Adult Literacy

What is Adult Literacy?

When people ask “What is adult literacy,” it is important to start with the basic definition of literacy before adding the age description of “adult.”

Literacy is the ability to “read, write, speak and listen, and 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.”

“Adult” adds an additional element to the definition because the impact of daily life changes greatly if an adult isn’t able to read and write.

Literate adults read food labels, street signs, medicine bottles, menu options and so much more. As the definition expressed, literacy goes beyond reading, writing, speaking and listening. It includes an understanding of numeracy and technology. This includes basic math skills, allowing people to accurately buy and sell in the marketplace.

What is the result of literacy? According to the definition above, literacy enables individuals to:

  • Express and understand ideas and opinions.
  • Make decisions and solve problems.
  • Achieve their goals.
  • Participate fully in their community and culture.

Adults who live in poverty, and learn to read, experience even greater results! In villages where literacy is increasing, those areas are seeing social and economic gains. As adults learn to read, it dramatically impacts their families as well as their communities.

At GFA World, we have seen this result time and time again. When adults learn to read, they are qualified for more jobs, they are able to invest in the education of their children and they begin to achieve their own dreams. For many women in Asia, one of the greatest impacts of literacy is in the marketplace. They can understand contracts, important papers, and do basic math. Before they learned to read, they were vulnerable, easily taken advantage of by shopkeepers. Now, they can read and understand the information around them.

These women can now read God’s Word and participate more fully in worship services. They can read how God loves them. This brings them great joy and renewed purpose for life.

Please join us in our mission to help adults learn to read in the impoverished areas we serve. It’s a cause that impacts adults, families and entire communities. Will you give to GFA World’s literacy efforts today?