Literacy in the U.S.



Literacy skills are all the skills required to achieve reading and writing. Factors such as the knowledge of print, sounds of language, the relationship between sounds and letters, and so on, all entail literacy skills. Mostly, these skills are taught from the onset of childhood. This paper will assess the literacy skills levels in the U.S.A.

Status of Literacy Today in America

America is a multicultural continent, with more than 32 million of its occupants speaking languages other than English. After a survey by the Education body in America, the results surprisingly showed a lack of literacy skills from the larger population (Kirsch et al., 2002). Through the history of the nation on the literacy skills mostly among the adult population have always been considered inadequate. Initially, this issue was considered individual until it started affecting the educational goals, availability of jobs, involvement in the community, and giving a sense of self-fulfillment. This, however, does not place America at a lower level of literacy when compared to many other nations. Nevertheless, employers note that several adults show difficulty in reading, mathematical and writing skills. If this issue is not corrected, it may pose challenges in future due to the changing trends (Kirsch et al., 2002).

There have been efforts by Congress to put more effort into making literacy prominent amongst American adults. A National Literacy Act was passed in 1991 to this effect. However, the main issue comes when one has to consider how exactly to go about the process of increasing literacy skills among Americans. One challenge influencing this is the dismissal of issues that may occur due to the same, or the belief that it is not a major issue after all.

This discovery, however, surprising to the Americans. Considering its stature, the continent ought to have insignificant numbers of individuals affected by illiteracy. Again, this was my expectation since most of the top tertiary institutions are from America, which means that the continent ought to have minimal rates of lack literacy skills.

Measures to Ensure Elimination of Low Literacy Skills

First, the government needs to conduct surveys that will not only tell the levels literacy skills but also, the availability of resources to boost the same (Kirsch et al., 2002). All factors, including the vast diversity of the individuals in America, should be put into consideration.

The first measure, as seen above was the Literacy Act of 1991 that required all Americans to be literate by 2000. Programs were set up to promote adult literacy. Also, people were advised to embrace early education to ensure literacy, starting from the family level since programs alone would not complete the task. This is again beneficial since it would help the young children in the family. Literacy skills are mostly easy to develop when begun from a young age. Measures to help individuals realize the value of having literacy skills are also highly recommended (OECD, 2002). This will mostly pull the illiterate adults to improving their skills. This way, they will be in a position to reach the younger generation and enhance their literacy skills little by little. Some of the Education programs that are used to improve literacy skills include the 3P Learning.

The author’s contributions to the topic of literacy skills are excellent. They are well articulated and come from reliable research bodies. This makes the recommendations put forth reliable and useful for future references.

How do literacy skills affect me? It affects me in many ways; for example, I am able to participate in high-level discussions and forums in the school program that many shy away from. Being well-versed with the literacy skills has also immensely boosted my confidence around people. Communication is easy, and so is arguing out my points. Additionally, I feel useful since I am able to teach or help fellow students to achieve proper literacy skills. This is mostly the case with the students who are not well-acquainted with the English language. Eventually, such students are able to contribute freely to the class discussions, which magnifies my feeling of self-fulfillment.

How Literacy Skills are Affecting Management Responsibilities in Training

As seen above, several adult Americans that are employed have poor literacy skills. This may adversely affect the economy of America. Poor literacy, both grammatically and numerically, is a great influence on the perception a manager will inflict on their employees.

First, communication and clear communication for that matter is crucial to an organization. A manager with poor literacy skills will perform poorly while supervising his or her juniors (McGlothin et al., 2002). There are high chances that the intended message will not be put across right, which will be a challenge to the progress of the training process.

Again, the economy is driven by numbers. Lack of numeracy skills among managers is likely to again hinder proper growth. They may be unable to process or interpret the figures right, and therefore, mislead the students while training them (Ken, 2015).

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It goes without saying that proper literacy skills are not only useful on the individual level but that they also contribute to the overall development of a country. That said, the government should put more effort in ensuring their citizens are educated by coming up with more effective programs. Literacy is significant in the modern civilization, since everything involves reading or numericals.

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  1. Kirsch, I., Jungeblut, A., Jenkins, L., & Kolsta, A. (2002). Adult Literacy in America. National Center for Education Statistics. 
  2. Ken, R. (2015). Language, Literacy and Technology. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  3. McGlothin Davis, Inc., Corporate Strategies, Inc., Transit Cooperative Research Program, National Research Council (U.S.), United States, & Transit Development Corporation. (2002). Managing transit’s workforce in the new millennium. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press.
  4. OECD. (2002). Literacy in the Information Age. 
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