Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Low Literacy Level

  • Suzanne Carreker
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_474

Low literacy refers to limited ability to read, write, and comprehend. Low-literacy adults may be able to read and understand signs, box labels, and simple texts, but they lack the reading, writing, and inferential skills that are necessary for educational advancement, which promotes access to health care, economic improvement, and civic contributions. Furthermore, low-literacy adults cannot provide literacy experiences in the home environment that lead to reading and academic achievement.

Approximately half of adults who are of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) have low levels of literacy skills in English. These adults may have low literacy skills (1) because English is not their primary language, (2) due to limited educational opportunities in their primary language, or (3) because of unidentified language learning disabilities. Important predictors of a child’s reading and academic success are the literacy levels of the parents or guardians and the quantity and quality of literacy...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Burgess, S. R., Hecht, S. A., & Lonigan, C. J. (2002). Relations of home-literacy environment (HLE) to the development of reading-related abilities: A one-year longitudinal study. Reading Research Quarterly, 37, 408–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kirsch, I. S., Jungeblut, A., Jenkins, L., & Kolstad, A. (1993). Adult literacy in America: A first look at the findings of the National Adult Literacy Survey. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics.Google Scholar
  3. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction: Reports of the subgroups (NIH Publication No. 00–4754). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  4. Sabatini, J. P., Sawaki, Y., Shore, J. R., & Scarborough, H. S. (2010). Relationships among reading skills of adults with low literacy. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 43(2), 122–138.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Caspe, M. (2003). Family literacy: A review of programs and critical perspectives. Retrieved September 10, 2010, from http://www.hfrp.org/publications-resources/browse-our-publications/family-literacy-a-review-of-programs-and-critical-perspectives

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Carreker
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuhaus Education CenterBellaireUSA