11 Million Americans Don’t Know English

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A revelation: “All developing and underdeveloped countries have a large number of illiterates!” You are neither surprised nor amused…I bet! “Revelation? Joking or what…!” you might say. And why should you be? It’s been a Third World truth since ages. But what if you were to hear that 11 million Americans can’t read English? You might say again, “Joking or what?” But this time, it’s a TRUTH.

This graph depicts results of a survey conducted in 1998

Howsoever incredible it may sound, the fact remains that one out of every 20 American adults can’t make out the head and tail of English language, leave apart English literature, according to a federal study conducted recently. This means that no less than 11 million Americans are unfit for performing even everyday tasks.

The survey studied a varied sample of 19,000 adults, who are living in homes, college hostels and even those behind the bar. As many as 30 million adults have “below basic” skills in English language. Their ability is so limited that they may not be able to make sense of a simple pamphlet, for example. However, those declared “illiterates” in the study include those, who may be well-versed with Spanish or any other foreign language but are unable to comprehend texts in English.

Estimated World Illiteracy Rates, 2000

Illiteracy is a blot for any progressive society, and more so in case of America, the “Global Superpower” (sounds hollow, no?). There must be something seriously wrong with the system of that country where a sizeable number of people don’t know even their mother tongue that also happens to be the world’s lingua franca, incidentally.

Will you do something about it, Mr. Bush? At least, do give some thought to the issue if at all you get some free time after bothering for the rest of the world!

Also Check Out: Projected World Illiteracy Rate – 1970 to 2015

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