants read more formal texts (such as manuals and full books), while younger learners (as well as, in general, those at lower literacy levels) reported more frequently (weekly) reading ma gazines. Also, females reported frequently reading for information (e.g. reading newspapers and work related letters, directions, and memos). With these results, they too emphasized the importance of the use of instructional materials that are relevant to learners, even suggesting the possibility that relevance may somewhat moderate textual difficulty. In addition, they noted that reading letters, notes, or emails was a frequently engaged in activity across all participants, which they considered unsurprisi ng in modern society. Interestingly, except for lower level learners reading more magazines and less work related materials, results showed these and much higher level learners to read the same kinds of materials with similar frequencies. Finally, in suppo rt of Purcell life literacy practices as an appropriate measure of program success, Mellard et al. (2007) found that reading amount strongly predicted actual reading comprehension aptitude. These studies of measur es of and factors in adult literacy program success have provided a lot of valuable information about adult literacy and the United States programs that aim to improve it. However, there is still much to be explored. For

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12 on of differences in the attainment of educational level gain was a purely descriptive study, making causal inferences impossible. Thus, exploration of what factors truly influence variance in adul t literacy program outcomes remains open. Variance in adult literacy practices, for example, is a particularly interesting outcome that warrants closer investigation. As described above, studies practices involving complex text an d high practice frequencies as well as of positive parent child relationships. These results encourage examination of influences on these practices, including could be of great importance for not only children whose emergent literacy is affected by these practices, but, of course, for adult literacy programs looking to encourage high s 2007 study, the CAL mentioned the possibility of influence from differences in material and curriculum as well as in student motivation. This is where Self Determination Theory (SDT) could come in as an intriguing possible framework in which to investiga te learners. Self Determination Theory Self Determination Theory has been investigated by researchers such as Ryan and Deci (2000) as a theory describing three basic ps ychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) as essential to satisfaction and intrinsic motivation.

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13 competence denotes the need to feel that one is knowledgea ble, capable of meeting challenges, and able to experience effective behavior; relatedness is the desire to feel connected to others (Niemiec & Ryan, 2009). SDT is the foundation of much research on satisfaction, such as that of Sheldon, Elliot, Kim, and Kasser (2001), who examined how important each of 10 psychological being. Results from analysis of questionnaires given to college students pointed to autonomy, related ness, and self satisfying recent experiences, while competence was the next most important. In a follow up study, they included questions referring to a most unsatisfying recent event. Results replicat ed those seen earlier with the most satisfying event, with self esteem being the most salient need and autonomy, competence, and relatedness being the second most salient. However, regarding the most unsatisfying event, competence and autonomy came out as the most salient needs lacking in these experiences, while relatedness was second. Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness in Academic Settings The work done by Sheldon et al. (2001) is only part of the large research base substantiating the importance of a utonomy, competence, and relatedness for optimal well being. Such research has been done in contexts as general as overall life satisfaction and as specific as intrinsic motivation in sports. Naturally, education is one area where there has been a lot of i nterest in predictors of motivation, engagement, and successful performance. Here, the three needs emphasized by Self Determination Theory have been investigated in a variety of academic settings with student participants from many

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14 different age groups. Th is area of research has shed light on the complex interplay of factors that influence student performance information that is crucial to educators and policymakers in particular as they shape curriculum with the imperative goal of maximizing student inter est and subsequent performance. However, as will be seen below, adult literacy is one area of education that has been overlooked in research about For example, Assor, Kap lan, and Roth (2002) explored the effects of autonomy enhancing and suppressing behaviors on student engagement in and affect toward schoolwork. Participants (Israeli students in grades 3 8) filled out a questionnaire about their perceptions of their main subjects taught by this teacher, and their perceived cognitive and behavioral engagement in these subjects. The questions about teacher behaviors referred to various sample behaviors exemplifying diffe rent categories of autonomy enhancing or suppressing relevance or seeking to unde Results showed students of both child and early adolescent age groups to be able to differentiate between different kinds of autonomy enhancing and suppressing behaviors. Interestingly, the auton omy enhancing behavior of supporting and emphasizing relevance was the best predictor of affect and engagement for both age students helps them see how this work can get them closer to fulfillment of their personal interests, values, and goals, and that this understanding leads to feelings of autonomy.

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15 The link between relevance and autonomy is thus made clear, since students acknowledging this relevance are able to feel a sens e of volition in their school related Consequently, although teacher behaviors that provide choice are most commonly essarily be deemed the most influential determinants of autonomy support. Also, it is important to note that these findings are in line with those of Purcell Gates et al. (2002), which emphasized how important it was for adult literacy activities and mater ials to be relevant to real life literacy uses. Therefore, the results of Assor et al. (2002) can be seen as suggestive of how relevance support in particular, and autonomy support in general should be further explored with adult literacy learners, as they may be very important for their motivation and performance as well. Results suggesting the importance of autonomy support have been seen with older students as well. For example, low autonomy support has been linked to actual dropout behavior in high sch ool students (Vallerand, Fortier, & Guay, 1997). French Canadian 9 th and 10 th grade students completed a questionnaire assessing school related perceived autonomy motivation; sc hool related perceived competence and autonomy; and future education intentions related to dropping out of school. A year after the questionnaire administration, information was gathered on the number of participants who had dropped out of high school. It was found that dropout students scored lower overall on the motivation subscales than students who continued in school (persistent students). The dropout students also reported significantly less perceived autonomy support

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16 from parents, the school admini stration, and from teachers as well as significantly less perceived school related competence. A motivational model of high school dropouts was then tested with structural equation modeling, supporting the conclusion that low perceived autonomy support pre dicted feelings of less competence and autonomy, which led to less self determined school motivation and thus, dropout intentions which were eventually executed. These results, with their emphasis on the importance of autonomy and competence in the academ ic motivation of multiple age groups, are suggestive of expectations about what may influence adult literacy learners. Thus, these results offer further support for the investigation of needs such as autonomy and competence with adult learners, who are stu dents of different ages and educational circumstances than those who have been studied up to this point. But competence and autonomy are definitely not alone in affecting such academic outcomes relatedness has been considered to assist student internali zation of their positive school goals and practices, thus influencing motivation (Ryan, Stiller, & Lynch, 1994) and more. Furrer and Skinner (2003), for example, used a questionnaire administered once in the fall and once in the spring to investigate third through sixth teachers in relation to classroom engagement. Actual school performance was assessed through grade collection and teachers also reported student engagement. The relatedness scale was composed of items created to assess feelings of acceptance, specialness, importance, and of being paid attention to in regard to five different social partners (teacher, classmates, friends, father, and mother). Results indicated that while both relatedness and perceived control significantly predicted teacher and student reported

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17 engagement, relatedness was actually the stronger predictor of student reported engagement. In addition, overall, the relationship between relatedness a nd actual performance was found to be mediated by engagement. The significance of relatedness and similar constructs has also been seen with older students. Classroom belonging, for example, has been linked to actual effort and achievement in the classroo m (Goodenow, 1993). In this study, middle school students completed a survey of perceived classroom support (of being respected, valued, and liked by the teacher and classmates) and belonging, success expectancies, and academic interest and values. Teacher reported grades and effort were also collected. It was found that expectancy of success was the most significant predictor of school effort and actual achievement, with the perceptions of classroom support and belonging also being significant predictors. Of the component factors of classroom belonging and support, student perceptions of teacher interest, respect, and support most strongly appeared to influence effort and grades. Interestingly, the results of the above studies discussing autonomy, competen ce, and relatedness are in line with those seen in studies such as those of Comings et al. (2000) and Purcell Gates et al. (2002). Comings et al. (2002) investigated influences on learner persistence in adult literacy programs and found that personal suppo rt from those around participants as well as expressed self efficacy were strong predictors of continued persistence. Purcell student collaboration, a construct seeming to blend aspects of autonomy and relatedness sup port with its emphasis on students feeling that they have choices in their literacy program and that their teachers accept them enough to value and encourage this input. Thus, investigating

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18 constructs such as relatedness and autonomy with adult literacy le arners definitely has the potential to be informative. Filak and Sheldon (2003) examined the roles of all three main Self Determination Theory needs with undergraduate students. The students completed a survey involving thinking about a recent class they c onsidered important to their ambitions. Participants then rated their agreement on Likert scales with statements about the support of autonomy, competence, and relatedness during this class. They also rated the quality of both the teacher and the course as a whole as measures of instructional success and finally, they reported some basic demographic information along with the grade they actually received in the class. Hierarchical regression was used to investigate the concurrent effects of the three needs found relatedness to predict third through sixth grade student reported engagement more 3) found both autonomy and competence to be significant predictors of positive undergraduate course evaluation, with competence being the strongest; relatedness, however, did not have a significant effect. Nonetheless, all three were shown to be significan t predictors of instructor effectiveness, with competence again being the strongest and autonomy and relatedness being the second and third strongest, respectively. These results highlight how the support of the needs described by SDT has the potential to affect aspects of instructional success differently for different age groups. Once again, then, it is noted that examining these needs with an understudied group such as adult learners who are not in traditional college programs could provide new and

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19 valu able information in this field. As seen above, autonomy, competence, and relatedness have been examined in a variety of educational contexts with age groups from elementary schoolers to college students. However, how Self Determination Theory fits into th e context of adult literacy education has yet to be explored. SDT has been quite influential in understanding how academic motivation is shaped and the consequences of this, something of definite importance for teachers and educational curriculum and poli cy makers if they are to maximize student interest, learning, and performance. Understanding motivation and its effects in adult literacy programs, then, is of especially critical importance, since rectly and immediately affects their ability to function smoothly in society through influence on the attainment and success in the workplace, navigation of the health care system, the ability to deal potential to be as useful in understanding education and motivation with adult learners as it has been with younger age groups, it seems that this potential is certainly worth exploring through research on how it may fit into the context of adult literacy program success in general and adult literacy practices in particular. Given the dearth of work in the area, there remains much potential for research into constructs predicting variance in the real life literacy practices of adults. Self Determination The ory clearly provides the three constructs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness as promising subjects for such research. Thus, SDT was the framework used to investigate influences on adult literacy practices in the current study, which was unique in its exploration of variables other than demographic variables in relation to adult literacy practices.

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20 The Current Study The current study explored the roles of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in adult literacy programs. Particular attention was paid to the outcomes of varying frequencies, types, and amounts of real life literacy practices. Considering the important role adult literacy programs play in helping learners to gain English literacy skills, this study sought to provide information about the extent to which these programs meet adult practices. To assess these issues, adult literacy students answered questions pertaining to their perceived support of the needs de scribed by Self Determination Theory along with questions of the kinds, amounts, and frequencies of literacy practices performed both in and outside of class. Brief questionnaires assessing perceived support of class activity and material authenticity and teacher student collaboration were also administered to allow comparison with the results of Purcell Gates et al. (2002). Finally, a shortened social desirability scale was included in order to attempt to detect any social desirability bias. The results o feelings of self efficacy as important influences on adult persistence in literacy programs. Since persistence may be an important factor in program success (specifically in ESL classes), an d can be considered a successful program outcome in its own right, it was hypothesized that high relatedness and competence scores (two constructs related to personal support and self efficacy, respectively) would correspond to other successful

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21 outcomes (i numbers and frequencies of literacy practices in general, as well as of those involving more complex text). In further support of this hypothesis, the findings of multiple studies have explicitly shown relatedness and simil ar constructs, such as feelings of belonging to predict engagement and actual classroom achievement (relatedness and engagement: Furrer & Skinner, 2003; belonging and achievement: Goodenow, 1993). Because, as discussed above, the literature has linked pe rceived autonomy support to positive motivational and performance outcomes with various age groups and school settings (Assor et al., 2002; Vallerand et al., 1997), it was also hypothesized that high autonomy scores would correspond to higher numbers and f requencies as well as more complex types of literacy practices. Assor et al. findings of autonomy support being important for perceived engagement are also suggestive of a possible relationship between relevance and positive academic outcomes, sin ce it was noted that the particular autonomy supportive behavior of emphasizing schoolwork relevance was the best predictor of engagement and positive school related affect. Based on these results and those of Purcell Gates et al. (2002), who found materia l and activity authenticity to significantly positively correlate to greater changes in literacy practice total amounts and frequencies (especially ones involving more complex text), it was hypothesized that the current study would replicate these results but with only the current numbers and frequencies of literacy practices. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that if this relationship between authenticity and liter acy practices was observed, then the report ed numbers frequencies, and types of practices wo uld be similar both in and outside of class.

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22 Method Participants Participants were three students (all female) from the adult literacy program of a southwest Florida literacy council. All were enrolled in individual tutoring. Their ages were 23, 56, a nd 59 years and all were ESL learners. Length of participation in their current program ranged from three to four years, and length of time working with their current tutor ranged from 2 to 3.5 years. The frequency of their tutoring sessions ranged from on ce to twice a week, and all participants met with their tutors for approximately an hour and a half per session. Potential participants were initially contacted through literacy council staff, teachers, and tutors and then through a follow up by the resea rcher. Literacy council staff, teachers, and tutors were provided with information sheets about the project from which to briefly describe the project to their students. The staff, teachers, and tutors then asked the students for approval to provide the re searcher with their names and phone numbers, which the researcher used to contact any consenting students with more information and a request for an interview. Materials The materials included a survey (see the Appendix) that was created for this study. It contain ed questions about student feelings of support of autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Sections B, C, and D, respectively) along with questions of the kinds and frequencies of various literacy practices participants performed inside and outside of class. The first section (Section A) of the survey recorded participant age and gender and then had participants report how long they had been working with their current literacy

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23 council, whether they were currently working with a tutor one on one or w ith a teacher in a small group classroom setting (and if in a class, how many students were in the class), and how long they had been working with their current specific teachers or tutors. Section B contained the six adapted items of the Learning Climate (LCQ) short form as developed by Williams and Deci (1996). These items assessed student statements feelings of competence in their adult literacy program. These quest ions were adapted from the Perceived Competence Scale (PCS) developed by Williams and Deci (1996), were for them. related questions by asking students to describe their feelings of relatedness with several different people. These questions came from research of Furrer and Skinne r (2003) assessing relatedness to the teacher or tutor, friends, and, if applicable, any classmates, significant others and ts about how they feel when with each of the

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24 Section E featured questions on how often ( with nine option s, writing letters) in English inside and outside of class or tutoring. These questions were ssment of Adult Competencies (Statistics Canada, n.d.). Also contained in this section was a question assessing teacher student collaboration and one assessing activity/text authenticity as defined and researched by Purcell Gates et al. (2002). The collabo ration question asked in choosing the activities and texts during class or tutoring, while the authenticity question asked them to rate the extent to which they fe lt the class or tutoring texts and activities were relevant to their everyday lives outside of class or tutoring. The final part, Section F, contained a short form of the Crowne and Marlow Social Desirability Scale created by Strahan and Gerbasi (1972). Th is scale assessed the extent to which participants tended to give socially desirable answers with ten statements participants responded to as being True or False for them. In addition, a computer was used for audio recording of all interviews. Procedure All students who consented to be interviewed were met in public places with possibilities for relative seclusion (e.g., libraries) or in a literacy council conference room. To account for working with participants of varying English literacy levels, all pa rticipants were read the consent form, which each then signed, and then they were administered the survey discussed above in the form of a structured interview. Participants viewed Likert scales appropriate to each section as visual aids (all scales can

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2 5 be seen in the Appendix) but indicated all responses verbally. The researcher wrote in all free responses and circled all Likert scale ratings in blank response packets in addition to audio recording all interviews. The three scales assessing autonomy, com petence, and relatedness were scored by averaging all of the individual item scores within each of Sections B, C, and D. Competence and autonomy scores were on 7 point scales, while all relatedness measures were on 4 point scales. The scores of Furrer and classmates (if applicable) and friends subscales were averaged together to create a relatedness to peers score while, if both were applicable, the significant other and children subscale scores were averaged together t o create a relatedness to family score. To compare participants on types of practices engaged in, all 25 practices were categorized by discourse complexity level, based on the definitions and coding of Purcell Gates (1996). The complexity levels ranged fr om 1 to 4, with each higher level involving less personal and/or physical closeness, more written features and syntactic complexity, fewer oral features, and less meaning mediation with pictures The definition of each level, as well as the list of practic es categorized to each level can be seen in Table 1 de sirable answers, with ( 2003 ) noting that typically, higher scores are simply considere d demonstrative of wanting to present oneself more favorably. Results and Discussion

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26 t he data obtained from the structured interview administered to Participants A, B, and C, along with discussion of these results in the larger contexts of adult literacy research and the future of this research. Participant A was the youngest participant, at 23 years old, and had the longest length of time with her current tutor at three and a half years. She met once a week for an hour and a half, though she mentioned meeting twice a week for the first couple of years of involvement in this literacy progra m. Participant B, 56 years old, had been working with the current literacy program and tutor for three years, meeting 1 2 times a week, always for around an hour and a half. Finally, Participant C, 59 years old, had been participating in her current progra m for approximately 4 years, though half of those years were spent with a different tutor than her current one. Of the other participants, this gave her the longest length of time in this program but the shortest with her current tutor. All participants reported fairly strong feelings of autonomy competence and relatedness support (see Table 2 for mean scores of each participant) On 7 point scales, all participants scored at 6.5 or above on perceived autonomy and 5.5 or above on feelings of competence On a 4 point scale, all participants scored at 3.5 or higher for overall relatedness. Overall then, all participants indicated that their tutors supported feelings of agency and choice, that they generally felt confident in their ability to learn and ma ke progress during tutoring, and that they felt accepted by and connected to their tutors, friends, and family. Looking closer, although the differences were minor, Participant A reported the highest autonomy and competence scores, while Participant B had the highest overall relatedness score.

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27 Overall, participants reported fairly high extents of authenticity and teacher student collaboration, with Participant B reporting the lowest collaboration score but rating the tutoring materials and act ivities as ma ximally authentic (see Table 2) This is intriguing considering her high teacher and overall relatedness scores along with her fairly high autonomy score since the construct of teacher student collaboration seems to blend aspects of autonomy and competence by being defined as the extent to which teachers accepted and valued student input on material and activity choices. Purcell Gates et al. (2002) also found unexpected results regarding the variable of teacher student collaboration, which led them to specu late that perhaps there was a problem measuring this construct as they operationalized it. However, it must be kept in mind that Participant B scored only one point lower (on a 4 point scale) on the one col laboration question. Thus, these results are only suggestive that future research should exam ine this variable more closely ( possibly with a chan ge in how it is operationalized) to get a better idea of whether it is has any real relation to seemingly related constructs such as autonomy and relatedness alo ng with literacy instruction outcomes. In terms of comparisons between the amounts, frequencies, and types of literacy practices performed during tutoring as opposed to outside of it, the total number of practices each participant performed during tutorin g were generally much lower than the number of those done outside of tutoring, though of course this can be at least partially explained by the fact that tutoring provides a much more limited window of time. However, t he proportions of the total number of practices performed at higher frequ encies were similar for each participant both during and outside of tutoring (see Figures 1 and 2 ). Finally, the proportions of practices done out of those at the lower two

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28 complexity levels were generally similar for eac h participant both during and outside of tutoring but there were many practices performed at fairly high frequencies in ( see Figures 3 and 4 ). To conclude, there were very minimal authenti city score differences; thus the hypothesis of these scores being positively associated with literacy practice amounts, types, and frequencies was not supported. However, the hypothesis of these amounts, types, and frequencies being similar both in and ou tside of class was found to be minimally supported were done at high frequencies Participant C rated both collaboration and authenticity as very high, with the maximum possi ble scores. In contrast, she reported the lowest teacher and overall relatedness scores in addition to the low est autonomy score. This curious mix of findings for Participant C is further complicated by her displaying the highest tendency of the three to g ive socially desirable answers. This Social Desirability Scale score difference too, however, was fairly minor. In fact, all three participants scored as having moderate to high tendencies to give socially desirable answers (see Table 2 for total scores) Thus, it is possible that, especially considering the fairly high scores on all SDT variable measures, along with on the authenticity and collaboration questions, that participants answered these and the literacy practice questions in such a way to portray themselves and their tutors in a more favorable light. This would detract from the validity of these measures. However, as will be discussed below, there were distinct differences between the practice amounts, complexities, and frequenci es reported by eac h participant that seem to argue against this negative interpretation.

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29 More specifically, o ut of 25 literacy practices asked about, the total number reported by participants as being performed once a year or more ranged between 13 and 22 for real life pra ctices and from 5 14 for practices during tutoring ( see Table 3 for totals of practices performed in real life and during tutoring, broken down by frequency and text discourse level ) Participant A notably reported the highest number of literacy practices both outside of and during tutoring. Participants B and C, on the other hand, reported performing only slightly more than half of those listed in their daily lives, with 15 and 13 acknowledged real life practices, respectively. Their total numbers of prac tices during tutoring were even more strikingly low, at 7 and 5, respectively. There were fairly large discrepancies between the most common frequencies of real life literacy practices reported by Participant A and those of Participants B and C ( see Figure 1). The majority life literacy practices were done once a week or more. On the other hand, approximately a third of the practices asked about were reported by Participants B and C as never performed. Furthermore, Participant C repo rted no practices done several times a day and only one done once a day. These distinctly lower frequency levels would seem to counter the idea that participants actually displayed high tendencies to give socially desirable answers. All three participants read letters, memos, postcards, and emails at high frequencies outside of tutoring. Additionally, both Participants A and B reported writing letters, memos, postcards, and emails at the maximum frequency of several times a day. A ll three also reported rea ding advertisements and fiction books fairly frequently (several times a week or more), as well as reading coupons once a week or more. These practices were distributed fairly evenly across complexity levels, with slightly more of them being

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30 of the lower t wo levels. Participants A and C read nonfiction books for themselves moderately often (once a month or more). These results show that there were several practices done at similar frequencies that some or all of the participants had in common. Participant A on the other hand, was alone in reporting a very high frequency of many of the higher complexity practices, including reading bills or other financial statements, reading articles in professional or scholarly journals, writing reports, and more. It is i nteresting to note that Participant A was also the youngest participant by far Mellard et al. (2007) found learners of age group to read n ewspapers and letters, notes, and emails most frequently, while they found learners of older age grou ps (such as that of Participants B and C) to report similar practices and frequencies along with a higher tendency to read books. In line with these findings, w h i l e Participant C (the oldest) did, in fact, report the highest frequency of fiction book reading, at once a day as opposed Participant B was the only one to report ever reading nonfiction books to others ( and she did so at the high frequency of once a week or more), and all participants did read letters, postcards, memos, and emails once a week or more. However, Mellard et al. (2007) also found that reading practices involving more formal materia ls increased with age. The current study in contrast (apart from a few of Partic high frequencies of some book rel ated practices ) actually found the youngest to report fairly high frequencies of some of the most complex materials, such as reading manuals or reference materials along with articles in professional or scholarly journals but found neither of the older pa rticipants to r eport any of these practices. Furthermore it is interesting to note that of the three, Participant A reported the largest amount of time with her current tutor (although the second largest total length of

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31 program involvement) This may ref lect the findings of Purcell Gates et al. (2002) that longer class attendance tends to be one of the most powerful predictors of literacy practice change. These results can be considered suggestive of the need for future research to focus on age and length of program attendance as two variables that may be very important in predicting outcomes such as literacy practice types and frequencies. Additionally, as discussed above, although the SDT score differences between participants were minor, Participant A did report the highest autonomy and competence scores, the greatest number by far of literacy practices performed both in and outside of tutoring, the largest proportion of her total number of practices as being engaged in once a week or more (see Figure 1 ), and generally higher numbers and average frequencies of the higher complexity practices (see Figures 3 6 ). These results can be seen as partially supportive of the hypothesis linking higher autonomy, competence, and relatedness scores to greater amounts frequencies, and complexities of literacy practices. The current study had several important limitations. First and foremost, the mall and lacked diversity. T he researcher was only able to interview adult learners who were profi cient enough at spoken English to be interviewed in this language (as determined by program staff and tutors who referred them) and all participants were ESL students Th e ir actual literacy level s in both their native language (Spanish for all three) and i n English was not assessed in the current study. As mentioned earlier, a large percentage of students in all adult education programs are ESL learners (Tamassia et al., 2007) and these learners have been shown to differ from students in ABE or ASE programs in various ways For example, Fitzgerald and Young (1997) found ESL students to show increased reading skills as influenced by persistence when

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32 students in ABE an d ASE programs did no t do so This is interesting considering Purcell Gates et al. (2002) f inding that predict less literacy practice change This contradiction point s reading skills being particularly influenced by the length of time in literacy programs but somehow not quite translating into increased numbers, types, and frequencies of outside literacy practices The skills of adult literacy students who are native English speakers, on the other hand, may be more strongly influenced by other program or learner characteri stics and it is possible that for native English speakers, these skills more quickly or easily translate into practice increases. This small sample size and lack of diversity, a long with fairly high social desirability scores overall clearly limited the s trength of conclusions that could be drawn and the generalizability of these conclusions. While difficulties in appropriately translating questionnaires in general should be noted, future research would benefit from a broader sample of participants if thos e in a wider range of English speaking abilities were included. Also, there was a general lack of background information for participants, (in both their native languages and English) employment status, and le vel of educational attainment. Future research should definitely take care to gather as much of this information as possible so as to be able to paint a more es. In addition, Me llard et al. (2002) distinguish ed between many different individual literacy practices that that current study grouped together in individual questions For example, they asked about reading newspapers and magazines in separate questions, whereas the curre nt study asked about the frequency of reading newspapers, magazines, or

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33 newsletters with one item. Thus it was impossible to compare specific frequencies of such practices between the two studies. Although the current study grouped similar practices to con solidate the questionnaire and avoid tiring the participants, f uture research could take care to ask abou t more practices separately so more detailed informati on can more easily be compared to the results of related research. Despite the se limitations, so me of the results point li ves and literacy programs that may prove fruitful to research more broadly. For example, as is described above, there was partial support for the hypothesis that higher perceived support of the needs described by Self Determination Theory would be associated with greater numbers and frequencies of literacy practices in general as well as more complex practices in particular. Thus, further research exploring possible links between autonomy, competence, relatedness, and adult literacy outcomes such as variance in literacy practices is warranted in the interest of gathering more conclusive data. Also due to the partial support of this hypothesis, further research assessing literacy practice types, amounts, and frequencies (possibly in direct comparison to literacy skill tests) is warranted in order to evaluate w h ether variance in real life literacy practices is a consistent and appropriate outcome measure The literacy practice questions created for the cur rent study could be of use in such research. Much previous research has shown perceived autonomy support to predict affect and engagement in child and adolescent groups (Assor et al., 2002) and high school student dropout behavior (which was also predicte d by feelings of competence; Vallerand et al., 1997). In addition, feelings of relatedness have been shown to predict elementary school student engagement and actual school performance (Furrer & Skinner, 2003) and

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34 the support of all three needs has predict ed positive college student reports of instructor effectiveness (Fila k & Sheldon, 2003) T he results of the current study add to th is literature supporting the use of Self Determination Theory as a framework with which to understand variables that affect s tudent performance and learning outcomes ( in this case the outcomes of adult literacy students ) This is especi ally important since such data has the potential to suggest specific improvements in adult literacy instructor training emphasizing the support o Understanding needs is particularly crucial since these students are generally considered to be different from more traditional students in primary, secondary, and post secondary schools. One obvious difference is the a ge range of adult literacy students, who Tamassia et al. (2007) reported to be between 16 and 65 years old, which is especially important to consider in light of their study of basic literacy skills in contrast to adults of similar ages pursuing higher edu cation in colleges. Also, Comings et al. (2000) emphasize d consider ation of the fact that adults in these programs choose to participate on their own time and must generally overcome barriers to persistence to do so unlike primary and secondary students. Thus, the current study was unique in explicitly been previously unexamined with this population. Future research could further investigate these practices and motiv ational needs by c on whether the practices and needs currently emphasized in their programs are useful and satisfactory and on whether those not included are felt to be needed. Based on the tentative trends discussed abo ve along with the results of previous research linking the support of autonomy, competence, and relatedness to various positive academic outcomes it is suggested that adult literacy programs look into training

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35 their instructors to do their best to specifi cally support these and related learner needs. It is also suggested that these programs keep track of the kinds, amounts, and frequencies of real life literacy practices of their learners, since this information can convey whether participants are translat ing the skills they are supposed to be learning through the program into actual practical uses in their daily live s. Since participants performed only somewhat similar amounts, frequencies, and complexities of literacy practices both during and outside of tutoring, collecting this information could alert instructors as to whether there are any disconnects between the skills and practices emphasized during class or tutoring and those considered important by l earners so that different approaches could be considered for maximally effective instruction. In particular, since it was found that many of the higher complexity c ould explore whether adult learners feel that use of these practices that they find useful in their daily lives is lac king and wanted during tutoring, especially considering the possible disconnect between skill changes and practice changes that the litera ture suggests is a distinct possibility for ESL students. As mentioned earlier, Tamassia et al. (2007) noted the significant proportion of volume of research about literacy programs in these areas does not match this proportion, and though the current study took place in Florida, it provided only a small glimpse into the complex world of adult literacy in the area. It is hoped, then, that future research will fill t his gap and provide adult literacy programs and educators with solid information with which to shape their policies and practices in the interest of continually improving the performance of these extremely valuable programs.

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36 References Assor, A., Kaplan, H ., & Roth, G. (2002). Choice is good, but relevance is excellent: Autonomy engagement in schoolwork. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 72 (2), 261 278. Burris, J. E., Johnson, T. P. & O'Rourke, D. (2003, August) Validating Self Reports of Socially Desirable Behaviors Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Sheraton Music City, Nashvi lle, TN. Retrieved from http://www.allaca demic.com/meta/p116403_index.html Center for Applied Linguistics. (2007). Effects of instructional hours and intensity of instruction on NRS level gain in listening and speaking Washington, DC: Young, S. Comings, J., Parrella, A., & Soricone, L. (2000). Helping adults persist: Four supports. Focus on Basics, 4 (A). Retrieved from http://www.ncsall.net/?id=771&pid=332 Filak, V., & Sheldon, K. (2003). Student psychological need satisfaction and college teacher course evaluations. Educational Psychology, 2 3 (3), 235 247. Fitzgerald, N.B., & Young, M.B. (1997). The influence of persistence on literacy learning in adult education. Adult Education Quarterly, 47 (2), 78 91. Furrer, C., & Skinner, E. (2003). Sense of relatedness as a factor in children's academ ic engagement and performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95 (1), 148 162. Goodenow, C. (1993). Classroom belonging among early adolescent students: Relationships to motivation and achievement. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 13 (1), 21 43.

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37 Les eman, P.P.M., & de Jong, P.F. (1998). Home literacy: Opportunity, instruction, cooperation and social emotional quality predicting early reading achievement. Reading Research Quarterly, 33 (3), 294 318. Mellard, D., Patterson, M.B., & Prewett, S. (2007 ). Reading practices among adult education participants. Reading Research Quarterly, 42 (2), 188 213. doi:10.1598/RRQ.42.2 Niemiec, C.P., & Ryan, R.M. (2009). Autonomy, competence, and relatedness in the classroom: Applying self determination theory t o educational practice. Theory and Research in Education, 7 (2), 133 144. doi:10.1177/1477878509104318 Purcell Gates, V. (1996). Stories, coupons, and the TV Guide : Relationships between home literacy experiences and emergent literacy knowledge. Reading Research Quarterly, 31 (4), 406 428. Purcell Gates, V., Degener, S.C., Jacobson, E., & Soler, M. (2002). Impact of authentic adult literacy instruction on adult literacy practices. Reading Research Quarterly, 37 (1), 70 92. Rogers, R. (2004). Storied sel lives. Reading Research Quarterly, 39 (3), 272 305. Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Self Determination Theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well being. American Psychologist, 55 (1), 68 78. Statistics Canada. (n.d.). Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. May 2010 to August 2010. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.ca/english/concepts/index.htm

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38 Sheldon, K., Elliot, A.J., Kim, Y ., & Kasser, T. (2001). What is satisfying about satisfying events? Testing 10 candidate psychological needs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80 325 339. C Journal of Clinical Psychology, 28 191 193. Tamassia, C., Lennon, M., Yamamoto, K., & Kirsch, I. (2007). Adult literacy in America: A first look at results from the adult education program and learner surveys Princeton NJ: Educational Testing Service. Vallerand, R.J., Fortier, M.S., & Guay, F. (1997). Self determination and persistence in a real life setting: Toward a motivational model of high school dropout. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72 (5), 11 61 1176. Venezky, R.L., Bristow, P.S., & Sabatini, J.P. (1994). Measuring change in adult literacy programs: Enduring issues and a few answers. Educational Assessment, 2 (2), 101 131. Williams, G.C., & Deci, E.L. (1996). Internalization of biopsychosocia l values by medical students: A test of self determination theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 70 767 779.

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39 Table 1 Literacy Practices Categorized by Text Complexity Level Discourse Level Literacy Practices Discourse 1 a Read letters, memos, postcards, memos, or e mails Write letters, memos, postcards, or e mails Write grocery or to do lists Write in a personal journal or for a blog Discourse 2 b Read advertisements on billboards or in newspap ers, magazines Read coupons Read diagrams or maps Discourse 3 c Reading directions or instruction for appliances, furniture assembly, etc. Read song lyrics Read labels on food, drink, or household products R ead televisi on guides Read text in computer, card, or board games Fill in crossword puzzles Discourse 4 d Read articles in newspapers, magazines, or newsletters Read articles in professional journals or scholarly publications Read fiction books for yourself Read nonfiction books for self Read fiction books to anyone else, such as a child Read nonfiction books to anyone else, such as a child Read manuals or reference materials Read bills, invoices, bank statements or other fina ncial statements Read reviews of movies, concerts, or albums Write articles for newspapers, magazines, or newsletters Write reports Fill in official forms Note All levels are defined and described as by Purcell Gates (1996). a = Level characterized by physical and/or personal closeness, text with more oral than written attributes; b =Level characterized by more physical/personal distance between communicants, pictures highly mediating meanings, more oral attributes for texts; c =Level ch aracterized by more personal/physical distance between communicants than lower levels, fewer pictures highly mediating meanings, less oral attributes for printed text; d =Level characterized by most written attributes of text, most distance between communic ants, no pictures or pictures mediating much less meaning, higher syntactic complexity and vocabulary.

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40 Table 2 Participant Scores on SDT Variable Measures, Social Desirability Measure, and Authenticity and Collaboration Questions Participants Variable A B C Autonomy a 7 6.67 6.5 Competence a 6.25 5.5 5.5 Overall Relatedness b 3.625 4 3.5 Teacher Relatedness b 4 4 3.75 Friends Relatedness b 3.25 4 3.2 5 Family Relatedness b NA 4 3.5 Social Desirability Scale c 7 6 9 Authenticity d 3 4 4 Collaboration d 3 2 4 Note. a =average on scale of 1 7, b =average on scale of 1 4, c =total on scale from 1 10, d =on scale of 1 4

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41 Table 3 Part icipant N u m b e rs of Literacy Practices Participants Variable A B C Total No. of Real life Practices a 22 15 13 No. Performed Several Times a Day 3 2 0 No. Performed Once a Day 2 2 1 No. Performed Several Times a Week 4 1 2 No. Performed Once a Week 7 3 3 No. Performed Several Times a Month 2 2 2 No. Performed Once a Month 1 2 2 No. Performed Several Times a Year 2 3 3 No. Performed Once a Year 1 0 0 No. Never performed 3 10 12 No. of Level 1 Practices Performed b 3 3 2 No. of Level 2 Practices Performed c 3 2 3 No. of Level 3 Practices Performed d 5 3 2 No. of Level 4 Practices Performed e 11 7 6 Total No. of Practices During Tutoring a 14 7 5 No. Performed Several Time s a Session 3 1 1 No. Performed Once a Session 6 3 3 No. Performed Rarely 5 3 1 No. Never performed 11 18 20 No. of Level 1 Practices Performed b 3 1 2 No. of Level 2 Practices Performed c 2 2 0 No. of Level 3 Practices Performed d 2 0 0 No. of Level 4 Practices Performed e 7 4 3 Note. a =out of 25 total possible, b =out of 4 total categorized at this level, c =out of 3 total categorized at this level, d =out of 6 total categorized at this level, e =out of 12 total cat egorized at this level

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42 Figure 1. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Participant A Participant B Participant C Number of Practices Participants Never Once a Year Several Times a Year Once a Month Several Times a Month Once a Week Several Times a Week Once a Day Several Times a Day Literacy Practices Per Frequency Outside of Tutoring

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43 Figure 2. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 Participant A Participant B Participant C Number of Practices Participants Practices Per Frequency During Tutoring Never Rarely Once a Session Several Times a Session

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44 Figure 3. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Percentage of Total Possible Pratices Text Discourse Level Participant A Participant B Participant C Practice Amounts Per Text Complexity Level Outside of Tutoring

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45 Figure 4. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Percentage of Total Possible Pratices Text Discourse Level Participant A Participant B Participant C Practice Amounts Per Text Complexity Level During Tutoring

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46 Figure 5. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Average Frequency Text Discourse Level Pp A Pp B Pp C Several Times a Day Several Times a Month Several Times a Year Never Once a Year Once a Month Once a Week Several Times a Week Once a Day Frequency of Practices Per Complexity Level Outside of Tutoring

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47 Figure 6. 0 1 2 3 Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Average Frequency Text Discourse Level Pp A Pp B Pp C Frequency of Practices During Tutoring Per Complexity Level Never Rarely Once a Session Several Times a Session

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48 Appendix Adult Literacy Structured Interview Script and Survey Date: ________________ Gender: ___________________ You were invited to participate in this project because we are studying what adult literacy classes and tutoring sessions are like as well as what kinds of reading and writing activities adult literacy students do in and outside of adult literacy classes and tutoring sessions. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions and your individual answers will not be reported to anyo ne, including teachers, tutors, and staff of the Literacy Council. We are simply interested in finding out what you think about your classes/tutoring and about what kinds of reading and writing activities you do. If you do not wish to answer any questions, you ready? A. 1. How long have you been working with this (your current) literacy council ? ___________________ 2. Do you currently work with a tutor one on one or with a teacher in a small group classroom setting? __________________ If you are in a class approximately how many students, including yourself, are in your class? ______________ How long have you been working with your current tutor/teacher? ___________ How often do you meet with your current tutor/teacher? ____________________ How long are typical tutoring/class meetings? _____________________ 3. What is your age in years? _________ B. Now I have some questions related to your experience with your adult literacy instruct or/tutor. Instructors/tutors have different styles in dealing with students, and we would like to know more about how you have felt about your encounters with your instructor/tutor. Your responses are confidential. Please be honest and candid. I am going t o read several statements that might describe how someone would feel about their instructor/tutor. I would like you to tell me how you feel when participating in adult literacy classes/tutoring by rating how much you agree with each of the following state ments on a scale from 1, meaning you strongly disagree with that statement to 7, meaning you strongly agree, with a rating of 4 meaning you feel neutral regarding that statement. 1. I feel that my instructor/tutor provides me with choices and options. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree neutral strongly agree

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49 2. I feel understood by my instructor/tutor. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree neutral strongly agree 3. My instructor/tutor conveyed confidence in my ability to do wel l in the course. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree neutral strongly agree 4. My instructor/tutor encouraged me to ask questions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree neutral strongly agree 5. My instructor/tutor listens to how I would like to do things. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree neutral strongly agree 6. My instructor/tutor tries to understand how I see things before suggesting a new way to do things. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 strongly disagree neutral strongly agree C. to ask you to please respond to each of the following statements by rating how true it is for you with respect to your learning in this class/during tutoring. The rating scale goes from 1, meaning that you feel a statement is not at all true for you to 7, meaning you feel a statement is very true for you, while a 4 means that you feel a statement is somewhat true for you. 1. I feel confident in my ability to learn this material. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 not at all true somewhat true very true 2. I am capable of learning the material in this class/during tutoring. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 not at all true somewhat true very true 3. I am able to achieve my goals in this class/related to tutoring. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 not at all true somewhat true very true 4. I feel able to meet the challenge of performing well in this class/during tutoring. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 not at all true somewhat true very true

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50 D. Next, I have some basic questions about your relationship with different people in your lives. P lease rate how true you feel each of the following statements is for you regarding each of these people and remember that your individual answers are confidential. The rating scale goes from 1, meaning that you feel a statement is not at all true for you t o 4, meaning that you feel a statement is very true for you. 1. I feel accepted. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 2. I feel like someone special. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 3 I feel ignored. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 4. I feel unimportant. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me ( 5. I feel accepted. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 6. I feel like someone special. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 7. I feel ignored. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 8. I feel unimportant. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me

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51 9. I feel accepted. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 10. I feel like someone special. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 1 1. I feel ignored. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for m e very true for me 12. I feel unimportant. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me Do you have a significant other (e.g. spouse or boy/girlfriend)? (specify which) _____________ If so 13. I feel accepted. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 14. I feel like someone special. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 15. I feel ignored. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 16. I feel unimportant. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me Do you have children? If so 17. I feel accepted. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me

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52 18. I feel like someone special. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 19. I feel ignored. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me 20. I feel unimportant. 1 2 3 4 not at all true for me very true for me E. might do outside of class/tutoring. 1. How often (in English 1) read directions or instruction for appliances, assembly of furniture, etc.? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Ever y day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 2) read letters, postcards, memos or e mails? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 3) read articles in newspapers, magazines or newsletters? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 4) read advertisements on billboards or in newspapers, magazines etc.? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every da y Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 5) read articles in professional journals or scholarly publications? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 6) read fiction books for yourself? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 7) read nonfiction books such as educational books or encyclopedias for yourself? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 8) read fiction books to anyone else, such as a child? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 9) rea d nonfiction books such as educational books or encyclopedias to anyone else, e.g., a child? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day

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53 10) read manuals or reference materials? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Sever al times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 11) read coupons? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 12) read song lyrics? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 13) read bills, invoices, bank statements or other financial statements? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 14) read diagrams or maps? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 15) read labels on food, drink, or household products (e.g, cleaning solution ) ? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 16) read reviews of movies, concerts, or albums? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 17) read television guides? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Se veral times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 18) read text in computer, card, or board games? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 19) write letters, memos, postcards, or e mails? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 20) write articles for newspapers, magazines or newsletters? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 21) write reports? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 22) write grocery or to do lists? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 23) write in a personal jou rnal or for a blog? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day 24) fill in forms? Never Once a Several times Once a Several times Once a Several times Every day Several times year a year month a month week a week of the week a day

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54 25) Are there any other things that you read or write outside of class/tutoring? ( If so, list and note how often below ). g and writing activities that you might do during class/tutoring. 2. How often (in English 26) read directions or instruction for appliances, assembly of furniture, etc.? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 27) read letters, postc ards, memos or e mails? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 28) read articles in newspapers, magazines or newsletters? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 29) read advertisements on billboards or in newspapers, m agazines etc.? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 30) read articles in professional journals or scholarly publications? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 31) read fiction books for yourself? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 32) read nonfiction books (e.g., educational books or encyclopedias ) for yourself? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 33) read fiction books to anyone else, such as a child? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 34) read nonfiction books such as educational books or encyclopedias to anyone else, such as a child? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 35) read manuals or reference materials? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 36) read coupons? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 37) read song lyrics? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 38) read bills, invoices, bank statements or other financ ial statements? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 39) read diagrams or maps? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session

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55 40) read labels on food, drink, or household products such as cleaning solution? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 41) read reviews of movies, concerts, or albums? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 42) read television guides? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 43) read text in comp uter, card, or board games? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 44) write letters, memos, postcards, or e mails? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 45) write articles for newspapers, magazines or newsletters? N ever Rarely Once a session Several times a session 46) write reports? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 47) write grocery or to do lists? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 48) write in a personal journa l or for a blog? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 49) fill in forms? Never Rarely Once a session Several times a session 50) Are there any other things that you read or write during class/tutoring? ( If so, list and note how o ften below ). (crosswords? comic books?) 3. To what extent do you participate in choosing the activities and texts you work with during tutoring/class? I would like you to answer by rating this extent between 1, meaning that you have no choice of activities or text during tutoring/class to 4, meaning you have complete choice of all activities and texts. 1 2 3 4 Not at all Completely 4. To what extent do you feel that the activities and texts you work with during tutoring/class are relevant to your real and everyday life outside of class? I would like you to answer by rating this extent between 1, meaning that the texts and activities you work with during tutoring/class are totally irrelevant to your real/everyday life to 4, meaning that all of the activities and texts during tutoring/class are relevant to your real/everyday life. 1 2 3 4 Not at all Completely

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56 F. m going to read several statements concerning personal attitudes and traits. After each one, I would like you to tell me whether you consider the statement to be true or false your first judgment and not spend too long mulling over any one answer. 1. I never hesitate to go out of my way to help someone in trouble. T or F 2. I have never intensely disliked anyone. T or F 3. When I don't know something I don't at all mind admitting it. T or F 4. I am always court eous, even to people who are disagreeable. T or F 5. I would never think of letting someone else be punished for my wrong doings. T or F 6. I sometimes feel resentful when I don't get my way. T or F 7. n authority even though I knew they were right. T or F 8. I can remember "playing sick" to get out of something. T or F 9. There have been times when I was quite jealous of the good fortune of others. T or F 10. I am sometimes irritated by people who ask favors of m e. T or F


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