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Adults learning to read

Question: Which country has 2.4m adults who cannot read or can barely read? Answer: England. Shocking as it is, together we can remove the stigma of adult illiteracy by letting people speak up and learn to read. There is no shame in learning to read as an adult. Do you know any grown-ups who want to improve their reading skills? 


Why the effort?

Many adults feel ashamed that they cannot read. Worse, these folks are 5-times more likely to be unemployed and 4-times more likely to experience long-term unemployment. Sadly, they are unable to support their own children’s learning. It is estimated that low levels of literacy cost the UK an estimated £81bn a year in lost earnings and increased welfare spending. Likewise reading pays, as incomes are higher in countries where more adults reach the highest levels of literacy proficiency.

What is reading?

  • It means be able to use the alphabet and sound words out until they are familiar enough with the vocabulary to recognize it by sight.
  • The more vocabulary known, the easier it will be to guess at the meaning of unknown words.
  • Being able to follow narratives and identifying the gist, main ideas and specific details of a text.

The power of reading

  1. Reading books significantly reduces feelings of loneliness for most adults.
  2. Higher literacy skills are associated with being more likely to trust others.
  3. Reading for pleasure enhances empathy, understanding of the self, and the ability to understand one's own and others' identities.

If people emerge from the shadows and own up to their reading difficulties, they can learn to read, often leading to happier lives. As a parent, they can read to their children and be part the education process, breaking the cycle of illiteracy. Everyday tasks become easier such as paying household bills or understanding medicine instructions. Reading will boost anyone’s confidence.

Protect your salary with ChildMax, as it pays your take home salary while you are on 12 months’ unpaid leave, caring for a sick child. It starts from £49.50 or for easy budgeting an initial payment of £8.25 followed by 11 monthly payments of £3.75.

Visit at  or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.


Date: 12 July 2021 by max robinson