Dr.Frank Laubach Apostle to the Illiterates

The tribes of the Belgian Congo called Dr.Frank Laubach, Okombekombe, which means “mender of old baskets,” because he taught adults to read and write.

Dr.Frank Laubach

Dr.Frank Laubach, was a leading pioneer in the literacy movement and created the now widely used Laubach method to teach reading to some cultures that have never had a written langauge.

Using a basic instructional approach, Dr. Laubach found that even the most impoverished people could gain control of the written and spoken word.
He discovered the potential of volunteers, as newly-literate Maranaos taught adult learners through a one-to-one instructional program that became known as “Each One Teach One.” Dr. Laubach also demonstrated that literacy is an effective means for positive community mobilization and change.

The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) 1994-98, found that for the United States population aged 16-65:
NOTE: Prose literacy relates to the knowledge and skills required to understand and use information from texts, including editorials, news stories, poems, and fiction. Most of the tasks at Prose Level 1 require the reader to locate and match a single piece of information that is identical to, or nearly identical to, the information given in the text. Prose Level 2 requires the reader to locate one or more pieces of information from the text and to compare and contrast information. The tasks at Prose Level 3 require readers to search the text to match information and make low-level inferences. Prose Level 4/5 measures how well readers perform mulitple-feature matching, use specialized knowledge, and make text-based inferences from more abstract text sources.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Education, The Condition of Education, 1997.

* 14.0% of the native-born population, aged 16-65, was at prose literacy level 1, compared to 63.7% of the second-language foreign born.
* 27.3% were at prose level 2, compared to 17.0% of the second-language foreign born.
* 35.0% were at prose level 3, compared to 13.5% of the second-language foreign born.
* 23.7% were at prose level 4/5, compared to 5.9% (unreliable) of the second-language foreign born

The International Adult Literacy Survey, 1994-95, also found the following international comparisons of the prose literacy levels of the adult population, aged 16-65:

Level 1 – 20.7% in the United States, compared to:
o 42.6% – Poland
o 22.6% – Ireland
o 21.8% – United Kingdom
o 19.3% – Switzerland (German)
o 18.4% – Belgium (Flanders)
o 18.4% – New Zealand
o 17.6% – Switzerland (French)
o 17.0% – Australia
o 16.6% – Canada
o 14.4% – Germany
o 10.5% – Netherlands
o 7.5% – Sweden

Dr.Horace Mothwing
For more information please read on the World Wide Web :

Dr. Frank Laubach
National Institute for Literacy

Published in: on January 27, 2007 at 6:58 pm  Comments (1)