The Measurement of Adult Literacy in Theory and in Practice

Darcovich, Nancy
September 2000
International Review of Education / Internationale Zeitschrift f;Sep2000, Vol. 46 Issue 5, p367
Academic Journal
The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) was designed as a vehicle to directly measure the functional literacy skills of adults across different countries. This survey was conducted as a household-based survey whereby a random sample of adults in participating countries was selected and administered a literacy skill assessment. The IALS theoretical framework was founded upon a solid base of research and statistical theory. Proven statistical methods such as Item Response Theory and Plausible Values Methodology were used in the development and analysis of the literacy test. Likewise, from the practical viewpoint, the IALS has been successfully administered in the household-survey setting. Several quality assurance steps have shown to be effective in this regard. Finally, the resultant national literacy skill profiles have provided useful literacy indicators at both government and individual levels.


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