Running Time: approximately 23 minutes

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The Reading Demonstration

This video represents an informal assessment to capture what low-literate learners can and cannot do with literacy. The test administrator (Heide) presents a number of products that students are likely to be familiar with and invites the student to read what she can of the print. Products include a soft drink can, advertisments, bills, lottery ticket, and other environmental print. Students are also asked to read a short passage in their native language in order to get a sense of their strengths and weaknesses in decoding and fluency. Short paragraphs in English are read together with the student and the meaning of the passage is discussed. At the end of the video, Heide provides a short interpretation of the student's literacy skills.

This kind of one-on-one assessment presents a user-friendly format for students who are often intimidated by pencil and paper tests. This type of assessment allows students to demonstrate what they can do and not be overwhelmed by print tasks they cannot do. This assessment was originally developed by Heide Spruck Wrigley and Larry Condelli for the study on What Works in Adult ESL Literacy conducted by the American Institutes for Research. It was subsequently adapted for the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy.

For further information, contact Heide Wrigley at