Causes Of Illiteracy

The Truth About the Causes of Illiteracy

There are many different causes of illiteracy around the world. In the United States alone, the most recent statistics show that 34 million adults are below what are considered levels of basic literacy. That means that these people cannot fill out a job application or read the label on a prescription.

Contributing causes of illiteracy include poverty, learning disabilities, unilingualism, and technology. Many students who graduate from high school have limited vocabularies, and below normal reading and writing skills. Some have never read a novel. The majority cannot write grammatically correct sentences. But these students not only graduate from high school, they enter college as well, even though they are below what was once considered the norm for entry-level college students.

,According to the National Committee on Adult Literacy, 1.2 million teenagers or one in every three, drop out of high school. That is a big contributor to adult illiteracy. One of the reasons kids drop out of school is growing up in poverty. That is one of the major causes of illiteracy around the world. In Asia, for example, poverty can keep people from having access to an education. Textbooks cost money as do teachers. For many of the poor, developing countries, there simply is no money to fund education.

Many of the causes of illiteracy are a catch-22. It takes money to fund education, but without an educated population, you cannot make money. If growing up in poverty causes so many Americans to drop out of school, how much hope can there be in countries where there are no schools? In the United States, 50% of all those people who are illiterate grew up in homes where the income was at or below the poverty line.

Next to poverty, and second on the list of causes of illiteracy are learning disabilities. The chief one is dyslexia. In the United States, where the system of recognizing kids with dyslexia is supposed to be at a very high level, many are still slipping through the cracks. And many people who know they have dyslexia will drop out of school rather than take advantage of the opportunities available to help them overcome it.

Often, speaking a language other than English, causes problems in school. And, many times those kids who have increased difficulties in reading and writing drop out of school. This is another one of the causes of illiteracy. What many people don’t realize is that learning a second language doesn’t take anything away from cultural ties. In fact, most people who learn a second language, develop the ability to communicate more clearly in their primary language. There are also more job opportunities for people who are bilingual.

Lastly, one of the causes of illiteracy is the failure of parents to take the time to read to their children. The busyness of everyday life has reached a point where parents no longer take the time to read bedtime stories to their kids or encourage their children to learn to read at an early age. Today books have become increasingly replaced by computers and gaming systems. Kids learn to read from being read to--all kids should be read to from the time they are babies. This encourages them to build their own reading skills and kids who have books read to them comprehend at a much higher level than kids for whom this is not a family routine. Going to the library to take out a book should be an activity that starts before first grade. No one who is taught the importance of reading at a pre-school age is going to suffer from illiteracy.

As you can see, there are many causes of illiteracy, but every single one of them can be overcome. Literacy volunteers work across the United States and around the world to open up the world of reading and writing to those who are illiterate. So, of you can’t read or write or you know someone who can’t, get help. And, if you are literate, volunteer to help. That’s the only way to overcome the causes of illiteracy.