All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A Sample Literacy Process Interview Protocol

Literacy process interviews are informal assessments designed to gauge how readers and writers think about their work as they are engaged in it. Participants’ responses aren't scored, but are used to guide program educators as they teach different literacy skills and strategies.


Use the sample literacy process interview questions below as a guide as you develop specific questions framed for the particular reading and writing activities your students are engaged in. For example, questions might revolve around what a reader did when encountering an unknown word. Such questions provides the program educator with a valuable insight not only about the type of vocabulary that might challenge adolescent readers in the program, but also about the particular strategies a given reader might know for dealing with unknown or difficult words.

Generic Activity

  • What are you doing/working on?
  • I see that you’re doing some reading/writing as part of this activity. What are you reading/writing right now?
  • Why are you reading/writing?
  • Do you have to read/write in order to participate in this activity?
  • What would happen if you didn’t read this?
  • What do you do if you don’t know how to read a word or if you read something and it doesn’t make sense?
  • What would happen if you didn’t write this?
  • Do you ever worry about whether what you write will make sense to the person who reads it later?

Reading Texts

  • What part of this text are you reading?
  • Why are you reading it?
  • What are you thinking about as you read?
  • What do you like about this text?
  • Are there any parts that you don’t understand?
  • What did you/are you doing when you come to parts you don’t understand?
  • Are there any words that you don’t understand?
  • What did you/are you doing when you come to words you don’t understand?
  • Here, read this part aloud for me. (STOP AFTER 2 SENTENCES.) Can you explain to me what that part was about?
  • What does it have to do with what you’re reading?
  • Did you learn something about this in class already?
  • Why do you think you’re reading this?
  • Have you ever read about anything like that before?
  • Does this remind you of anything?

Writing a Text

  • What are you writing?
  • Why are you writing it?
  • What are you thinking about as you write it?
  • Do you like what you’ve written so far? OR Do you think that what you’ve written fulfills the requirements you’ve been given?
  • Have you had any problems while you’ve been working on this piece?
  • Who do you think will end up reading this, if anyone?
  • What do you think they’ll think of it?

Moje, E. and Tysvaer, N. (2009). Adolescent literacy development in out-of-school time: A practitioner's guidebook. New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York. Adapted with permission from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Hi. I am referring your website to a group of masters' level teachers for a class I'm taking. Can you please give me the actual names of the authors for this webesite? Thanks! Linda
Posted by: Linda Kirby  |  June 19, 2010 10:39 AM
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