Adult Literacy Research Institute along with community partners developed an adult reading assessment resource, informally referenced to the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and now aligned with the Alberta Reading Benchmarks.
Read Forward is a low-stakes assessment of reading skills for adults, helpful in identifying both the reading skills adult learners have gained and the skills they can build. It is made up of 30 reading tests: there are 6 different levels of reading skills and each level has 5 tests. These paper-and-pencil tests each take one hour or less to write.
What is new and improved?
Aligned with Alberta Reading Benchmarks
In Canada, the provincial government of Alberta funded the development of the Alberta Reading Benchmarks (ARB), a province-wide standard for measuring reading in literacy and essential skills programs. Read Forward and the ARB are compatible measures for foundational reading skills, and both are loosely referenced to the first three levels in the IALS. The ARB resources can be used with Read Forward, particularly for teaching and learning strategies suitable for each of the Read Forward levels.
Read Forward and the 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. As part of an instructional approach, the ARB will help to identify level-appropriate reading materials, create skill-based learning plans, access practical teaching strategies and more.
Read Forward is now a free downloadable resource
The Read Forward website has been redesigned to make it easier to use all components of the resource: User Guide, Tests, Answer Keys, Locators, Results Feedback Form. Because Read Forward is an open, practise-type test, there is no concern for security. The tests are not to be used for formal assessment for credit or qualification. By being an open assessment we also hope that Read Forward can assist with understanding more about test-taking, and even reduce some apprehension with taking tests.
Answer keys have been expanded to include a description of specific reading skills for each question on every test
Now there is quick identification of reading skills for each of the eight hundred questions that make up the thirty tests. This will encourage more discussion among learners and practitioners about reading itself, and build their technical vocabulary of reading skills.
Practitioners wanted to use Read Forward in learning activities as well as an assessment tool. You will find four Learning Activities that provide opportunities to practise a specific reading skill from each of the first four levels of Read Forward.