Benchmarking adult literacy in North America (2001)

An international comparative study

This report is a monograph stemming from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS). Publication of this monograph was supported by the United States Department of Education, Office of Vocational, Adult Education and the Applied Research Branch, Human Resources Development Canada. This monograph presents 10 international indicators that allow readers to compare the literacy proficiency of Canadians and Americans with that of populations of other countries. The findings confirm that low literacy is an important issue in all regions and countries surveyed. But there are both countries that do better and countries that do worse than either Canada or the United States. Understanding why these differences have occurred, and particularly, what policies may have contributed to success and failure, is an important consideration.

Drawing on the results of the IALS, on the findings of previous research, and on the collective experience of member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), this monograph concludes with a proposal for 10 targets and tools for improving literacy. While not all will carry equal weight in national and state provincial strategies, each will have to be considered as part of a comprehensive and encompassing plan of action for building a truly literate North America.

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APA citation
Albert Tuijnman. Benchmarking adult literacy in North America 2001. Web. 2 Dec. 2022 <>
Albert Tuijnman (2001). Benchmarking adult literacy in North America. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from
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