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To What Extent Have the Literacy Practices of English Speakers Been Shaped by Communication Technology - Essay Example

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To what extent have the literacy practices of English speakers been shaped by communication technology? The literacy practice that involves people interacting with written language has been under a great influence by communication technologies. Spoken language affects its listener by gestures and the tone of voice, the written language affects its reader with its linguistic and visual aspects…
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To What Extent Have the Literacy Practices of English Speakers Been Shaped by Communication Technology

Download file to see previous pages... In the start, the books were written for a specific class and were handwritten and expensive, therefore were only accessible to a specific class of readers. With the invention of printing machines and later digital communication technology made reading books more common. The production and reproduction of the physical form of text experienced a great deal of changes from its initial stage to the current form, resulting in gradual enhancement of the literacy practice. In the ancient world the words were inscribed in wax or clay tablets but now this carving technique is only used for decorative purposes. The alphabets taken from the Roman and Latin worlds did not allow much convenience with the pronunciation so they also went through change. The written language was more for the religious elite with no space among the words and an audible effort was made to apprehend the words. The Irish invention of word spacing and silent reading made it easy to be read and freed it from its conventional purposes (Allington, 2012). In the twelfth century the woodblock printing, which was originally invented in China, made the Europeans copy only the pictures on the page, later full text was also brought onto the page. The radical development came with the invention of hand press by Johannes Gutenberg in the fifteenth century which consisted of metal blocks containing letters on them, and in spite of it being very expensive it was used to fulfil the demand of books to the western society (Allington, 2012). This print culture was not cherished by all members of the society as the British politicians were afraid of mass literacy, before then the lower class had access only to chapbooks which contained outdated content. Church authorities attempted to deprive the common people of the literature. Newspapers were imposed with heavy tax by the British government to keep them out of the reach of the poor people with the Stamp Act of 1712. Despite all the hurdles put on mass literacy practice, English language was widely printed and literacy practice had increased enormously by the nineteenth century. It is stated (Eliot, 2007) that the literacy rate was 60 per cent in males and 45 per cent in females in 1800 which progressed to 94 per cent and 93 per cent by 1891. The printing press also went through rapid development in nineteenth century. The twentieth century brought more technological development as metal type printing vanished and photographic and chemical processing was established, this brought easy and fast reproduction of text in bulk setting up a wider range of readers by it being economical and accessible to all classes of the society. The industry of book production was in Edinburgh, Scotland in the seventeenth century and through printing English they managed to keep the English readers and readers from other colonies which maintained their British Empire. The less familiarity of the English language for Scottish people gave way to the publication of the first dictionary of the Scots and later with the political and national movements, the vernacular speeches and the ingenuity of writers made other languages to become print-language (Anderson, 2006, in Allington, 2012). The access to the books helped the writers from different regions to convey all the political, economic and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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