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Adult Skills in Focus

Adult Skills in Focus is a series of policy-oriented notes designed to describe the results from the OECD Survey of Adult Skills in a concise, user-friendly way.

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What does low proficiency in literacy really mean?

The Survey of Adult Skills finds that even adults with the lowest proficiency in literacy possess some basic reading skills, although the level of these skills varies considerably across countries. Basic reading skills are revealed in both the accuracy in and speed of responding to reading tasks, which indicate the level of ease and automaticity of reading. Among adults with low proficiency in literacy, those who took the survey in a language different from their mother tongue had much poorer basic reading skills than native speakers.

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