Illiteracy in America
Illiteracy in America
Walking into a class room full of seniors, one might not suspect that some of the students can not read above a third grade reading level (Mcmaster). In fact one million teenagers from the ages of 12 and 17 do not have the reading ability of a third grader. Literacy among American people is important because it affects our economy greatly. Not only that but it also affects the lives of the American population. Illiteracy is a large problem within the United States that can be reasonably solved using different tactics.
Illiteracy is detrimental to any society. First people must know what it is before the problem can be fixed. Illiteracy can be defined as the inability to read or write. Lately illiteracy has been moved up to the ability to comprehend what one reads or writes. There are 40 to 44 million adults alone in the United States that do not have the ability to comprehend words that they are reading. This is an enormous problem that can lead to even more devastating effects.
Another step before solving the problem is that one must also know the roots of it. One of the many sources of illiteracy is right in the home. Many parents do not take the time to read to their children when they are at an early age. This introduces them to phonics and reading. It has been proven that children who have had their parents read to them have been known to have higher literary abilities (Sachwitz). Children who start learning about reading at an early age have a head start when they begin to have formal education. This leads to better acceptance of received material which in turn helps for a much better education. Another problem was a program inserted into the schooling system called the “Whol...
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...me a better America to live in.
Literacy is a catastrophic problem around the world. With the information age coming in at blazing speeds, literacy is needed among every one in the nation. To solve literacy’s problems must effectively the United States must go the roots of where illiteracy begins. When this starts to happen nation wide, all able will be able to have the ability to read. How else would a nation survive in a literate world with out being literate itself?
Mcmaster, Scott. “Illiteracy”. http://bvsd.k12.co.us/schools/cent/Newspaper/dec97/p7/stories/mcmaster.html. December 1997
Roberts, Larry. “Illiteracy on the Rise in America”. http://www.wsws.org/news/1998/oct1998 /ill-o14.shtml. October 1998.
Sachwitz, Jennifer. “Illiteracy in America: Past, Present, and Future”. http://www.uah.edu/colleges/liberal/education/S1998/jen.html. 1998
When I began high school, I believed that high school should not teach english because all I needed was the essentials. Later on I began to realize how important literacy is and how it should be improved throughout an individual’s life. Furthermore, improving upon literacy made me more aware and prone to people who seek to take advantage upon individuals.
I previously have mentioned, in prior reflection essays, just how important literacy is for a person’s future. Notice how I didn’t say “student’s” future? Literacy fluency effects several aspects of life, not only academically speaking. Ultimately, the literacy level of a child can directly affect their future as an adult. The whole point of Torgesen’s article “Catch Them Before They Fall” is about preventing students with literacy deficits from slipping through the cracks without the best possible, research-based interventions.
“A nation that does not read much does not know much. And a nation that does not know much is more likely to make poor choices in the home, the marketplace, the jury box, and the voting booth. And those decisions ultimately affect the entire nation...the literate and illiterate.” This quote by Jim Trelease accurately describes the state of our society today. The ability to read is so vital to our past, present, and future. However, though we have raised our standards, demanded higher test scores, and increased the pressure on our educators, there is little to show for it. Jim Trelease shares the statistic in his book, The Read-Aloud Handbook, that despite our desperate efforts, there has only been a one-point improvement in reading scores between
It is a means of communicating and expressing oneself to others; being literate allows ordinary people to address things thoroughly amongst their peers. Work becomes more efficient, people begin to understand America more, and they all become that much closer to self-actualization when being literate. For Rose, reading opened up his world that was passed the small hometown in South Vermont; he was able to pursue a college education even if he struggled through it all. Even for me, I was able to understand the importance of having critical literacy skills when encountered with teachers that challenged my capabilities as a student. Schools should be enforcing critical literacy skills because it will allow America, as a whole, to become more of a country that can express themselves through words. But literacy alone will not help our country become more helpful, we need the contribution of everyone, teachers, students, time, sweat, and tears to compel this country to becoming something even
“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right.... Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man,
As the world advances through the modern age of information and connectivity, having a literate society is crucial to being able to work effectively with the outside world. Jonathan Kozol’s book, The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society, portrays the life of illiterates in the modern world and argues that society has an ethical obligation to fix the problem of illiteracy. Kozol believes that illiteracy has the greatest effect on the education of current and future generations, the way food is consumed and wasted, and various economic costs to both illiterates and those around them. Kozol’s main point throughout his book is that society as a whole needs to face the problem of illiteracy, as not one single group or person can do it on their own.
Finding a definition of literacy is not as easy as it sounds. The Webster definition says that to be literate is to be” able to read and write.” But to some researchers, this definition is too simplistic, leading to multiple models of literacy. Most Americans adhere to the autonomous model, which falls closest to the standard, dictionary definition. Believers in this form say that literacy is a cognitive activity that students learn like any other basic skill. It has a set of proficiencies that one must master in order to be capable of decoding and encoding text (Alvermann, 2009; SIL International, 1999). A competing theory is the ideological model, which claims literacy is intrinsically linked to culture, and therefore what constitutes a “literate” individual is ever-changing. Society is the largest influence on literacy, according to this thought, and it is affected by politics, religion, philosophy and more (Alvermann, 2009; SIL International, 1999). These two are just the tip of the iceberg. For example, some studies recognize “literacy as competence,” which is a “measure of competence to do a given task or work in a given field,” (SIL International, 1999) such as being computer literate. Although more researchers are recognizing and exploring multiple literacies, the one that most influences American schools is the autonomous, cognitive model – the ability to read and write. For many, it seems a simple task, but millions of adolescents are struggling or reluctant readers, and there are many reasons why young readers have difficulty with reading. XXXXXX------NEED HELP WITH THESIS STATEMENT HERE PLEASE—(This paper will focus on the effects of low reading skills, some of the possible causes of reluctant and struggling readership...
The years prior to when an individual reaches the opportunity to attend college, is one of much importance. Especially when it comes to Literacy, this alone spreads into all subject areas. Literacy should be considered one of the most important aspects of a student’s career, if not the most important. Research by Bob Wise (2009) suggests that the main problem in today’s districts is that a good amount of administrations believe that literacy comes after school reform on the list of important topics. The belief is that the problem is not associated to all adolescents; therefore it should be the responsibility of the English teachers. The problem there is that students start to fall behind in all subjects and many end up having to repeat grade levels. Teachers in all subject areas should put a strong emphasis on literacy, and when the student starts to struggle, there responsibility should be to refer them to extra help or provide assistance themselves, its never beneficial for the student if the educators belie...
Last school year, I took a college class that required hours of field experience in a high school English class. I was able to observe different English classes and different high school grade levels. What made a big impact on me was to hear some of those high school students struggling with reading more than the third grade students I was teaching that same school year. These students were expected to read and comprehend grade level text when they were reading at an elementary level. Illiteracy “is considered the blackest mark of a person’s finally in school and the greatest failure in the American school system” (Tchudi, and Tchudi 75) and there are around twenty-five million functional illiterates in the United States (75). Why are our middle school and high school students still struggling with reading? What can English/Language arts teachers do to help these struggling readers?
It encompasses the basic human “abstract principles that describe and explain how reading, writing, and oral language develop” (Handsfield, 2016, pg 13) and how people use “the real world experiences of teachers and students” (Handsfield, 2016, pg 13). Literacy is the driving force behind every action that we take throughout the day. Literacy determines who we vote for, who we befriend, where we interact and many other, seemingly human activities. We use this as a driving force to alter our life and to ultimately accomplish our goals. Since the creation of our country citizens has fought for what the constitution deems as unalienable rights. The rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, many of those rights were taken away by person’s who felt that they were more superior than people that were different. Those who thought they were more superiors prevented the people that were different from learning, because they believed that once you had the knowledge you would be able to overreach those in power and overturn them. However, this is only the first instance of literacy playing an important role in our past, present, and future lives. Even to this day literacy plays a major role in voting. Kaplan and Venezky reported that researchers Kirsch and Jungeblut found that “reading was found to relate positively to vote as well as was literacy levels” (pg 354). Therefore, the more knowledge and understanding you have of the different aspects of language, reading, writing, and oral language the better life one is able to
It is a “reading world” we live in and students should be guaranteed every opportunity to succeed in this information driven society. Children today are overwhelmed with more reading material than ever before on billboard, television, the Internet and at school, causing reading to become a relevant and essential need in the life of every child (Lumpkin 1972). Being able to read has become the core of our information driven society. Yet, reading difficulties continue to plague the foundation of our education system creating a problem that only seems to be escalating. Hasselbring affirms that reading difficulties are a serious concern to our nation’s students claiming that, “as many as 20 percent of 17 year olds... [are] functionally illiterate and 44 percent of all high school students…[are] described as semi-illiterate”(2004). This is a harsh reality to face – a reality that stems from difficulties developed at the elementary level where reading complications arise and usually go unchecked. These reading difficulties are carri...
The importance of literacy is how it opens up the world to the reader, or writer. Through literacy, we can shape our thinking on certain topics or create original thought. The vivid detail inside of writing can allow the reader to picture the writing through their own mind without pictures, or any outside help. Malcolm X, who wrote “Literacy Behind Bars”, a literacy narrative about his time in prison, described how the world opened up to him through his readings, and how incredible his life was thereafter through his learning to read and write. Literacy enables you to formulate thought, thus allowing you to formulate opinions about certain social, political, or any other range of topics from an education in literacy.
First of all, lack of education will increase illiteracy rate. For individuals that lack of education, they will be lack of reading and writing skills. Illiteracy is an enormous social problem. It does not only prevent a person from getting a job, but it can also be dangerous. For example, people who are unable to read warning labels on medication packages may be at risk for overdose. In addition, they may
There are some theoreticians who view literacy in a form of social practice. In their view, social issues are also important components, as well as linguistic competence and understanding cognitive processes in language studies. Freire (1974) views literacy not only as a process of knowledge transformation, but also as a relationship of learners to the world. Vygotsky (1978) suggests two stages of development at social and individual level. In his view, literacy is a phenomenon that is created, shared, and changed by the members of a society. Gee (1996) similarly argues that becoming literate means apprenticeship with texts and apprenticeships in particular ways of being. In summary, literacy practices are not just about language, but about their interrelation with social practices.