Effect of Social Practice Approach on Academic Achievement of Adult Learners in Basic Literacy

Sidra Noreen, Zafar Iqbal


The challenge of low academic achievement among adult learners has been continuously reported in adult basic literacy. Adult literacy programs prioritize integrating basic life-related literacy, empowering learners to manage daily responsibilities independently and enhancing academic achievement. Therefore, the present study was conducted to empirically investigate the effect of the social practice approach on learners' academic achievement through pretest, protest control group design. They involved 70 learners, with 35 assigned to each experimental and control group. A worksheet (pretest/posttest) was employed for data collection. Data were analyzed by using an independent sample t-test. The findings revealed that the experimental group, exposed to the social practice approach in their literacy activities, showed improved academic achievement. The study recommended conducting learner assessments before literacy content development to align with identified social needs, offering context-based literacy training for teachers, and establishing an assessment and evaluation system that forges connections between learners' daily lives and literacy practices. Furthermore, it suggested implementing virtual and physical feedback mechanisms to gather input from adult learners to enhance adult basic literacy consistently.


social practice approach; social context; academic achievement; adult learners; basic literacy

Full Text:



Abid S., Ali, S.M., and Ali, I. (2021) A basic right denied: The interplay between various factors contributing to school dropouts in pakistan. In Frontiers in Education, 6 (68), 25-79. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2021.682579

Anderson, L. W., and Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. Allyn & Bacon. Boston, MA.

Aroge, S. T., & Olaniyi, F. O. (2020). Motivational Factors Influencing Academic achievement and Performance of Adult Learners’ in Functional Literacy Programmes in Ondo State, Nigeria. Educational Research (IJMCER), 2(5), 413-423.

Bano, S., Abbas, J., Aman, J., & Nurunnabi, M. (2019). The impact of social media on learning behavior for sustainable education: Evidence of learners from selected universities in Pakistan. Sustainability, 11(6), 1683. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061683

Belzer, A., & Grotluschen, A. (2022). The imagined learner in adult literacy education policy research: An international comparison. Int Rev Educ 68, 369–388. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11159-022-09956-8

Burnett, C,. and Merchant, G. (2020). Returning to text: Affect, meaning making, and literacies. Reading Research Quarterly, 56(2), 355–367.

Byrnes, J. P. (2021). Cognitive development for academic achievement: Building skills and motivation. Guilford Press.

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). (2021). Social and emotional learning year in review. Retrieved from https://casel.org/news-publications/news-press-releases/2021-sel-year-in-review/

Courtney, S. (2019). Why adults learn towards a theory of academic achievement in adult education. London: Routledge.

Creswell, J.W. (2018). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Sage, Los Angeles.

Davis, L. (1992). Instrument review: Getting the most from a panel of experts. Applied Nursing Research, 5(4), 194-197.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2011). The sage handbook of qualitative research. UK: Sage publications.

Gamage, K. A., Dehideniya, D. P. K., & Ekanayake, S. Y. (2021). The role of personal values in learning approaches and learner achievements. Behavioral sciences, 11(7), 102.

Grajo, L.C., Gutman, S.A., Gelb, H. (2020). Effectiveness of a functional literacy program for sheltered homeless adults. OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research. 40(1),17-26. doi:10.1177/1539449219850126

Grube, M., Cooper, F. E., Chinnery, P. F., & Griffiths, K. (1994). Moral education: Theory and practice. London: Harper and Row.

Hadianto, D., Damaianti, S.V., Mulyati, Y., & Sastromiharjo, A. (2022). Effectiveness of Literacy Teaching Design Integrating Local Culture Discourse and Activities to Enhance Reading Skills. Cogent Education, 9(1). DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2021.2016040

Hall, J. (2013). Pragmatism, evidence, and mixed methods evaluation: Mixed methods and credibility of evidence in evaluation. New Directions for Evaluation, 20(138), 15- 26.

Hammond, L, D., Flook, L Channa, C,C., Barron, B., & Osher, D. (2020) Implications for educational practice of the science of learning and development. Applied Developmental Science, 24 (2), 97-140. DOI: 10.1080/10888691.2018.1537791

Ibe E, Abamuche J. (2019). Effects of audiovisual technological aids on learners' achievement and interest in secondary school biology in Nigeria. 5(6),12-18. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01812.

Iqbal, T., Iqbal, S., Hussain., S.S, Khan, I.A., Khan, H.U., Rehman, A. (2018). Fighting adult illiteracy with the help of the environmental print material.13(8), 23-30. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201902. PMID.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). (2022). Available at https://www.jica.go.jp/english/overseas/pakistan/index.html

Kayani, Z. (2019). Pakistan’s literacy problem. Available at https://www.project syndicate.org/commentary/Pakistan

Kearsley, E. (2019). Learning for all. The World Bank group learning strategy 2020. Adult education and development bonn: DVV International, (80), 34-36.

Khizar, H. (2020). Reasons for low literacy rate in Pakistan and its solution. Available at: https://bibihumaira08.medium.com/7-reasons-for-low-literacy-rate-in-pakistan-and-its-solution-ab53f209b27c

Killian, M. R., Chitiyo, G., Kolodziej, N. J., & Akenson, A. (2021). Examining the underlying structure of adult literacy practices at home and work. Reading horizons: A Journal of Literacy and Language Arts, 60 (2). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/voFR0/iss2/2

Kluckhohn, F. R., & F. L. Strodtbeck. (1961). Variations in value orientations. Evanston, IL: Row. Peterson.

Kolawole, O. D., & Pusoetsile, T. (2022). What difference does literacy make among adult learners? Impact of adult basic education programme in a rural community in Botswana. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 28(1), 227-251. https://doi.org/10.1177/14779714211007495

Larsen, S. A., Little, C. W., Grasby, K., Byrne, B., Olson, R. K., & Coventry, W. L. (2020). The academic development study of australian twins (ADSAT): Research aims and design. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 23(3), 165-173.

Lave, J. (1991). Situating learning in communities of practice. Perspectives on socially shared cognition, 2, 63-82.

Levican, P. K., & Garrido, S. (2022). Understanding social media literacy: A systematic review of the concept and its competences. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(14), 8807.

Merrill, S. & Gonser, S. (2021). Teachers around the world tell us reopening is tough, but joyful. Edutopia. Available at: https://www.edutopia.org/article/teachers-around-world-tell-us-reopening-tough-joyful

Mitchell, A. J., & Malladi, S. (2010). Screening and case finding tools for the detection of dementia. Evidence-based meta-analysis of multidomain tests. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 18(9), 759-782.

National Report of Pakistan. (2022). Guidelines for good adult literacy work. Projects wing ministry of education. Available at: http://www.mofept.gov.pk/

Nkrumah, A. (2017). Multiple Identities and Education for Active Citizenship. British Journal of Educational Studies, 55(3), 286-303.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2019). The survey of adult skills: Reader’s companion. (3rd Ed), OECD Skills Studies, OECD Publishing, Paris. https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/f70238c7-en.

Paddick. M.S., Gray, K., Mcguire, J., Richardson, J., Dotchin, C., & Walker, W. R. (2017). Cognitive screening tools for identification of dementia in illiterate and low-educated older adults, a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Psychogeriatric, 29(6), 897-929

Parker, R., Thomsen, B. S., & Berry, A. (2022). Learning through play at school–A framework for policy and practice. In Frontiers in Education, 7, 751-801.

Razzaq, J. (2019). The social context of literacy and adult basic education. Department of adult basic education and youth development. Available at: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/in

Scribner, S., & Cole, M. (1978). Literacy without schooling: Testing for intellectual effects. Harvard Educational Review, 48(4), 448-461.

Smith, D., Demarco, J., Worley, M. & Allport, G.W. (2019). Literacy beyond picture books: Teaching secondary learners with moderate to severe disabilities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, Ltd.

Street, B. (2018). The social practice of multimodal reading: A new literacy studies. Multimodal perspective on reading. In Theoretical models and processes of literacy (pp. 514-532). Routledge.

UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL). (2022): Annual report. Available at:https://uil.unesco.org/unesco-institute-lifelong-learning-uil-annual-report-2022

UNESCO. (2022). Global Education Monitoring Report Team, Available at https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000381329 https://doi.org/10.54676/RCZB6329

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2020). Reimagining our futures together: a new social contract for education. Available at: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000379707.locale=en

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2019). Institute for lifelong learning. 4th Global report on adult learning and education. Leaveno one behind: Academic achievement, equity, and inclusion. Available at: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000145959-eng

United States Agency for International Development (USAID). (2020). USAID’s Pakistan education program aligned with U.S. Strategy, but insufficient oversight could impede accountability for results. Agency for International Development. Available at: https://oig.usaid.gov

Yeh, Y.C. (2022). Learner satisfaction with audio-visual flipped classroom learning: A mixed-methods study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 19(3),18-53. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19031053.

Yitayew, M. (2018). Implementation of Integrated functional adult literacy program in Metekel Zone of Mandura and Pawi Woredas. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.33687/jsas.011.03.4979


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Sidra Noreen, Zafar Iqbal

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
© EScience Press. All Rights Reserved.