Mission Statement

CSAL was committed to understanding reading-related characteristics that are critical to helping adult learners reach their reading goals and to developing instructional approaches that are tailored to adult learners’ needs and interests.

CSAL General Overview

Each year, nearly 3 million Americans enroll in adult literacy programs to improve their basic skills, and some estimates suggest the need is even greater. Adults in these programs want to increase their literacy skills to improve aspects of their work, family, social, and civic lives. However, we do not completely understand their underlying reading-related strengths and weaknesses, nor do we know the best curricula and teaching approaches to help them reach their reading goals. The focus of our center was to address these areas by conducting research that would (1) explore individual differences in reading-related abilities and motivations for learning so that we can better tailor instruction to adult learners, (2) design a reading program and an interactive online reading tutor that, can more effectively meet adult learners’ needs, and (3) conduct pilot studies to assess the potential of our instructional programs in helping adults improve their literacy skills. More information is available on our project overview page.


Funding for this Center came from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education and was funded through Grant R305C120001 at Georgia State University. Our project officer was Meredith Larson.

Our researchers came from Georgia State UniversityUniversity of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick ChildrenThe University of Memphis and the Institute for Intelligent Systems, and Brock University.

Our collaborators included the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics (TIMES) at the University of Houston (for assistance with tests and basic data management) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) (for assistance with national leadership activities).

Accessibility Policy

The website of the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy strives to provide you with an online platform for gathering information and communicating with the CSAL organization. Our web design follows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines for Section 508 compliance because we want to make sure all of the information on our site is accessible to all members of our audience. If you are having trouble accessing any content on the site, then you may find a solution on our accessibility assistance and policy page.