Backgrounder, International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)
This document provides background on the 1994 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), the first multi-country and multi-language assessment of adult literacy.
The survey was carried out in eight industrialized countries – Canada, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States – with the goals of developing scales for comparing literacy performance among people with a wide range of abilities, and comparing literacy across cultures and languages.
“Reading the Future” is a detailed study of the Canadian results of the IALS. The authors have broken down the data by language, age, gender and region and note that the information offers a framework for assessing Canadian policy on literacy, education and social and economic development.