I am literate and I will land one on your schnoz if you say otherwise. In my internet world, I am surrounded by very literate people. I confess, it has made me try harder with my writing, especially with sentence construction which I frequently judge as poor. But I have improved.
My brothers and sister are literate, my parents were literate, my grandparents were literate. I had never met some who could not write a proper sentence. I can't remember anyone at school who wasn't literate. It is clear to me that even at the age of two and a half, Little Jo will be literate.
So I find it very disturbing that another of my nieces and my nephew are not what I would call particularly literate. They are my very literate Tradie Brother's children. The oldest, my nephew is not really bad and can express himself with the written, but his spelling and grammar are atrocious. A sentence starting with a capital letter and ending with a full stop? Nope. Not his style. His younger sister is the pick of the three. She seems to have it together. She is now in the tertiary education system and so needs to be able to write properly. Bit of chicken and egg there perhaps. The youngest, the teenage niece, I would judge as semi illiterate and I don't know why? She seems unable to even vaguely write properly. I don't see any signs of her being dyslexic.
Even when talking, the words and thoughts just spill out. Consequently I often have no idea what she is talking about. But the quantity of words are certainly there. She talks and talks.
I don't think her mother's side of the family are high in the literacy stakes. Could this be the reason? Genes? Upbringing? Poor schools? Combination of all? Is it as simple as being read to when you are very young?
Thoughts on why illiteracy happens welcome. I could search on the net, but I would like something a bit more personal.