Definition:Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen – as well as to use numeracy and technology – at a level that enables people to express and understand ideas and opinions, to make decisions and solve problems, to achieve their goals, and to participate fully in their community and in wider society.
In 2005, the results of the International Adult Literacy Skills Survey (IALSS) said more than 50% of New Brunswickers aged 16 and older are at Levels 1 and 2. That represents approximately 300,000 people in our province. Based on the skill level definition below, there are approximately 85,000 adults in New Brunswick at Level 1, 54% of whom are employed; and 173,000 adults at Level 2, 64% of whom are employed.
• Level 1: have few basic skills and great difficulty with text
• Level 2: have limited skills and cannot read well. At this level, the individual
can only deal with material that is simply and clearly laid out.
• Level 3: have a basic skill level but may have problems with more complex
tasks. This is considered the minimum skill level for successful participation
• Levels 4 and 5: have high levels of literacy, with a wide range of reading skills
and many strategies for dealing with complex materials. Individuals at this
level can meet most reading demands and can handle new reading challenges.
In other words, any adult below Level 3 literacy and numeracy skills has a tough time getting through the day.
The average for numeracy and problem solving is just below Level 3. Only 45 of 100 adults in Canada - aged 16 to 65 - can do everyday arithmetic and understand the numbers in printed materials.
LLNB is a member of the New Brunswick Adult Literacy and Essential Skills Partnership. The group is committed to strengthening services, strategies and awareness related to adult literacy and essential skills through collaboration. In addition to Laubach Literacy New Brunswick, organizations in the partnership include: