Study title
ALL - Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey. An International Survey Of Basic Skills In The Adult Population
Ref study 7746
Study language German
Contributing institutions
  • Evaluation
  • Einstellung
  • Alphabetisierung
  • Kenntnisstand
  • Leistung
  • Leistungsvergleich
  • Lesen
  • Unterricht
  • Vergleichende Erziehungswissenschaft
  • Vergleichende Forschung
  • Rechnen
  • Funktionaler Analphabetismus
  • All
Geographical space
ganze Schweiz; weitere teilnehmende Länder der ersten Runde: USA, Kanada, Italien, Norwegen, Niederlande, Schweden, Belgien und Bermudas
  • Switzerland
Switzerland has participated in the IALS project (International Adult Literacy Survey) in 1994 (German and French-speaking Switzerland) and 1998 (Italian-speaking Switzerland). This study of adults' ability to cope with everyday cognitive tasks has contributed greatly to the fact that the phenomenon of illiteracy began to gain wider attention, i.e. that many people have only partially acquired or then lost the basic skills that compulsory schooling is supposed to provide.
The ALL project is a follow-up to IALS, again under the authority of the OECD. The declared aim was to determine the human capital available in the participating countries by measuring certain basic skills in a sample of adults. A pilot study carried out in 2001 under the name ILSS (International Life Skills Survey) has made it possible to test the procedures and eliminate some less suitable parts of the tests.
In Switzerland, the ALL survey covered around 5,500 persons, of whom around 2,000 were in German-speaking Switzerland and another 2,000 in western Switzerland, as well as 1,500 in the Italian-speaking part of the country. The data were collected in individual interviews with the participating persons at home. The interviews included tests on literacy and numeracy and, in German and French-speaking Switzerland, problem-solving skills. In addition, data on socio-demographic characteristics of the participants, their positioning in the social environment or on topics such as attitudes and behaviour regarding further training or the use of modern information and communication technologies were also collected.
The cantons of Zurich and Geneva provided larger samples than the other cantons (around 800 each), as they had decided to tackle certain issues in greater depth. This is also the reason why German-speaking Switzerland and Suisse romande have a larger number of participants than Italian-speaking Switzerland. The data collection in the field was carried out in 2003. The international comparative report was compiled by Statistics Canada and the US National Center for Education Statistics and was published in 2005; the Swiss national report has been available since autumn 2006.
Methods (description)
Fähigkeitstests im Rahmen von Einzelinterviews
Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
  • Notter, Philipp; Arnold, Claudia; von Erlach, Emanuel; Hertig, Philippe. 2006. Lesen und Rechnen im Alltag. Grundkompetenzen von Erwachsenen in der Schweiz. Bundesamt für Statistik, Neuchâtel, 2006.
  • Notter, Philipp; Arnold, Claudia; von Erlach, Emanuel; Hertig, Philippe. 2006. Lire et calculer au quotidien. Compétences des adultes en Suisse. Office fédéral de la statistique, Neuchâtel, 2006.
Financed by

Mandating institution(s)
  • Bund und Kantone
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Web
Date created 03.05.2018
Date modified 16.07.2019
Start - End date 01.01.2002 - 28.12.2005