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Old 02-27-2017, 06:09 PM
 
68 posts, read 33,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodHombre View Post
In the TV show It's always sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie didn't know the meaning of words like "filibuster" and "philanthropist". It's a hilarious show, and I started thinking, how many U.S adults are as illiterate as Charlie?

I do understand some people suffer from learning problems, health problems, and many others are recent immigrants from Mexico. But what about perfectly healthy people who were born in the U.S? Most people simply acquired writing and reading skills in elementary school without a lot of efforts.
You'd be surprised at how many "average" people don't know the meaning of those two words (and many others with more than 3 syllables). If you're a well-educated person and you associate with other well-educated people you could go your entire life never realizing how many less-educated (or less intelligent, to be blunt) people are in your own state/county/town.
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:17 PM
 
68 posts, read 33,242 times
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I met a woman who could barely read about 10 years ago. I found her to be a very interesting person because, despite her difficulty reading and writing, she had an impressive sense of justice and injustice, and regularly made insightful observations about the world. I sometimes questioned whether her disablity was innate or engineered by her mother - her mom had claimed she was disabled when she was young and began getting SSI checks for her. Of course I can't make judgements for sure because I wasn't there when she was young and never even met her mother, but the story struck me as odd.

My point in sharing this is to demonstrate that even otherwise intelligent people can end up illiterate if they don't have the support from their parents and teachers early in life. In her case, I would bet money she could have learned to read and been perfectly successful in life had she grown up under different circumstances. And to the OP - English is one of the MOST DIFFICULT languages to learn to read and write - many of our words, phrases and common letter combinations do not make any sense in a logical way. Early reading teachers will tell you that many words require rote memorization at a young age to build upon. Please do not ever judge people who are illiterate. It would terribly difficult to get by in this world in that situation. Just imagine everything you read for an entire day is in Mandarin or Greek. That's how they feel every day, their entire lives (except for maybe recognizing their own name, and STOP in some cases).
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:39 PM
Status: "Not hardly" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
28,384 posts, read 34,355,125 times
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Before someone starts blaming schools it's always been like this. Why it wasn't an issue years ago was because those kids would have dropped out.

When someone posts a high school test from a hundred years ago what they many times don't realize is that less than 20% (closer to 5%) of people even made it to high school.

The dropout rate as recently as 1970 hovered around 50%. It's only the last 25 or 30 years when it started to drop.

In 1940 only 25% of adults had a high school diploma. The number with a college degree was 5%.
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:27 PM
 
4,181 posts, read 2,254,529 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?

Oh come on, are you pretending to be stupid?
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Midland, MI
460 posts, read 396,443 times
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Like SMSweeney said, people who can't read are very good at hiding it as it is a source of shame.

Low literacy has another huge impact: on your health. Someone who can't read or follow a doctors instructions after surgery, or who can't figure out how to take medication are more likely to have poor health.

Believe it or not, what they call "health literacy" is the biggest predictor of your health, even more so than your income, race, level of education or anything else.
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Old 02-27-2017, 08:23 PM
 
68 posts, read 33,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhwtm View Post
Like SMSweeney said, people who can't read are very good at hiding it as it is a source of shame.

Low literacy has another huge impact: on your health. Someone who can't read or follow a doctors instructions after surgery, or who can't figure out how to take medication are more likely to have poor health.

Believe it or not, what they call "health literacy" is the biggest predictor of your health, even more so than your income, race, level of education or anything else.

That's really interesting. Didn't realize "health literacy" was a thing that has been studied. So true though...

I can't even imagine what it would be like to not be able to read. Everything I do involves reading. If I'm interested in something I read about it. If I want to go somewhere I read about it. Communicating? Prefer to do it in writing. If i couldn't read I would probably watch TV and do nothing else. And even that wouldn't be as fulfilling because I wouldn't be able to read the scroll bar on the news.

Wouldn't be talking to any of you fine folks here on City Data either. Illiteracy would be extremely isolating.
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Old 02-27-2017, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
10,925 posts, read 8,427,917 times
Reputation: 17213
In college, I met several people who couldn't read very well. The average reading level at that college was 4th. I thought that was incredibly sad. I know several adults who struggle with reading. These are all people born here without any health problems.

Many people don't go to great schools. Lots of people just barely make it through high school. Plenty of teachers and school administrators don't care. It's all about graduation rates. You're living in a bubble if you think literacy is only an issue for those with a disability or are immigrants.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:15 PM
 
448 posts, read 460,512 times
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I tutored adults through the Laubach Literacy program a few years ago. There were many people who wanted our help, so yes, there are quite a few illiterate people out there. One man I tutored read at about a third grade level, with difficulty. He had been in school until age 16 or 17, so he was just promoted without knowing the basics--yep, that's terribly sad! He really struggled with reading but was good at math, I realized.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:40 PM
 
Location: midwest
1,252 posts, read 806,153 times
Reputation: 760
Yeah, in jail. He was embarrassed and wouldn't discuss it.

But now we have apps like AIReader.

Alreader.com - new perspective on reading e-books.

My mother taught me to read before I went to kindergarten. But it is almost as though she thought knowing how was all that mattered. I did not find tings I liked to read until 4th grade.

But that app creates a totally different situation now. And the thousands of free e-books are a great resource. The app highlights sentences while the text to speech software reads the sentence. So parents who do not have the time can give their children far more material than my mother could possible have gotten for me.

Where are educators shouting about this from the rooftops?

psik
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home...CHICAGO
3,057 posts, read 3,338,007 times
Reputation: 3275
I have never met anyone couldn't read or write, but plenty of people who cannot write or spell well, especially at work. And a lot of them are college educated.
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