Literacy & Its Consequences
This paper delves into the consequences of literacy. Moreover, it shows a relationship between writing and knowledge structures in the educational institutions. Literacy theory and research have been quite distinct, overlapping and with different historical backgrounds Thus, all over the 20[th] century, the relationship between them was not considered as a subject of either theoretical or rational issue.
Yet, that diminutive though a powerful structure of learning and research into the interrelationships between literacy also motivated on the ways in which those interactions might impact learning, and informed education. It was primarily inspired and developed by thorough study of cognitive methods in the distinct fields of literacy, mainly from a constructivist outlook. Here, the literacy was connected to language and communication in addition to logic. This research nevertheless generally dealt with the literacy as a distinctive field of study. The late twentieth century was marked by a change in focus. The studies started to analyze the interaction between literacy as cognitive and communicative procedures.
The aims of the literacy in the earlier periods were not quite the same as in the present times. They were in conformity with the particular and were considered aimed to enhance the faulty primary and secondary education (Ong, 2006). Now, the research has continued its motivation in literacy as distinct, however in interrelated and interconnected ways, with fascination in it, has developed progressively. The divisions are now made between “literacy as the act of writing and reading and literacy as a way of thinking and speaking” (Langer, 1987). Language is a tool and literacy is “culturally based involves the higher intellectual skill appropriate to the culture, and is learned by children as they interact with families and communities”(Langer, 2). Langer`s views of literacy are wholly in agreement with the division Collins (1995) made between “a universalist or autonomous literacy, seen as a general, uniform set of techniques and uses of language, with identifiable stages and clear consequences for culture and cognition, and relativist or situated literacies, seen as diverse, historically and culturally variable practices with texts” (Collins, 75-76). Considering these progressive viewpoints, literacy research has a wider scope. Whilst the competencies, methods and interaction of literacy continued to be significant, they are much less divergent. Hence, the primary aim of research on literacy studies is embedded in the communicative and cultural structure. The literacy studies are much affected by the domain of anthropology and ethnography. Thus, the literacy studies now study how it was used, and for what objectives.
Many researchers helped in contributing towards a rising trend of literacy by motivating on students` involvement in the assignments, explaining how from the early years, the students utilize signs and symbols to realize and communicate meaning, even as they are first understanding the traditionally recognized rules. As a result of the need to communicate through literacy, the students progressively accept both symbols and the rules of use. It should be noted that many second grade students have a tendency to copy the style and structure of the basals utilized for reading instruction, which impacted the organizational structures and linguistic complexity of the students` writing.
Literacy Processes: Similarities and Differences
Tierney & Pearson (1983:568-580) claimed that both readers and writers created meaning. They explained as vital aspects of the efficient composing procedure namely: planning, drafting, aligning, revising, and supervision. Moreover, they noted “these acts of composing as involving continuous, recurring, and recursive transactions among readers and writers, their respective inner selves, and their perceptions of each other`s goals and desires” (p. 578). They differentiate their theory of past concepts of literacy in various ways comprising of dealing with the two fields as multi-modal procedures and considering the inner and communicative characteristics of the writer and reader. Tierney (1985:109-116), suggested that the function also played a part, “Both reading and writing are tools in accordance with the purposes they serve they cannot be extracted from the context” (p. 115).
Literacy as a Community Event
There was growing fascinations in the relationships regarding the writings and the ways in which communicative relationships amongst the people, and the literacy affecting the various community events. The studies that continue to develop from this course asks the people to review past ways of looking at literacy judged as intertwined and inseparable language means. From this outlook, the focus of research turns to literate activities and events. Here, literacy implies the capability to use the language and notion engaged when people seem sensible in various circumstances it entails approaches that are studied in the many frameworks of life (Langer, 1987). The purpose and uses of literacy in addition to the images and other semiotic meaning-bearing procedures are experienced and utilized in the various daily life experiences. Research from this viewpoint has inspired the ways in which youths use language to create meaning within specific socio-cultural communities. The studies observe the current activities that comprise literacy events taking place in the classroom and in the community generally. Literacy is incorporated within and vital to these current events.
Langer (1997:16-22) explained several years of research which studied how people in school and in school-like environment view and analyze when they are involved with literature and how classroom discussions might promote literacy growth. She noted that “envisionment-building” literature classes, ask learners to be members of a community where they can have their ideas and diversity with others and “expect those differences to move their own thinking toward more individually rich, but never singular interpretations” (p. 10).
Langer`s research also showed that a shared, wide range of literature activities provided people of different ages, linguistic and cultural backgrounds with the prospects to “become aware of and communicate language and discourse differences as well as to learn English literacy. Despite their ages, be they 2 or 42 years old, they were members of a language and literacy- rich environment where they learned to talk about and control features of language and form–where the literature that was sought and valued was their own” (p. 9).
The learners in the envisionment-building classroom setting and those engaged in the wide-ranged activities are frequent and simultaneously engaged in literacy activities and are not judged as distinct in time or in purpose. Moreover, they “are never regarded as skills, activities, or ends in themselves, but as tools of language” (Langer, 140).
The literacy activities emerge when children draw, and label images, and create, imitate or restate stories. Over all these periods they are involved in literary behaviors that are vital aspects of the language growth procedures. It is noted that children`s literacy growth is directly related to the various traditions that affect them, specifically, to their understanding of literacy`s strong significance to their current relationships with friends and to their deliberations on their skills. By means of the support of the cohort and adult members of children`s literary communities, children were taught that language could be utilized for practical objectives.
The research necessitates that people reassess how they comprehend the link between writing and reading. Hence from this outlook, writing and reading are closely linked and entrenched in the larger image of literacy. As well, it motivates the people to deliberate on the significance of literacy. Lastly, it asks the people to take a closer view of the ways in which literacy is created and shown in various environments.
In considering literacy as universalist, independant or as schooled literacy, what are significant are those attitudes, practices, skills, or undertaking that is conventionally linked with reading and writing. Along with this explanation, one becomes knowledgeable as a result of independent or instructor-led relationship with written texts. The people`s level of literacy, and the ensuing label of educated or uneducated, is established by means of the testing and evaluation of these competencies. Literacy then is though to be a homogeneous, structured concept which is present and is recognized separately in a socio-cultural framework. Besides, this concept of literacy is generally the basis by which schools and the community establishes the peoples` mental power, educability and the prospects to earn power in the labor force.
Some children, as community members, are familiar with the literary thoughts and behavior that might not be displayed in the classroom environment. Thus, children in these communities generally have great troubles to be successful in school. It is believed that teachers assist the children from the communities to narrow the disparities between their home and community literacy competencies and those of the school. People are themselves incapable to create literary habits on the present plethora of writings available and thus should resort to traditional oral methods (Havelock, 1967).
The above studies focused on ways in which literacy can be used as a means to make sense of the world and to express thoughts that show and convey literary knowledge and understanding.
Collins, J. Literacy and Literacies. Annual Review of Anthropology 24, 75-93. 1995.
Havelock, Eric A. (1967). Preface to Plato. New York. Grosset & Dunlap.
Langer, J.A. Language, literacy, and culture: Issues of society and schooling. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. 1987.
Langer, J. A. Thinking and Doing Literature: An 8-Year Study. English Journal, 87, 2, 16-22. 1997.
Ong, W. (2006). Literacy and Orality in Our Times.
Tierney, R. J. Reading Writing Relationships: A Glimpse at Some Facets. Reading Canada Lecture, 3 (2), 109-116. 1985.
Tierney, R. J. & Pearson, P.D. Toward a Composing Model of Reading. Language Arts, 60 (5), 568-580. 1983.
Literacy & Its Consequences