The Challenges of Functional Adult Literacy: A Descriptive Study on EFL Learners in Beqaa District
Keywords:21st-century skills, functional adult literacy, EFL learners, Lebanon
The world witnesses a rapid change as a result of the technological revolution that
shapes people's daily lives. This new lifestyle demands from 21st-century students new skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and computer skills. However, it is noticeable that literate people in Lebanon lack these skills which hinder their success at the professional and social levels. In this way, functional literacy is needed to help the literate to read, write, do calculations, and solve technical problems in the social and professional context. Therefore, this research conducted descriptive research on 100 EFL literate in the Beqaa using a questionnaire and a poll to test functional literacy level and to determine the challenges that prevent adult literates to act as functional literate in the 21st-century. The results affirmed that nearly half of EFL adult literates in the Beqaa district can act as functional literates, but the majority of them are at the intermediate level. The results also revealed that they need more improvements regarding developing English skills, technological skills, and numeracy skills. Thus, it is recommended to design training courses that develop functional adult literacy skills by presenting them in a procedure that depends on promoting communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and computer skills so that that the adult learners can substitute the gaps they missed in their educational systems and contribute in the sustainable development of the society
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