Literacy: Why it Matters

Literacy is defined as:

Understanding, evaluating, using and engaging with written texts to participate in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.  –

Literacy is more than words. Literacy is an essential skill in today’s world  – it helps us navigate our lives. Literacy is connected to health, justice, civics and the economy.

Many people struggle with tasks at home, work and in the community due to low literacy.

Is there a literacy problem?

Literacy Statistics

Literacy skills are measured on a scale of below Level 1(low) –  Level 5 (high).

19% of Quebec adults (16-65 years) scored at or below Level 1. People who score at this level struggle with serious literacy challenges, and have trouble reading basic text.

34% of Quebec adults (16-65 years) scored at Level 2, meaning they can read, but with difficulty. They will likely have problems with everyday tasks, such as understanding employment or rental agreements, following medication instructions, or completing forms and applications.

Skills in Canada: First Results from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). 2013. Statistics Canada.