Reading in adults

The Educational Research Institute is implementing the project "The cognitive basis of functional illiteracy", which is financed by the National Science Centre through a Sonatina grant. The amount of the co-financing is PLN 669 844.00. The project is being implemented by IBE’s International Research Team.

Project objectives

Understanding what you read is an important skill. However, many Poles have a problem with understanding even simple texts, as shown by the International Survey of Adult Skills PIAAC). Why? This project attempts to answer that question.

Objective I: Reading Test for Adults

To start, we will develop a test to assess reading problems. We will use it to measure not only the speed and correctness of reading individual words, but above all, the understanding of various real-life texts, such as medication leaflets or voting instructions. The test will be computer-based and simple to use. It will be used to study about 400 people to learn which results are typical, and which are weaker.

Objective II: The basis of reading problems

We will use the developed test to invite people with typical and weaker reading skills to the study. We will try to learn what these problems are most associated with: dyslexia? low education and wages? or maybe some other issues, such as memory or vocabulary problems? Approx. 200 people will participate in this stage of the study.

Objective III: Understanding texts written in simple language

Problems with understanding texts may also depend on other issues - for example, how the text is written. Sometimes texts, for example official ones, can be written in a very difficult and complicated way. We will compare the understanding of such texts with simplified ones - that is, written in accordance with the rules of simple Polish. We will check the impact simplification has on the understanding of texts, and who is most benefitted by simple Polish texts. Approx. 120 people will participate in this stage of the study.