1) You are reading this. No doubt you rarely give any thought to now to your ability to do this.
2) What about people who cannot do this? What about those people who cannot write clearly and confidently?
3) Concerns about young adult literacy and numeracy are frequently expressed by universities, employers, the prison service and the OECD.
4) You cannot show this to people with poor standards of literacy. You will need to read it to them or explain it in your own words.
5) How important for us are the following?
- Legal contracts, employment, services and sales.
- Instructions and recipes.
- Witness statements.
- Medical records.
- Journalism, politics and the art of persuasion.
6) When we speak to someone they can ask us to explain anything we have failed to make clear.
When someone reads something we have written we are unlikely to be with them so they will not be able to question us directly about anything we have failed to make clear. Unless we write clearly the first time round we will have failed.
7) Failure at school is not the end of the world. I failed English literature at school but later became an examiner for the subject.
8) You can see more of what I have written about literacy,
on The Times web site – http://www.peterinson.net/peters-advice-on-times-website/
and on my blog – http://www.peterinson.net/literacy-for-flirting/