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Adult Literacy and Weak Readers in PIAAC Cycle 1

Beatrice Rammstedt, Britta Gauly and Anouk Zabal

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Beatrice Rammstedt, Britta Gauly, Anouk Zabal, Adult Literacy and Weak Readers in PIAAC Cycle 1 (13.04.2021), Beltz Juventa, 69469 Weinheim, ISSN: 0514-2717, 2021 #1, p.88

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Description / Abstract

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), which was initiated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), assesses key skills of the adult population in an internationally comparable way. Over 35 countries with quite different degrees of economic development participated in the three rounds of the first cycle of PIAAC. This paper gives an overview of the average adult literacy skills by country and across countries and discusses the results from a German perspective. Furthermore, it explores how certain macro-economic indicators relate to the participating countries’ average adult literacy skills. PIAAC also provides information on adults with very low levels of literacy, thus enabling us to examine this group – the weak readers – more closely. Here too, we compare the proportion of weak readers across countries and examine how it relates to key country characteristics. In addition, we investigate which individual characteristics are associated with low reading skills. The paper concludes with a preview of the upcoming second cycle of PIAAC, which promises to yield additional and enhanced high-quality international data for further analyses.

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