Taking READ 602 this past semester certainly opened my eyes to the difficulties involved in teaching ABE readers. As Strucker stated: “Like other ABE teachers, I have struggled to teach learners with very widely divergent needs in the same class. It can be done if the teacher recognizes who those learners are and what their needs are, but it entails a terrible sacrifice of their limited and precious instructional time. To put it another way, attempting to teach "Richards" and "Vanessas" at the same time involves cutting in half the instructional time available to each type of learner.” During READ 602, I was tasked with finding a learner who struggled with basic literacies and then developing strategies to combat these struggles. After putting my learner through diagnostic testing, it was recommended that I focus my instruction on fluency, word meaning, spelling, phonemic awareness, visual memory and word recognition. These recommendations differ based on testing outcomes.
As you can see, this reflects what Strucker mentions as far as having difficulty finding time to address the individual concerns of each learner- emphasizing that it would cut the instructional time available to each type of learner in HALF. I completely agree with this, as it took me hours upon hours to develop the most basic of basic strategies to assist my learner (trying to highlight his strengths while developing strategies to assist his needs). This is where I’d say ABE teachers are tasked with an almost impossible goal of addressing individual needs in very diverse classrooms- uneven learning profiles, which calls for a second look at testing and instructional policy.