Literacy for All: Adult Literacy @ your library - Key Terms

Literacy for All: Adult Literacy @ your library toolkit

Key Terms


Literacy is the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.
Basic literacy skills include reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate.
Information literacy is the ability to recognize the extent and nature of an information need, then to locate, evaluate, and effectively use the needed information.
Learning disabilities refer to a group of disorders related to the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities.

Adult Literacy Assessments

Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS) measures learner progress on a standardized scale from the lowest literacy skills to high school exit.
General Educational Development (GED) is the high school equivalency exam for adults who have not completed high school. The GED includes five subject tests which, when passed, certify that the taker has high school level academic skills. 
National Reporting System (NRS) is an outcome-based reporting system for state-administered, federally funded adult education programs.
Official (GED) Practice Test (OPT) shows preparedness to pass the GED test.
Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) is a diagnostic test used to determine a person’s skill levels and aptitudes in reading, math, and English.

Literacy Programming

Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes are for adults at the elementary level (through grade 8). ABE classes focus on basic literacy and computational skills. 
Adult literacy programs help English-speaking adults improve their reading and writing skills to reach their potential as workers, parents, community members, and life-long learners.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is an educational program for non-native English speaking adults who want to improve their listening, speaking, writing, and communication skills.  
Family literacy programs address the literacy needs of parents and their pre-school children. Many family literacy programs have four distinct components including children’s literacy activities from play to print, adult literacy instruction (1:1 tutoring or small group instruction), family time where parents and children learn and play together, and parenting classes. 
One-to-one tutoring is where trained tutors meet regularly with adult students. The curriculum and supporting materials are selected to match the learner’s skill level and interests. 
Small group instruction is where a trained instructor meets with 3-5 students on a regular basis. Groups are formed based on skill level and instructional content. 
Workforce literacy includes programs and services that help adult literacy learners find employment, move into a new job, or enter trade-based training programs. 

Beyond Basic Literacy

Financial literacy is the ability to use knowledge and skills to effectively manage one’s financial resources. 
Health literacy is ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.