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Book Chapter

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Functional literacy, Life skills, Social surveys, Literacy -- Statistics, Adult education


Analyzing information from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), this paper explores the frequency with which adults engage in reading, writing and numeracy practices and the relationship between these practices and a range of social and economic outcomes. Results are examined for the general adult populations as well as adult populations with low literacy or numeracy proficiencies. For most social and economic outcomes, levels of engagement in literacy practices appear to be as strong predictors as proficiency measures are, indicating the importance of encouraging more intense engagement in literacy and numeracy practices both in and outside of work.


The content of this paper is reproduced with the written permission of the OECD. The content is based on material authored by Stephen Reder, titled “Chapter 3. Skill Use: Engagement in Reading, Writing and Numeracy Practices” originally published in “Grotlüschen, A., et al. (2016), "Adults with Low Proficiency in Literacy or Numeracy", OECD Education Working Papers, No. 131, OECD Publishing, Paris.

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