Literacy skills among Canada's immigrant population (2006)

Education Matters: Insights on Education, Learning and Training in Canada, February 2006, Vol. 2 No. 5

The authors of this article, published by Statistics Canada, analyze data from the 2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) to provide insights into the literacy levels of both recent and established immigrants in Canada. The IALSS is the Canadian component of the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) program, a large-scale study that provides internationally comparable measures in four domains: prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy, and problem solving.

In all four domains, a higher percentage of both recent and established immigrants performed at Levels 1 and 2 than did the Canadian-born population. Sixty percent of recent and established immigrants, compared to 37 percent of the Canadian-born population, were at Levels 1 and 2 in prose literacy.

At the other end of the proficiency scale, 12 percent of established and eight percent of recent immigrants performed at Level 4 or 5. This compares to 22 percent of the Canadian-born population, suggesting that the differences between Canadian-born and immigrants were larger than they were between the two immigrant groups.

The ability to use and understand information is fundamental to daily life at work, at home, and in the community, the authors point out. The finding that immigrants tended to perform at lower proficiency than the Canadian-born population is cause for concern, especially because immigration will account for all of the net labour force growth in the coming years.

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2013-04-08
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. Literacy skills among Canada's immigrant population 2006. Web. 2 Jul. 2022 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/statistics_canada/immigrant_population/immigrant_population.pdf>
(2006). Literacy skills among Canada's immigrant population. Retrieved July 2, 2022, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/statistics_canada/immigrant_population/immigrant_population.pdf
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