What is the project about?
Read Forward is an adult reading assessment tool informally referenced to the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and aligned with the Alberta Reading Benchmarks (ARB). It is made up of 30 reading tests: there are 6 different levels of reading skills and each level has 5 tests that are easy to use and designed to be used in programs such as literacy, basic education, upgrading, GED, apprenticeship, essential skills, and workplace and college settings. These paper-and-pencil tests each take one hour or less to write.
In 2011, the Read Forward project team set out a goal to create a reading assessment referenced to IALS and easy to use in a variety of instructional settings. To accomplish this goal, the project team worked in consultation with a variety of Bow Valley College staff members, and with reading experts, literacy specialists, testing professionals, statistics experts, and IALS specialists from across Canada. In 2015, with further information on reading skills and the alignment to Alberta Reading Benchmarks (ARB), the resource was launched and now accessible online. You can now download the entire Read Forward package for free. The package includes: User Guide, Tests, Answer Keys, Locators, Results Feedback Form and Learning Activities.
Read Forward and the Alberta Reading Benchmarks (ARB) are compatible measures for reading skills and we encourage you to consider using them together. Use Read Forward to assess reading skills. Then access the tools on the ARB website to support reading instruction for the unique set of reading skills at each Read Forward level.
What is the goal?
Read Forward provides a low-stakes assessment of reading skills. Its designers hoped that instructors and learners will find Read Forward helpful to assess and strengthen reading skills and strategies that adult learners have gained and can build.
What can this project contribute to the adult literacy and essential skills field?
More than one Bow Valley College instructor has told us that Read Forward provides good teaching materials and it is a good reading assessment for learners.