Literacy Development following the PIAAC Framework









Designing Contextualized Units Using PIAAC Tools





  • Context is clearly related to students’ lives outside the classroom and is likely to be important or relevant to adult students.


Unit Task

  • The Unit Task is clearly defined in student terms and can be easily assessed.
  • Purpose, audience, and product are all authentic to how reading is applied in work, community, family, or lifelong learning activity.
  • Product requires information acquired from reading to be put to use.
  • In general, the task is appropriate for the instructional level targeted, though differentiation may be required for specific students.



  • Students practice applying the targeted skills/strategies within authentic text (i.e., students are likely interacting at length with at least 4-6 Internet articles, book chapters, news sites, blogs, forms, infographics, poems, etc.) during the unit.
  • The rhetorical stance(s) targeted for instruction relate(s) to the Unit Task.
  • Digital sources are used, if appropriate.



  • The reading skills/strategies targeted for instruction work together to address the Unit Task.
  • Cognitive strategies (access/identify, integration and interpretation, and/or evaluation or reflection) are a major focus of instruction .
  • The number of skills/strategies targeted is appropriate for the amount of time in the unit.
  • For beginning and intermediate students, component skills (e.g., alphabetics, vocabulary, fluency) are appropriately emphasized.