Aim of the article: to investigate peculiarities of basic adult education functioning in Canada. Research methods: to achieve the mentioned aim the following methods were applied: theoretical – deduction, induction, analogy, analysis, synthesis; sociological – analysis and systematization of data; historical methods – comparative historical method, chronological method. In Canada, basic education includes a spectrum of credit and non-credit programs for students, who are older than average schoolchildren. The main assignments of basic adult education are to increase the level of general literacy; to develop social skills; to improve the level of conscience and independence; to increase chances of job acquisition at job market; to improve technological competence; to improve communicative skills. The main factors of adult education development are: changes, which take place in social life, new content of social processes and their interconnection, broadening of spectrum of personality activity, high pace of information oldening, shortening of terms of information validity. Key factors of a high level of adult education efficacy are: condusive psychological climate, development of educational plan at the beginning of educational process, high level of financing, methodological background of every course, highly qualified teachers, application of the most effective strategies, high level of communication with community, development of students’ motivation. The main subtypes of literacy are family literacy, cultural literacy, adaptation literacy. Concept “illiteracy” presupposes social, cultural and technical illiteracy, which are united in “functional illiteracy”. In professional sphere, functional illiteracy is viewed as inability of a worker to fulfill his functional duties, because of the changes that take place at a work place. The main levels of literacy are: the first level presupposes inability to read and understand texts; the second level presupposes ability to read simple, easily written texts, but ability to interpret within the borders of general context and personality uderstands his/her low level of litracy; the third level is characterized by highly developed renading skills, but there are difficulties in text understanding; the fourth and the fifth levels are characterized by general cultural and professional skills and by ability to make many-sided analysis of information.