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Basic Reading Skills

Although a large proportion of adults scored at the lowest literacy levels in 1992, NALS provided little insight into the skill levels and deficits of the least-literate adults. The 2003 NAAL featured two new components to provide more in-depth information about the basic reading skills—including oral reading—of all participating adults.

  • The Fluency Addition to NAAL (FAN) uses speech-recognition software to measure basic reading skills (i.e., the ability to decode, recognize words, and read with fluency).
  • The Adult Literacy Supplemental Assessment (ALSA) assesses the ability of the least-literate adults to read words and comprehend simple prose that are highly familiar and contextualized.

For information about additional new measures of basic reading skills, read about the Reading Components Domain in PIAAC 2012.