Demonstrating what it is like to be an adult learner in today's world, this book focuses on language, literacy and numeracy learning. The authors explore the complex relationship between learning and adults' lives, following a wide range of individual students in various formal learning situations, from college environments to a young homeless project, and a drug support and aftercare centre. The study is rooted in a social practices approach and examines how people's lives shape their learning. Themes addressed range from: how literacy is learned through participation and how barriers such as violence and ill-health impact on people's lives. Based on a major research project and detailed, reflexive and collaborative methodology, the book describes a coherent strategy of communication and impact which will have a direct effect on policy and practice