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 editorsSulkunen, Sari; Nissinen, Kari; Malin, Antero

Journal or seriesEuropean Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults


Publication year2021

Publication date10/03/2021


Issue number2

Pages range207-222

PublisherLinköping University Electronic Press

Publication countrySweden

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen 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.

Keywordsadultsliteracyinformal learningreadingworking lifeleisurereading as recreation

Free keywordsadult literacy; informal learning; reading activities; work

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 13:58