Measuring the Impact of Literacy Programs on Social Inclusion, Health and Labour Market Participation: A Study of a Dutch Program

Maurice De Greef, Mien Segers, Jan Nijhuis, Merel Heimens Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Nowadays still 24.5% of the European population are at risk of poverty and can be considered as citizens risking social exclusion. A low level of proficiency in literacy skills is indicated as one of the important reasons for social exclusion. It is argued that literacy programs for vulnerable adults act as a lever for the improvement of literacy and in turn for enhancing participants’ social inclusion, health as well as labour market position. However, to date, evidence on the impact of these programs is scarce. This study aims to fill this gap by measuring the outcomes of the Dutch program ‘Language for Life’ (‘Taal voor het Leven’). The findings indicate that after five months, for many social inclusion indicators, more than half of the participants group shows an increase. Improvement in psychical and psychological health and in labour market position is less prominent than improvement in the social inclusion indicators. This study does not only support the importance of a policy in literacy (on national or regional level) aiming at increasing social inclusion by offering possibilities to improve language proficiency. Moreover, it aims to contribute to the investment in research aiming to monitor the outcomes of language programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-123
Number of pages27
JournalAndragogical Studies
Volume2023
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • literacy programs
  • adult learning
  • educational impact
  • literacy
  • social inclusion

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