Authors: Grant Johnston
This paper looks at whether an increase in the basic literacy skills of adults would have a positive effect on the New Zealand economy. It finds good evidence for the benefits of literacy: studies
consistently find that adults with better literacy skills are more likely to be employed, and to earn more, than those with poorer literacy skills, even when taking account of other factors which affect work performance.
There is little rigorous evidence, however, for the benefits of adult literacy training and almost no accompanying information on the costs of this training.
While there is a good case for an increased focus on adult literacy, and on workplace literacy in particular, these findings suggest a cautious approach to expanding publicly-funded adult literacy programmes.
There is a clear need for more and better New Zealand-based research, for piloting innovative literacy programmes and for undertaking good-quality evaluations. A modest increase in literacy training may not materially affect economic performance.
Authors: Lisa Langille
This is a thesis submitted to Acadia University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Degree of Master of Education (Curriculum Studies). It discusses a study undertaken to explore how adult literacy educators perceive computer technology integration.
The International Adult Literacy Survey Results
In 1990, Statistics Canada released the results of the Survey of Literacy Skills Used in Daily Activities (LSUDA), a 1989 Canada-wide survey of the reading skills of adults. In 1992, the then Ontario Ministry of Education reported on the LSUDA results for Ontario (Stan Jones, Survey of Adult Literacy in Ontario).
Shortly after the release of the LSUDA results in Canada and those of the National Adult Literacy Survey in the United States, interest in a comparative international study of adult literacy began to grow. In December 1995, the first results of the 1994 survey of adult literacy in seven countries, the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), were reported in Literacy, Economy and Society, a joint publication of Statistics Canada and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In September 1996, Statistics Canada released Reading the Future: A Portrait of Literacy in Canada, a report on the national data collected in IALS.
To measure literacy in IALS, respondents answered a set of test questions designed to measure adult reading skills as well as background questions about their education, work experience and literacy practices.
Ontario participated in the survey in order to gain key data to inform policy development and to focus its literacy programming. The present report covers in detail the IALS results for Ontario. It updates and supplements the previous report, Survey of Adult Literacy in Ontario. It is organized much as the previous report with a table, graph and commentary for each of the major literacy relationships. Throughout the text, shaded boxes provide background information. Usually the tables provide results for three scales -- prose, document and quantitative -- but the graphs are used to point to particularly interesting results in part of the data.
Authors: Richard Darville
Adult Literacy Work in Canada provides a map of the state of literacy work in Canada, which identifies key issues in literacy for the 1990's. This study is offered as a stimulus to informed discussion and debate on literacy questions in various Canadian jurisdictions. It is also intended as a contribution to maintain the level of public awareness developed during 1990, International Literacy Year.
Ideas in the report have developed in many discussions among literacy practitioners and advocates. Many governmental policy documents and reports, and a number of civil servants, have been consulted. Some information has been drawn from a survey conducted by the Canadian Alliance for Literacy, a coalition of national organizations that seek to promote a more literate Canada. Reports of provincial and territorial representatives to the Movement for Canadian Literacy Board have been very helpful.
Adult Literacy Work in Canada is part of a larger project to enhance public understanding of the stake of Canadians in a literate society.
Pre-School to Adult
Authors: NWT Literacy Council
Over the years, many people have asked us to put together a package of information on Aboriginal literature that is suitable for different age groups. That task, however, is not particularly easy. An extensive array of material is available nowadays, but should it all be included in such a list?
Considerable debate surrounds what is sometimes called “appropriation of voice” – when a person, no matter how sympathetic, depicts someone from another culture. We can only say that we have tried our best to be selective, and appreciate any feedback that people might have about our list.
Michel presented a new tool called “Assessing the Complexity of Literacy Tasks.” It is designed to help document designers understand the ability levels of readers as defined in the International Adult Literacy Survey. This complexity-rating tool, based on the work of Irwin Kirsh and Peter Mosenthal, can help information designers ensure that the level of complexity of public information matches the literacy level of the target readers. It complements plain language techniques and can deal with some of the shortfalls of readability formulas based on school grade levels.
Some thoughts for the PLAIN conference, Toronto 2002
Authors: Peter Butt
In a panel discussion chaired by Joseph Kimble, Brian Hunt and Peter Butt argued the assumptions behind the use of plain legal language. Brian posed the questions: Is there really a demand for plain language legislation? Would plain language legislation function as intended? Peter presented evidence from recent research supporting the claim that plain language benefits legal documents and statutes.
Series: The Monograph Series
More and more research demonstrates that social, demographic and economic factors and practices affect the health of a population. However, much less is known about literacy skills and practices among those with higher health risks. Understanding these relationships is important, since weak literacy skills may impede good health care practices and healthy lifestyle decisions. Literacy can therefore be considered an important policy issue for health promotion: enhancing literacy can help to achieve health promotion goals, and understanding literacy practices and patterns can assist in more effectively directing health messages to target populations.
Using Canadian data from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), this research paper compares the health-related characteristics of seniors with their literacy skills and practices. The findings support the view that literacy skills and practices may serve as "barriers" in the attainment of good health.
This highlights paper is a summary from the fifth in a series of monographs using data from the IALS. For more information, contact : Nancy Darcovich, Statistics Canada, at (613) 951-4585. The document is also available on the National Literacy Secretariat Website at : http://www.nald.ca/fulltext/nls/ials/atrisk/cover.htm (98.12.29)
Authors: Arleen Lyda Pare
This thesis was submitted to the University of British Columbia for a Master of Arts in the Faculty of Education. It is the result of a study undertaken to explore the relationship between student attendance and student resistance in an Adult Basic Education (ABE) classroom.
Authors: Joan B. Perry
The scope and nature of attrition encountered in adult literacy programs was explored in context of the Minto Community Academic Services Program (CASP), a New Brunswick community-based program offering academic and intermediate adult upgrading services.
Studies in ABE programs, attrition statistics, CASP reports, and the Minto CASP program's student termination list were reviewed in an effort to better understand attrition. The program's origin and outcomes were explored in the hope of finding strategies for student retention