Journal article Open Access
The article is about the topic of literacy as specific Italian issue; it is briefly introduced in its numerical and quantitative terms and its geographical distribution in the Italian regional territories. Moreover, the focus is set on the meaning of the distinction between alphabetization and literacy, whereas the importance of specific alphabets and cultures is highlighted as well as a perspective of continuity between the forementioned situations, that is also historically defined. The topic is resumed in light of the concepts of “returning illiteracy” and “multiple literacies” and as main question in the development of adult education, to which many important authors have contributed. In the conclusions, we face the question of the orientation and validity of the survey, on which background a certain perspective of functionality is outlined. The question posed claims if it might be necessary to reconsider a survey’s perspective that represents a view on alphabetic competencies that is too strictly focused on productivity.