No True. Such Permit. Very Assassins. Wow. (naamah_darling) wrote in little_details,
No True. Such Permit. Very Assassins. Wow.
naamah_darling
little_details

Young adult learning to read for the first time.

Setting is a late-renaissance analog of the UK. (Not exact, but that will get you there.)

I have a 16- or 17-year-old country girl, very smart and determined, who cannot read at all when we first meet her. She has a familiarity with the letters of her own name but is fuzzy on the rest of the alphabet. She's taken in by a tutor who, in addition to teaching her to fence, spends time each day teaching her and her two younger sisters to read and write.

A year passes offscreen.

When we come back, how well can we expect her to read?

Assume she is highly verbal, quick-minded, working at it for about two hours a day, and that her tutor is a good one who spends a lot of that time with her. She is learning on worksheets her tutor draws up for her, and on easy-intermediate material with which she quickly becomes acquainted; about the level of a good romance novel or dime novel, say. She is also very, very good at remembering things she hears read aloud or spoken, which is how she has compensated for her illiteracy so far.

Is it reasonable to expect that after one year she would be able to pilfer someone's mail and read it, or would she have to look for keywords to identify which one contained important plot elements? Could she could write a legible "I went out to do such and so, will be back whenever, please do xyz" note reasonably free from embarrassing spelling errors, or would she need help?

If that's not possible, I can have her slightly more literate at the beginning, already knowing a few basic words and her alphabet.

I've tried googling for adult literacy information. "How long does it take adults to read," "adult literacy," "acquiring adult literacy," "acquiring literacy," "learning to read as an adult," and so on. I keep getting information on educating illiterate people in a second language, not teaching them to read and write their own language for the first time. I'm also getting lots of interesting stuff on how to teach adults to read, but no ballpark figures on how long that takes, or where a dedicated student would be after about a year.
Tags: ~languages (misc)
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