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Old 09-04-2017, 10:29 AM
 
1,651 posts, read 391,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
Well, is that the same thing?
I'm from Sweden. We are not that many people who speak Swedish in the world. So when refugees come to Sweden of course they are not going to speak and write the language.
If you are born and raised in Swede but still can't write or read..that's a different story.
Yes, it is the same thing.
They couldn't read or write any language.
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Old 09-04-2017, 10:36 AM
 
7,691 posts, read 9,437,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
It's said that 14% U.S adults can't read. STATS | Illiteracy Statistics and Demographics

But personally I don't even know even a single person who cannot read. If you speak English, it should be really easy to learn how to read.

Have you ever met someone who can't read? to what extent? I'm just curious.
Ask a bank teller how many people simply put X on the back of their checks......can't even sign their name!
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:29 AM
Status: " RT (R) and Seahawks fan" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: 60630
10,769 posts, read 15,497,789 times
Reputation: 9053
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBeisbol View Post
Yes, it is the same thing.
They couldn't read or write any language.
ok
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:11 AM
 
46 posts, read 12,552 times
Reputation: 81
Look up functional literacy.


Only 13% of Americans are considered capable of reading a graph, comparing prices (example 12 ounces cost $2.15 and 16 ounces cost $2.85 which is the better value) understanding a piece of literature, and comparing two pieces of literature.


So odds are you are surrounded by them everyday all day.
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
25,523 posts, read 40,587,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
5th grade level isn't that bad.

I'm just curious about truly illiterate people who can't read anything beyond road signs. How do they text their friends?


I would assume they CALL their friends, and don't use texting... not everyone texts or needs to, ya know. How young are you? And yes, I have known illiterate or semi-literate English-speaking adults. I've worked in adult literacy (through the library) for many years, and some folks just never had the opportunity to learn. If they're older and grew up in a rural area, for example, they may have dropped out of school to work. And even if they did attend school for x years, some kids fall through the cracks and "fake it" quite well.

I also knew a woman who was barely literate in her native language (Spanish - from El Salvador), because when she was a child her mother died, so she left school to help raise her many siblings. She was the eldest daughter, and therefore expected to help with child-rearing in lieu of the mother. I speak Spanish myself, and would help her with writing letters to home.
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
25,523 posts, read 40,587,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
My wife is a Librarian. A surprising number of illiterate people come into the library. Most want help applying for things online welfare, jobs, Obamacare, income tax return, etc. Some expect the Librarians to teach them to read. Others got something in the mail and want to know what it says. One lady had a letter from her son and wanted someone to read it to her, then wanted them to write back to him for her.

Most are very nice and if they say they are not allowed, accept it. Some are belligerent. Demanding "you work for me!" I pay you" (Kinda doubt the illiterate person who comes in during the middle of the day for help with a welfare application is paying taxes).


They are limited in what they are allowed to do, but often the librarians do things they are technically not supposed to. She is not going to tell the Lady no you cannot respond to your son, I cannot take ten minutes to write your letter for you. Surprisingly to me, my wife sometimes bends rules to help the belligerent ones. She says they need help as much or more than the next person and are less likely to find any help elsewhere becasue they are so nasty. I wish I were that good of a person.
I'm a librarian, and completely relate to this! People often expect us to do things beyond our normal duties, and sometimes I am happy to oblige - like for a particular patron with intellectual disabilities, who'd ask us to print articles or pictures on his favorite topics. We did have to limit him eventually, to THREE requests per day, since he started taking advantage. I also had an elderly patron for a while who'd come in with junk mail, and ask me to research these companies to see if they were legit. Most of them were not, but rather the types of scams that preyed on the elderly, so I was very happy to assist/advise him.

I only firmly draw the line on tax or legal advice, since we're literally not allowed to help with those things. Doing so would put us at risk of litigation, if our answers were somehow incorrect. For example, if a patron asks "what IRS form should I file for independent contract work," I will apologize and refer them to a (usually free) tax professional. But if you asked where to find "Form 1044," I'd be happy to locate and help you print one.

P.S. Generally speaking, the nicer you are to us, the nicer we are to you. If you want to see how UNhelpful a librarian can be, just tell us you pay our salary... nothing ticks off a public employee faster than that, and we're under no obligation to be NICE. Civil, yes, but I won't go "above and beyond" for jerks. And if someone's truly belligerent, I have no problem with kicking them out.

Last edited by gizmo980; 09-26-2017 at 05:39 PM..
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:01 PM
 
609 posts, read 187,023 times
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My employer hired someone who seemed to be functionally illiterate. She must have been coached within an inch of her life, to make it through the interview. But once hired it became pretty obvious that she couldn't read beyond a very rudimentary level. Like most, she was pretty defensive about it and didn't stay in the job long.

If you read the originally linked article, the statistic of '14% are illiterate', they mean functionally illiterate...not completely illiterate. Meaning they know a few basic words by sight (usually 3-letter words like cat and hat) but they haven't grasped the skill of spelling things out or deducing a word through context. So their vocabulary never grows beyond the few words they learned by sight/shape. Such a person could probably identify navigate their hometown without actually 'reading' the signs just because they've been around long enough to know what the sign means even if they can't read the word.

But for the most part if you want to know where all the illiterate people are, go look in your nearest prison. As that article points out, close to 90% of the prison population is illiterate.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
5,482 posts, read 6,554,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
It's said that 14% U.S adults can't read. STATS | Illiteracy Statistics and Demographics

But personally I don't even know even a single person who cannot read. If you speak English, it should be really easy to learn how to read.

Have you ever met someone who can't read? to what extent? I'm just curious.
Recently? Not that I know of. Frankly, I couldn't tell you if every single person I know can actually read as I don't give them reading tests. Thirty years ago, though, I knew quite a few who either couldn't read at all or could only read at a very basic second- or third-grade level.

I think it's less common to be illiterate now, but still not impossible if you get into areas like the one where I grew up, which was a town of 200 +/- people. The population sign said 212, I believe, but I knew everyone in town and I didn't know 200 people so I'm pretty sure they lied. In rural areas like that, working the family farm is a lot more important than learning to read. Not a great situation, but it is the reality. It's also why I'm not raising my children though, even though I absolutely loved the area.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:20 AM
 
Location: The analog world
12,410 posts, read 6,953,305 times
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Yes. An elderly relative of mine was functionally illiterate until his forties. He had an undiagnosed learning disability in childhood. He still struggles, but after many years of patient tutoring by his wife and other family members, he can now read and write.
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