Tips on Improving Adult Literacy

28th January 2015

Many of us know what it’s like to be in a foreign country where no-one speaks your language, the items sold in the shops are unidentifiable because of the strange writing and you struggle to order in a restaurant because you simply cannot understand what’s written on the menu. This can turn into a frustrating and often embarrassing scenario for many people and can make you realise just how much we take being able to read and to understand for granted. Well, this is the case every day for lots of people who have difficulty reading effectively; it can pose challenges and barriers where most of us do not even pay a second thought.

The adult literacy rate in the United Kingdom may shock some people, especially for a country which most people think of as being on the whole, well-educated and well-developed. In fact, roughly 5.2 million people in England are categorised as functionally illiterate and this figure doesn’t take into account Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

In view of this, it is crucial as a society we do our utmost to ensure everyone can read effectively for their own benefit, for the benefit of their families and for the good of their communities.  

So what can we do to help resolve this problem and to give more support to those who really do need a little bit of help. Recognising those who need that extra support is often the first step of the process, and then getting them to admit to themselves and recognise they need help is usually the next.

So how can you help someone you know to embrace the new challenge that reading provides and help them to improve their lives immeasurably? provides some great tips on how you can support someone who needs an extra hand in learning to read more effectively. Just click on the link to find out more. And don’t forget to check out our own range of synthetic phonics learning resources at, designed and created especially with older learners in mind.


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