ERIC Number: ED434209
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Defining Adult Literacy--Again. Literacy Discussion Paper.
Adult Literacy Information Office, Ashfield (Australia).
Adult literacy is a context-dependent, purposeful, and constantly changing phenomenon. What counts for literacy at the end of the 20th century is not what counted for literacy at the beginning of the century. Literacy is the ability to read, use written information, and write appropriately in a range of contexts. Literacy also includes the recognition and meaning of numbers and basic mathematical formulas within texts. Literacy must change over a lifetime. The 1989 national survey of adult literacy in Australia (No Single Measure) broke new ground by adopting a definition of literacy as social practice. The most recent evidence of the extent of literacy and numeracy difficulties experienced by Australia's population comes from the 1996 Survey of Aspects of Literacy (SAL) (n=9,302). By conducting the SAL, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) became part of the International Adult Literacy Survey. According to the ABS survey, the percentages of Australians with very poor, poor, moderate, and good/very good literacy skills are 19%, 26%, 35%, and 17%, respectively. The decision to base literacy programs on a remedial or developmental approach will depend on how literacy is defined. The ABS survey also showed a clear link between literacy and work. (Contains 32 references.) (MN)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: New South Wales Dept. of TAFE, Ultimo (Australia).
Authoring Institution: Adult Literacy Information Office, Ashfield (Australia).
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: International Adult Literacy Survey