Literacy is continuing to be a problem for a lot of people in the United States. In fact, according to a recent article from Campus Technology, the percentage of adult literacy has not changed in the past 10 years. So basically, during this time, it’s failed to improve.
They brought up statistics like the fact that 32 million U.S. adults, or 14 percent of the population, can’t read. And even with those who can read, there’s still a lot who can’t read that well. Another statistic that they brought up was that 21 percent of U.S. adults read below a fifth-grade level.
So literacy is still a big problem here in the United States. But it could easily become an even bigger problem considering that a lot of aspects of literacy are still changing. For instance, academics now consider tasks like speaking and listening as part of literacy, in addition to reading and writing.
These two skills, in particular, are actually ones I would have liked to learn more about when I was in school. I always did very well when it came to reading and writing. But speaking and listening, not as much. I often had trouble with speaking loudly and clearly enough. I actually had to take special speech classes for this for a couple of years in elementary school. But maybe it would have been better if it was just something that we learned along with reading and writing.
And when it came to listening, I struggled with that a lot, partly because of my ADHD. I always had trouble paying attention in class. I got better with it as I got older. But it could have possibly saved me a lot of trouble if it was something that I was specifically taught how to improve.
And all of this is without even getting into the changes in literacy that have come about with new technology. So I think that what we need to do here is that schools need to be more open-minded and become more adaptive when it comes to these changes with literacy. If the world is going to change, then we need to change with it.