Illiteracy is the inability to read and write at an adequate level of proficiency that is critical for communication. Illiterate adults are unable to use printed and written information to function in the society so as to achieve ones goals and also to develop ones potential.According to an international nonprofit ProLiteracy in 2003, there are 36 million adults in the United States alone. This potential includes a broad range of information-processing skills that one can use daily in school and at the community as a whole. Adult illiteracy has become a societal problem because illiterate people can never fully utilize writing and reading skills to make use of their fully potential in the world. The thesis statement of adult illiteracy involves reasons why it identified as a societal problem; the solutions proposed to solve this problem and the statistical information of adult literacy as the global societal problem.
Different types of society exist. These types of illiteracy are technological illiteracy, mathematical illiteracy, visual illiteracy, school illiteracy, community illiteracy and personal illiteracy. All these types of illiteracy are caused by various reasons. These reasons are summarized in the following discussion.
Causes of Adult Illiteracy
People are usually mistaken about illiteracy. School illiteracy is overvalued to the extent that many adults have started to believe the act of reading and writing are the only important things in school. It is this type of reasoning that make many adults less interested in wanting to gain more knowledge and see things beyond the negative images. This has become one of the main reasons why adult illiteracy has increased in the world over the last few years.
Another reason for adult illiteracy is the misuse of groups. Some people tend to agree with the argument that can make one believe that he or she is weak as a reader and he or she wont be able to achieve literacy even after finishing school. This type of thinking lowers someones self-esteem and self-confidence meaning that the person will not bother to seek literacy help. Peoples reading attitude are influential in literacy behaviors. According to McKenna in 2001, reading attitudes are influenced by factors such as a persons social experiences with reading, ones personal experiences, the cultural norms about reading, cultural norms and the learners preferences about reading. Attitude is associated with unwillingness to read. Every learning experience that a child has in school will at some point determine how that child will determine to learn. The learners who have had negative experiences in school will come to view school and learning in total as a bad experience that. This disengagement spreads over to adults. An adult learner who has negative perceptions about school would not want to be associated with it. These learners never get interested in educational process because they dont see it as valuable. He or she may graduate with a degree or diploma but with very minimal skills. In the long term, these attitudes lead to adult literacy.