Research Report on the importance of adult literacy in Canada
As our society relies more heavily on high technology and human capital, the significance of Canadian citizens’ literacy gradually emerges. Literacy refers to “the ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities at home, at work and in the community – to achieve one’s goal, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.” (Literacy Skills for knowledge Society, 4) The most profoundly, literacy has become an important issue for business and labor. Adult literacy in Canada directly reflects our nation’s economic performance, as workplace literacy is the key factor contributing to the continuous development of Canada’s knowledge-based economy.
The Challenges faced
As ABC Canada Literacy Foundation concludes, the adult literacy in Canada is a more severe problem than many realize (ABC foundation, 4). The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey (Adult Literacy and Life Skills, 4) points out that four out of ten adult Canadians, with the age range from 16 to 65, struggle with low literacy. Among those with low literacy, 15 percent can hardly deal with any printed materials and 27 percent only have the ability for basic reading tasks. The International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS, 4), which ranks literacy ability from 1 (the poorest) to 5 (the best), also outlines the fact that 48 percent of Canadian adults score lower than 3 (the minimum satisfactory skill level). In addition, the survey compares Canada’s performance with that of foreign countries and the result indicates that countries have scores better in average perform better economically over the long term.
Young adults and immigrants are typically on the edge of the meeting the minimum requirement. IALSS indicates that 18 to 38 percent of graduated young adults failed to achieve 3, the minimal literacy needed to work efficiently. The survey also shows that the proportion of working age immigrants who...