Helping To Improve Adult Literacy

Something which we often discover on this site is the issues that are often forgotten, or more to the point those which are not discussed, and which actually have a profound impact on people’s lives. Today we have the perfect example of that, which is adult literacy, or the lack thereof. This is an issue which faces many people and there are some worrying statistics which relate to adult literacy. It has been found that 50% of all unemployed people are functionally illiterate and that just 1 in 5 people have very basic reading skills.

Adults who struggle to read and write have issues getting and maintaining jobs and there is a tough stigma surrounding this issue, which is why so few will come out and speak up about their experience. Fortunately, you can help, because it is never too late for a person to improve his or her reading skills. Even individuals who have never learned to read can attain an acceptable level of literacy with the one-on-one help of a caring volunteer tutor, and here is how to go about it.

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It can be so easy to get frustrated when someone isn’t able to do something which comes so naturally to us all, but it is vital that you remain patient and understanding as you are tutoring someone to get better at reading and writing. Take your time and keep you calm, slowly but surely you will get there together.


It is important that you be a friend as well as a tutor. Let the person know that you are interested in him or her. Discuss reading and literacy issues, mentioning your interest in volunteering your time to help someone improve his or her reading skills. Encourage your friend to talk about his or her opinions and ideas about reading.


If you help someone with tutoring through a registered charity or specialist organization then you are going to have already received some training so that you can offer the best tutoring which you can. If however you are helping a friend or a family member then it is essential that you seek out some professional help so that you are able to provide structure and high quality. Being there to support is of course a great gesture but this is about helping someone to learn to read and write and that is why you need a solid structure which is going to give them the best chance of learning.

As long as you have patience and some guidance behind you, volunteering is a great way to really support someone’s learning and you will be doing a remarkable thing which will significantly help to improve someone’s life.