Literacy Levels

Literacy agencies in Canada use the International Adult Survey Levels to assess the abilities of literacy clients.

International Adult Survey Levels Definitions:

Prose Level 1
Most of the tasks at this level require the reader to locate one piece of information in the text that is identical or synonymous to the information given in the directive.

eg. Use the instructions on the bottle to identify the maximum duration recommended for taking aspirin.

Prose Level 2
Tasks at this level tend to require the reader to locate one of more pieces of information in the text but several distracters may be present, or low-level inferences may be required.

eg. Identify a short piece of information about the characteristics of a garden plant, from a written article.

Prose Level 3
Tasks at this level tend to direct readers to search texts to match information that require low-level inferences or that meet specified conditions. Sometimes the reader is required to identify several pieces of information that are located in different sentences or paragraphs rather than in a single sentence.

eg. State which of a set of four movie reviews was the least favourable.

Prose Level 4
Level 4 tasks require readers to perform multiple-feature matching or to provide several responses where the requested information must be identified through text-base inferences.

eg. Answer a brief question on how to conduct a job interview, requiring the reader to read a pamphlet on recruitment interviews and integrate two pieces of information into a single sentence.

Prose Level 5
Some tasks at level 5 require the reader to search for information in dense text that contains a number of plausible distracters.

eg. Use the announcement from a personnel department to answer a question that uses different phrasing from that used in the text.