Cealcy Essay: My Personal Definition Of Literacy

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How can we measure just how literate someone is when most of us will have very different definitions of literacy? As I think about what literacy means to me, the most common definition comes to mind. According to Oxford Dictionary, literacy is the ability to read and write. Also, literacy is competence or knowledge in a specified area. As far as my personal understanding of literacy goes, literacy gives us the opportunity to express what we are thinking or feeling. Based on these definitions, literacy is an indispensable part of life that is implanted in our daily happenings and affects how we interact with one another. It gives people the chance to discover and reflect on a text they have read or seen and is the essential skill of being able…show more content…
The person reading or writing something may have different upbringing, thoughts, or beliefs from the person who is writing or speaking to them. According to Anthony Giddens, “people both shape and are shaped by the social systems within which they live in a complex duality of structuration” (Hawisher and Selfe 262). The remarkable thing about literacy is it allows us to express what we are thinking and feeling. Literacy lets someone else read or hear our thoughts and allows it to mean whatever it may. Based on that, I believe that without literacy we would not be able to effectively…show more content…
Although we may agree that illiteracy is the inability to read and write, the estimation at which somebody is considered illiterate is not easy to distinguish. The term, illiterate, often is used when someone is simply using improper grammar. In fact, in schools all over the world, you will find Literacy classes where all that is taught is how to read and analyze texts and the basic guidelines of the English language. Hawaisher and Selfe stated the following: “Although the various educational institutions these people have attended as students, for instance, value computer-based literacies at some level, in English composition classes and in most official assessments of communication ability, the focus is primarily on conventional, alphabetic and print literacy” (pg. 264) I believe the definition of literacy should be changed so that these classes can focus more so on learning how to express oneself through reading or writing. This change will affect the Educator’s discourse community the most. The historic definition of literacy has already affected how today’s Educators were taught. This means that how they grade and evaluate their students is based on their traditional idea of literacy. However, it is also possible for people to reach and improve literacies outside of the classroom. The other gateways to access different literacy types are the workplace, different communities, and even at

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