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My Theory of Literacy - Essay Example

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25 September 2011. My theory of literacy Literacy has been defined in numerous ways over the last century. A vast majority of theorists and educationalists hold mutual consensus upon the definition of literacy as an individual’s tendency to write and read…
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Download file to see previous pages Computer skills are needed in education as well as in the job. What good an individual that can just read and write do in the contemporary organization in which manual work has been replaced with mechanical work? In the past, individuals with an ability to write and read were considered literate because these two skills sufficed to be employed in any organization, but contemporary organizations are way more demanding. The contemporary definition of literacy is incomplete unless the significance of computer skills is acknowledged and set as one of the criteria for judgment of an individual literacy. Charles Bazerman defined literacy in these words, “Literacy does not require or inexorably lead to any particular development, but it is a powerful tool available for organizing, extending, providing resources for, and transforming all of our social endeavors” (Bazerman cited in Goggin). Writing is conventionally associated with creativity. Every piece of writing has to be original or it would be considered as plagiarized. Thus, writing is essentially a creation and the writer is an inventor, but Bazerman does not consider such a person necessarily literate. His definition of literacy requires a literate person to be able to organize, promote, support and transform his/her social efforts using his/her literary skills. All of these functions are achieved with a computer these days. Computer helps organize the data. Programs like Microsoft Excel help not only organize the data, but also perform different kinds of functions upon it. Programs like Corel Draw transform imagination into reality. An in-depth analysis of the computer skills suggests that use of computer does a lot to improve a person’s social and critical analysis skills. “Many contemporary perspectives on literacy view scripted text as one component of complex acts and practices of written communication that occur in social contexts” (Goggin). Modern age is characterized by social media. Today, writing has evolved so much that it encapsulates a lot of linguistic styles that were unknown to the writers of the past. Old literature is characterized by formality. Modern literature is informal to the maximum limits. In the past, there used to be abbreviations for long words. Nowadays, there are abbreviations for phrases. For example, “also known as” is written as “aka”, “laughing out loud” is written as “lol”. These are only two of the hundreds of abbreviations that chatting on social media websites has given birth to. Today, an individual who is able to write but does not understand or use these abbreviations in the scripts is as illiterate as anyone in the past who could not write. These abbreviations and such other modifications of literature are a result of the time-based modification in the assumptions and values of people. Robert Scholes had realized the importance of modern and emerging linguistic patterns in the writing back in 1985. He expressed his realization in these words: What students need from us . . . now is the kind of knowledge and skill that will enable them to make sense of their worlds, to determine their own interests, both individual and collective, to see through the manipulations of all sorts of texts in all sorts of media, and to express their own views in some appropriate manner. (Scholes cited in Schwartz). Of the two texts, Schwartz has presented a more rational analysis of the concept of literacy by emphasizing upon the need to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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