A1 Journal article (refereed)
The role of informal learning in adults' literacy proficiency (2021)

Sulkunen, S., Nissinen, K., & Malin, A. (2021). The role of informal learning in adults' literacy proficiency. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 12(2), 207-222. https://doi.org/10.3384/rela.2000-7426.1325

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Sulkunen, Sari; Nissinen, Kari; Malin, Antero

Journal or series: European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults

eISSN: 2000-7426

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 10/03/2021

Volume: 12

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 207-222

Publisher: Linköping University Electronic Press

Publication country: Sweden

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3384/rela.2000-7426.1325

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/74708


This study used the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) dataset to examine informal literacy learning’s effects on adults’ literacy proficiency. Also, the factors associated with informal literacy learning at and outside of work were studied. The study participants were Nordic adults aged 35–65 years. The statistical method was regression analysis, and the results indicate that informal literacy activities at work are associated primarily with occupation, and informal literacy activities outside of work with education, parents’ education and gender. Initial education, occupation, language background and age exerted the strongest estimated associations with reading literacy proficiency. Informal learning, particularly reading outside of work, exerted a statistically significant effect independent of adults’ backgrounds, indicating that it may offer all adults the opportunity to develop literacy proficiency.

Keywords: adults; literacy; informal learning; reading; working life; leisure; reading as recreation

Free keywords: adult literacy; informal learning; reading activities; work

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 12:31