How would I go about teaching an adult to read?

My boyfriend is 20. He's not dumb. He's a fully functioning member of society who works and pays taxes and everything. But he can't read very well and he can't write. He can read text messages if they're short, but he just gets intimidated by lots of writing and gives up. He can read short words, too. And since I have met him, I've noticed that his text messages have gotten much more readable as he's obviously paying attention to the messages I send him and he's learning. I can tell however, that he's very insecure about this. He thinks he's stupid. But, at the age of 8 his family and himself moved back to their ow country for 5 years, then he came back to this country and started screwing around in school.
How do I teach an adult to read? Without starting from the basics and making him feel like a little kid with labled words and stuff?


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  • Can you get him professional help maybe there are adult literacy classes in your area he can take


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  • Give him encouragement and reward him when he learns to read but don't punish him when he refuses to learn. This behaviour will build him up to the point where he will want to learn to read.

  • Why does he find it difficult to read and write? Is it possible he has dyslexia?

    • I've thought about that. I know another man who is dyslexic and he can't read at all. He says letters don't stay the same for him. Like, he'll read a word, go back to it and it will have changed.
      My boyfriend could have dyslexia. I wonder how to test him for that.

    • there might be tests for it in internet. but it would be best for him to go to a psychologist, in order to make a correct diagnosis.

    • Yeah, I'll try to take him to one. If it IS dyslexia, he might feel a whole lot better about himself, too.

  • if he can read at all
    then just get him to read more

    being able to read but not that well means he just needs practice

    • Yes, I'm thinking about that. But when I tell him about silent letters, like how knife starts with a k he thinks I'm talking bullshit lol

    • prove it then and then move on :P

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