1983; Vygotsky, 1986). Thus, how people use reading and writing differs considerably by context.
As an example, forms and uses of spoken and written language in academic settings differ from those in nonacademic settings, and they also differ among academic disciplines or subjects (Blommaert, Street, and Turner, 2007; Lemke, 1998; Moje, 2007, 2008b; Street, 2003, 2009). Recent work on school subject learning also makes it clear that content and uses of language differ significantly from one subject matter to another (Coffin and Hewings, 2004; Lee and Spratley, 2006; McConachie and Petrosky, 2010). People may develop and use forms of literacy that differ from those needed for new purposes (Alvermann and Xu, 2003; Cowan, 2004; Hicks, 2004; Hull and Schultz, 2001; Leander and Lovvorn, 2006; Mahiri and Sablo, 1996; Moje, 2000a, 2008b; Moll, 1994; Noll, 1998; Reder, 2008). Thus, as depicted in Figure 1-2, a complete understanding of reading and writing development includes in-depth knowledge of the learner (the learners’ knowledge, skills, literacy practices, motivations, and neurocognitive processes) and features of the instructional context that scaffold or impede learning. The context of instruction includes texts, tools, activities, interactions with teachers and peers, and instructor knowledge, beliefs, and skills.
Types of text vary from books to medication instructions to Twitter tweets. Texts have numerous features that in the context of instruction can either facilitate or constrain the learning of literacy skills (Goldman, 1997; Graesser, McNamara, and Louwerse, 2004). Texts that effectively support progress with reading are appropriately challenging and well written. They focus attention on new knowledge and skills related to the particular components of reading that the learner needs to develop. They also support the learner in gaining automaticity and confidence and in applying and generalizing their new skills. To the greatest degree possible, the materials for reading should help to build useful vocabulary and content (e.g., topic, world) knowledge. Effective texts also motivate engagement with instruction and practice partly by developing valued knowledge or relating to the interests of the learner.
Adult learners will have encountered many texts during the course of formal schooling that are poorly written or highly complex (Beck, McKeown, and Gromoll, 1989; Chambliss and Calfee, 1998; Chambliss and Murphy, 2002; Lee and Spratley, 2010). Similarly, the texts of everyday life are not written to scaffold reading or writing skill (Solomon, Van der Kerkhof, and Moje, 2010). Developing readers need to confront challenging texts that engage them with meaningful content, but they also need texts that afford the practicing of the skills they need to develop and systematic