Historically, international surveys such as the International Adult Literacy Survey IALS identified the key role that literacy skills play in the social and economic success of individuals, and the overall competitiveness and growth of nations. The surveys identified that individuals with weak adult literacy skills were more likely to have poor labour market and life outcomes. Further, countries with large populations of low-skilled workers were economically constrained and therefore, less competitive on a global scale.
It was a collaborative effort involving several international organizations, intergovernmental agencies, and national governments. They were, in effect, two different surveys. The first was developed in the late s and the second in the early years of the new millennium.
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The key finding suggests that there are significant literacy gaps in each country and that at least a quarter of the adult population do not reach the third of five literacy levels. The report is structured as follows: chapter one outlines both the overall proficiency levels as well as the distribution of adult The report is structured as follows: chapter one outlines both the overall proficiency levels as well as the distribution of adult literacy in each country; chapter two presents new evidence in terms of the economic and wider social benefits of literacy; chapter three looks at the relationships that exist between literacy and a range of individual characteristics and considers the connection between the socio-economic differences observed and interactions with families, schools and the workplace; and chapter four provides the results of an analysis of the readiness of adults to learn in different settings.
Beginning with the U. From early on, these findings have attracted attention from actors within the public health and health care sectors, who have recognized the potential implications of this mismatch for health outcomes. A unique attribute of adult literacy population assessments that makes their findings particularly applicable to the field of health literacy is that they examine how people use materials found in everyday life in order to accomplish everyday tasks.
The reason for this is that the literacy and numeracy scores previously published for ALLS and SAL were originally based on a model with a response probability RP value of 0. The new RP value does not affect the score that was calculated for a respondent. However, it does affect the interpretation of the score.
This paper discusses in detail issues dealing with the technical aspects of designing and conducting surveys. It is intended for an audience of survey methodologists. Based on the survey's findings, a wrap-up report containing a comparative analysis of reading skills in participating countries was published in through funding from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD.