Tuesday - June 19, 2018
Many Deficient In English Speaking Skills
Written by Bruce Ferrell   
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 07:06

GREENSBORO -- An estimated one in five adults are unable to read English welll enough to function in society, and do basic tasks such as fill out a job application. September is National Literacy Month, and organizations such as Reading Connections in Guilford County work with adults to overcome their inability to read. Jennifer Gore, the executive director of Reading Connections, warned that the problem isn't going away.

"It's not an issue that has waned over time, and there's many, many, many reasons for that," she said. "We serve thousands and thousands of people, and we still see an incredible need."

Gore said that as many as 80 percent of adults who aren't proficient in reading have learning disabilities, adding that the immigrant population also includes people who cannot read English.

Alejandra Marquez immigrated to Guilford County four years ago from Venezuela. In her home country she was studying to become certified as a project manager and now attends tutoring at Reading Connections so she can pass the test.

"It's so difficult because you have to learn all of that in English again, and I already had studied in Spanish for that."

Jennifer Gore said that the current job market and the decline in basic manufacturing jobs make it difficult for people lacking reading skills to find work.

"Adults that we serve are the last hired and often the first fired, and we've also seen tremendous shifts in available jobs for people," she said.

Groups such as Reading Connections and others emphasize the importance of early-childhood education in preventing the continuation of adult illiteracy. Gore added that programs such as Head Start also offer assistance to parents struggling with their own reading skills, but many of these services are seeing cuts to their budgets.

(With Information from Stephanie Carson, North Carolina News Service)




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