Plain Language Summaries: Catching Up With The Swedes - Probing the Canada-Sweden Literacy Gap (2007)

This brief document summarizes a Statistics Canada study that attempted to determine why the incidence of low literacy is much higher in Canada that it is in Sweden.

The study is based on the results of the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), carried out between 1994 and 1998. Of 12 countries that participated in the IALS, Sweden had the lowest incidence of low literacy skills, while Canada ranked around the middle, with a low literacy rate double that of Sweden.

The results of Statistics Canada’s analysis suggest that the Swedish education system may be more successful than the Canadian education system in equipping individuals with adequate literacy skills by the time they leave high school.

At the same time, the study suggests that at least half of the explanation for the current Canada-Sweden literacy gap could be that Canadians engage less often in activities that have been shown to be associated with improved literacy skills. There is also a need for wider recognition in Canada that much can be achieved in the literacy front by promoting volunteer activities, primarily among youth, as well as encouraging the use of public libraries and getting people more interested in following current events.

The summary is part of a National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) project, funded by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL), aimed at giving researchers and other practitioners the means to determine quickly the relevance of a number of research documents from Statistics Canada.

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Added: 
2012-12-17
APA citation
T. Scott Murray and James E. Page. Plain Language Summaries: Catching Up With The Swedes - Probing the Canada-Sweden Literacy Gap 2007. Web. 13 Aug. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/nls/inpub/sweden/summary/kapsalis.pdf>
T. Scott Murray & James E. Page (2007). Plain Language Summaries: Catching Up With The Swedes - Probing the Canada-Sweden Literacy Gap. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/nls/inpub/sweden/summary/kapsalis.pdf
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