Adult literacy is essential to the economics of modern nations. It is crucial to individuals to have proficient literacy skills to make a difference to their prosperity. In 2003 the National Assessment of Adult Literacy used the following as a definition of literacy: using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential. This definition does not simply mean comprehending text it includes the range of information-processing skills that adults use in home, work and community. Literacy can be subdivided into three different categories: prose literacy, document literacy, and quantitative literacy.
Prose literacy is defined as editorials, news stories, poems and fiction; these can be broken down into two categories expository prose and narrative prose. Expository prose is printed information that defines, describes, or informs. Narrative prose tells a story. Prose literacy is divided into 5 different level of learning. The first level of prose requires a person to read a short passage of text and locate a single piece of information that is identical with the information given. The second level of prose literacy requires a person to locate a single piece of information in the text, compare and contrast easily identifiable information based on criteria provided in the question, or integrate a few pieces of information, when distracters were present or when low level inferences were required. Level 3 of the prose requires a person to match literal or synonymous information in the text with that requested in the question, to integrate many pieces of information from dense or lengthy text, or to generate a response based on information that could be easily identified in the text. The fourth level requires a person to search through text and match multiple features, and to integrate multiple pieces of information from complex passages. The last level requires a... [continues]
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