The PIAAC study based on two previous international studies with adults (16-65 years old): the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL). The conceptual and methodological insights gained from IALS and ALL were used to expand and improve cognitive competence assessment of adults in the PIAAC stude, for example, in sampling, measurement, data acquisition, and data processing, as well as weighting and estimating. An overview of the three studies and the conceptual changes can be found in Thorn (2009) and for Germany in Maehler (2018) (2.34 MB).
The aim of the IALS study was to collect basic skills qualifications; defined as “Using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.” (see Kirsch, Jugeblut und Campbell, 1992; Lehmann & Peek, 1996). In Germany the IALS study was conducted during autumn of 1994 and was led by Prof. Dr. Rainer Lehmann (Humboldt University Berlin).
|German IALS Study|
Data collection period
September 1994 - November 1994
16- to 65-year-old adults
Background Questionnaire; paper-based assessment in the domain literacy (prose, document and quantitative literacy)
|Main topics of Background Questionnaire||General information about the household and respondents; educational attainment and participation in further education; labour-force status and employment; skill use at work and in daily life|
User Guide (178 kB)
Codebook (56 kB)
Background Questionnaire (1.62 MB)
(directly to the document: “ZA6847_IALS_DataDistributionContract.pdf (138 kB)“)
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (2020). International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) - Germany. Data file version 1.0.0 [ZA6847]. Cologne: GESIS Data Archive. doi: 10.4232/1.13515