Literacy and Essential Skills

What do literacy and Essential Skills have to do with each other?

The first three Essential Skills (Reading Text, Document Use and Numeracy) are basic literacy skills - the kinds of skills that are taught in adult literacy programs in Ontario. Essential Skills provide people (employers, service professionals, governments) with a common way to talk about literacy skill development for adults.

Literacy and Essential Skills programming:

  • is basic education for adults in the area of reading, writing and numeracy
  • includes basic education in speaking/listening, computer and self-management/self-direction skills
  • has 3 levels for each of these above areas, corresponding to the Essential Skills levels
  • includes 4 streams: Anglophone (English), Francophone, Native and Deafblind

Myths You Shouldn't Believe About Essential Skills

Essential Skills are becoming a new way to talk about literacy skills. As Essential Skills burst onto education and workplace radars, a number of myths emerged:

  • Myth - Employers don't have to be concerned about Essential Skills if their employees are already functioning well in their jobs.
  • Myth - If there's a problem with basic skills in Canada, it's because of our high level of immigration.

Sounds familiar? For information on how and why the two statements above are myths, and for other important facts about Essential Skills, visit the ABC Life Literacy Canada website

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