The framework is designed for implementers and evaluators of literacy programs, who are looking to design or re-design the measurement strategy for their program. The framework may be particularly useful for individuals at small-medium-sized organizations with limited monitoring and evaluation resources.
Sections I & III (Program Performance and Measurement How-To's) are generally relevant regardless of the level(s) of readers your program is working with. Section II (Literacy Outcomes) contains individual dimensions that may be more relevant for specific populations. Broadly, we define these populations as:
Emerging readers: Individuals who are still learning the building blocks of literacy, but can't yet read. These individuals can recognize print, interpret pictures, and have gained control of (mother tongue) oral language skills (spoken or signed). This group generally includes young children before they are of school-going age, preschoolers, etc, or older children and adults just beginning learning a second or third language.
Early readers: Individuals who are beginning to link together letters and sounds (decode) to those who can read basic texts. Early readers are starting to be able to read short sentences and whole, simple texts.
Intermediate readers: Individuals who are able read a range of texts with fluency, and engage with the meaning of these texts on increasingly more advanced levels. Intermediate readers are generally able to use reading as a tool for learning and acquiring information. This group may include students from upper primary school through middle grades.
Advanced Readers: Individuals who are able to read complex, longer texts, synthesize and interpret these texts, pick up on more subtle cues within the texts and manage competing information. This includes reading and understanding texts with unfamiliar structure and being able to critically evalute texts. This group may include students in secondary school and beyond.
Note, these levels of literacy are used for the sake of categorization, but in real life situations they may not be as neat and organized-- these categories are not mutually exclusive, nor linear, and there may be overlap between levels; that is, readers may be advanced more advanced in certain contexts and topics, but are operating with lower reading level when dealing with others. Additionally, these levels are not necessarily age-specific, as adult readers may also be reading at any of these levels. In multilingual environments in particular, readers may be at multiple different stages simultaneously, perhaps at more advanced stages in a mother tongue and more elementary levels in their second or third languages.
No, there may be some outcomes or activities that are relevant to your individual program that are not listed here. As an example, some educational programs include both a literacy and a numeracy component, however this framework does not go into numeracy. The framework should not be considered an exhaustive list, but a broad overview of areas to consider with regards to measurement in literacy programs.
No, this framework is designed as a starting point to work from, to give you new ideas to consider with regards to designing your measurement strategy and how to make it more holistic, and to provide you with resources you may not have known about. Not every dimension will be relevant for your program.
This framework includes a wide variety of resources that may be relevant to measurement activities in literacy programs. This includes academic papers, toolkits, practical guides, program evaluations and relevant websites. The resources may provide direct guidance on monitoring, evaluation and learning, or they may serve as examples of how other organizations have approached measurement. Generally the resources are relevant to multiple dimensions, as well as topics not covered by this framework, and in the case of longer documents, users may need to skim them to find the specific information that is relevant to them.
While the importance of the dimensions listed here are well-documented throughout literacy research, resources and guidance is scarce for some of them. One of the goals of this framework is to highlight areas where more research, tools and guidance are needed. We will update this framework periodically to add more resources, so please feel free to share links with us through the form at the bottom of the home page, and, where applicable, encourage your own organization to consider developing knowledge products that address any of the underresourced dimensions listed here.
No, this framework does not address national standards for literacy assessment for individual countries. The framework addresses broad concepts that are relevant to measurement to literacy programs.