English speakers who have achieved basic literacy demonstrate the following skills and characteristics:
Write a handwritten note that the recipient can read without struggling to decipher the letters or the meaning.
Spell everyday vocabulary such as definite and calendar correctly without digital help.
Are not intimidated by â€œbig wordsâ€ because they know how to use a dictionary to check the spelling, meaning, and pronunciation of an unfamiliar word.
Know how to speak more than one dialect of Englishâ€”and when to speak which.
Know the most basic grammatical rules of standard American English.
Know how to find information in the old technology called â€œbooks.â€
Sometimes prefer reading to TV.
Have a general notion of US history and the USÂ form of government.
Have a general acquaintance with significant English works of literature.
Have a general notion of world geography, history, religion, and literature.
Can think critically about statements made in such different contexts as advertising, entertainment, news reporting, and books written in an earlier century.