When a new student comes to the Adult Literacy League with an interest in improving their skills, it’s important to get an accurate picture of their starting point. This interview process is simply to determine the best curricula and classes for each student.
There are a few ways that we assess our students. For those ABE (Adult Basic Education) students who are unable to read and write and who are not comfortable using a computer, we use a tool called the Diagnostic Inventory published by New Readers Press. This test involves reading words off a list and then depending on the results there, moving on to more and more challenging tasks.
If an ABE student comes to us and they report being able to read and write fairly well AND feel comfortable using the computer, then we will assess these students using a Wonderlic online assessment tool called the GAIN (General Assessment of Instructional Needs). This tool is computer-based and takes a total of 90 minutes to administer (45 minutes for the Reading section and 45 minutes for the Math section). This will give us a grade-level equivalent for the student and it will provide specific remediation needs for the student as well.
Adult Literacy League ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students are all given an English Language Literacy assessment called the BEST (Basic English Skills Test). It is a pen and paper test that takes only one-hour to administer.
The ultimate goal is to be able to provide our volunteer tutors and instructors with a snapshot into the educational history and competencies of our adult learners.