Adolescent Literacy In America Essay

2604 words - 10 pages

The need for basic literacy skills is vital in order for our nation to continue to operate successfully. With approximately 5 million students, graduating below the National Standard for Literacy and unable to read, we must take a look at the curriculum and teaching techniques to assess whether the current systems need to be revised to better assure ALL students are successful. (Adolescent Literacy: A Policy Research Belief p. 1) The issue begins first with the definition of “Literacy”, and the fact that there are several aspects of literacy which are not currently included in the curriculum. Another issue is the “old” standards which are in place do not support the level of diversity which is now seen in many school systems. Then comes the issue of funding for schools and many schools in better neighborhoods obtain the highest level of private, and public funding and therefore are able to provide the higher level of education. However, in “The Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) Act”, Senator Patty Murray states, “Research also shows that low income children are less likely to have access to high quality, literacy rich environments. These same children perform 40% lower on assessments of literacy achievement even before they start kindergarten.” (Murray) So, whose responsibility is it to ensure the success of the upcoming generations? Will the Federal Government step in to create a better system for the generations to come? There are quite a few solutions which have been used by Teachers, but with such an “old” system in place the issues of diversity, financial demand, inflexibility of the curriculum to assist individual students, classroom sizes increasing on a yearly basis, pressure to achieve specific testing goals, and lack of a National Standardized Assessment it becomes difficult for Teachers to provide the high quality of education necessary for every students success.
For many decades now there has been a scope of definition for what “literacy” incorporates and those are the basics skills like reading, writing, and a variety of social and intellectual practices which involve basic communication skills, and hand and eye coordination. However, with the world of technology continually growing, and the level of diversity in the student population becoming vaster it has become necessary to also include speaking, listening, viewing, and visually aspects to the curriculum. One of the best ways to address a wide range of literacy is to pair the categories with each other based upon their connections in the real world. The categories include written language (reading & writing), spoken communication (listening & speaking), and visual language (viewing & visually representing). (Standards for the English Language Arts p. 6) Many of these can be done with a range of creative activities such as students being able to choose what they write about, share their own personal experiences in their writings, and then...

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