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ERIC Number: ED504475
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
English Literacy of Foreign-Born Adults in the United States: 2003. Issue Brief. NCES 2009-034
Warkentien, Siri; Clark, Michael; Jacinto, Beth
National Center for Education Statistics
Learning to read and write in the English language is a challenge faced by numerous foreign-born adults who arrive in the United States each year. Since 1970, the foreign-born population living in the United States has increased both in number and as a percentage share of the entire population (Census 2007; Schmidley 2001). This growth contributes to continued interest in how well foreign-born adults use written information to function in society and the factors associated with their literacy. Although prior studies have examined adult literacy in the United States by a variety of background characteristics (Kutner et al. 2007), no national-level research has focused specifically on the literacy abilities of the foreign-born adult population using the most recent data. This Issue Brief draws on data from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) to explore the English literacy of foreign-born adults living in households in the United States. The brief presents the English literacy scores of foreign-born adults age 16 and older in 2003 by race/ethnicity, age of arrival in the United States, years spent in the United States, highest level of educational attainment, and language spoken before starting school. In addition, the distribution of the foreign-born adult population is reported for each of these categories. (Contains 4 tables and 9 endnotes.)
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Adult Literacy
IES Funded: Yes