The Importance of Literacy

(I have learned the following in my LTS class)

When asked, “What is literacy?”. The typical answer of a person would be that it is the ability to read, write and understand it. This is true and most of the times this might be the case in which this word is only used. But we must understand that literacy means a whole lot more than just that.
The emergence of different types of literacy today is what makes the traditional definition of literacy somewhat invalid. One would only be able to understand what this means when we see these types of literacy that I’m talking about. The following are the different types of literacy.

1.Critical Literacy
This, I guess is the traditional definition of literacy. In this, it says that we must be able to comprehend what we read and we must be able to form our own opinion regarding it. We must be able to see more than what is written and be able to interpret it in the right way and just in the way that we want it to mean.

2.Cultural Literacy
As you can guess, this the type of literacy in which we must know about our own culture. We must know what makes us who we are and why we are like this. We must be able to appreciate and be able to explain why we are known for several stuff, why our national symbols are this things. This is a huge part of patriotism and being proud of our own culture.

3. Computer Lteracy
We are now in what they say the “Digital Age”. This the reason that makes computer literacy an important part of lives nowadays. What makes this important is that most of the information that we pass and share today is through the use of computers. Not being able to know how to use it might make a person feel left behind and late in the news.

4. Scientific Literacy
This is quite easy to guess what it means. Scientific literacy is the type of literacy in which we must know which is fact and which is just ficitional. We must be able to distinguish what is true from the fad. This is one of the hard types of literacy though since it is constantly changing. What might be right now, might be false tomorrow because of a newly found evidence. That’s why we must be literate enough and updated enough to be able to catch up in these changes

5. Mathematical Literacy
Like scientific literacy, this is quite hard to learn. We can all predict that mathematical literacy is the type of literacy in which we must know how to solve mathematical problems. Both simple and difficult. My favorite question in this type would be “How mathematically literate are you?” :D

6. Environmental Literacy
Environmental literacy is the ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the environment and the circumstances and conditions affecting it, particularly as relates to air, climate, land, food, energy, water and ecosystems. This is quite a technical definition. And it is actually important that we now include environmental literacy because the problems in our environment is increasing and we must continuously act to stop it.

7. Media Literacy
This is a type of literacy connected to computer literacy. Again living in the Digital Age shows that most of our information is passed and shared digitally. That’s why we now see a lot of commercials, posters and ads that promotes their own messages that will fit in the digital world. This show that we must be able to see, read and interpret the messages in all those posters and ads that they use. We must be able to tell which makes sense and which is complete grabage.

8. Social Literacy
And last but not the least is social literacy. This type of literacy helps to “manage play props and roles, support emotional well-being among participants, and facilitate collaboration” (Journal of Research in Childhood Education). It’s very important that a person must be able to understand the norms and expected behaviors of other people so that they can build cooperation among each other, as well as positive social dispositions.

Do you now see what I mean? Literacy is not just about reading and writing anymore. Literacy is being able to understand and comprehend a lot of things depending on the context that they are in. Literacy is a huge concern for us and it is an important part in a person’s life. It should be worrisome to all educators, future or present. Literacy is not just a topic needed to be addressed in English. It’s something that every subject matter needs to address- at least in some small part. Literacy is a huge part of our education.




-Grandiehl Shyrr Enriquez, 2012-29603



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