The increasing complexity of contemporary society demands a more versatile and highly knowledgeable human capital base. To effectively function in the workplace and in daily life, knowledge workers today need to utilise their literacy and comprehension skills in multifaceted situations they encounter. Exceptional adult literacy is considered to be vital to the economic wellbeing of countries in the global context. In an economy of knowledge-based industries, the demand for a more literate workforce contributes to greater productivity. Literacy skills enable adjustment to rapidly changing workplace requirements and leads to the development of advanced technical skills and lifelong learning skills. In 2006, New Zealand Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) assessment results indicated that 1.1 million New Zealanders, which equates to 43% of adults aged between 16 and 65, have literacy and numeracy skills below those needed to participate fully in a knowledge society. Over 80% of these people make up the workforce. Therefore, increasing the literacy level is a key strategic priority for the New Zealand education system that aims to build a high-skill, high-wage economy and an inclusive society where everyone can participate effectively (Tertiary Education Commission, 2008). This research paper presents findings on assessment of adult literacy at tertiary level, the effectiveness of in-class interventions, and the resulting improvements in literacy.
|Keywords:||Adult Literacy, Tertiary Education, Knowledge Society|
Lecturer, Curriculum Leader, Faculty of Creative Industries and Business, UNITEC Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
Lecturer, Faculty of Technology and Built Environment, UNITEC Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand