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In the United States, 20 percent of the adult population is marginally literate. Of these roughly 30 million people, approximately 1.8 million are enrolled in basic skills literacy programs. Webster's New World has created a dictionary that is uniquely designed to help these beginning readers.

What are these basic skills literacy programs?
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Programs to help them with the basic skills to attain literacy.

Help with reading and writing fundamentals.
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Hi,

You might consider the term 'functional illiteracy', meaning a level of illiteracy that causes employment problems.

Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_illiteracy

Best wishes, Clive
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Hi Barbara,

Is this really true that 20 percent of adult Americans are marginally literate? In a country like the US!
I was commenting on your specific question. I'm not famliar with this statistic otherwise.

A few google hits show the rate as anywhere between 80% and 99% literacy, depending on how it's defined.
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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
Thanks for the link, Clive.