Literacy and People

Topics: Literacy, Reading, Knowledge Pages: 3 (941 words) Published: March 19, 2013
“Literacy” is an often discussed topic. Be able to read and write is not as simple as it looks; literacy is one of important communication skills in today world. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, “Literacy” means “ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.” In other words, a person has the ability to understand and exchange of opinions and views in a society, and thus participate in this society. So if literacy is so important to everyone, then how does the reality look like?

We start at very early years to learn reading and writing, so we forget that reading and writing actually are a fairly complex skill, it takes years to learn and memorize. Even in the highest level of civilization country, such as US, the proportion of literate adults has never reached 100%. According to an article “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society” by Jonathan Kozol, there are 60 million people that are “functionally illiterate” in 1980, and he demonstrate an accurate portrait of the life illiterates live on a day-to-day basis and feel miserable. Even literate people, there are only a small number of people with a high level of reading and writing skills. In human history, the literacy was a privilege. In “Learning to Read and Write” by Frederick Douglass and “Learning to Read” by Malcolm X. They both demonstrate how important the basic reading and writing skills are and people could use it as a simple tools to impact people and auto gnosis and social change. To be literacy also is very important to people who want to participate in their society and make them life easier. In “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” by Sherman...
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