How we engage with the world and communicate through written and spoken words relies heavily on literacy. Literacy is defined as the ability to read, understand, and write a certain language regardless of method, aligned with mainstream or widely accepted dictionaries of that language. The opposite of literacy is illiteracy which is the absence of the ability to write or read.

What is Life Literacy?

Life literacy is basically literacy skills that are essential for you to live a full life. It also encompasses skills that one needs to acquire in life to get more productive and successful. Literacy is not only essential for employability but also in living your life. It’s needed to be functional in life.

Having literacy skills also allows one to engage, evaluate, analyze, and manipulate language which helps advance in life in terms of participating in community activities and securing a job.

According to research, adults who are not sufficiently literate are less likely to take care of their health, hold down a job, earn a good salary, and contribute to their communities. By extension, illiteracy can affect one’s potential for success and experience of life.

Literacy Data in Canada

Studies show that around 48% of Canadians don’t have high-school-level literacy skills. Although they can still navigate life, their functions at work and home are likely compromised. Besides, almost 20% of these Canadians function in life with the lowest literacy level. For instance, some of them can’t even read the labels and instructions in their prescription bottles. 

According to a study done by the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies- Statistics Canada individuals with lower literacy levels are more at risk of being unemployed compared to those with higher literacy levels.

There’s Still Hope!

Regardless of this data, the PIAAC has found that the number of Canadians with acceptable literacy skills is growing. This means that we have to work harder together and strive for a more literate and employable Canadian population.

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