Definition Of Literacy Essay

1086 words - 4 pages

ILY Secretariat (1989) defines literacy as a relative concept, which encompasses a range of reading and writing skills. In international circles, the term basic literacy is used to indicate the ability to read and write your own name. The term functional literacy means the ability to read and write well enough to accomplish simple everyday reading and writing tasks in a particular society. For Australia, the goal of functional literacy in English is essential but not adequate. Literacy involves the integration of listening, speaking, reading, writing and critical thinking; it incorporates numeracy. It includes the cultural knowledge, which enables a speaker, writer or reader to recognise and use language appropriate to different social situation. For an advanced technological society such as Australia’s, our goal must be an active literacy, which allows people to use language to enhance their capacity to think, create and question, which helps them to become more aware of the world and empowers them to participate more effectively in society”. This definition aids in identifying what literacy is and what it means to be literate. ILY Secretariat (1989) also uses this definition to present the notion that literacy is a vital component in creating individuals who can have a positive contribution to society.

ILY Secretariat (1989) presents the ideology that literacy is key to a sustainable society, through the statements that ‘Australia’s goal is to have a active literacy, which helps individuals to become more aware of the world and empowers them to participate more effectively in society’. In conjunction with this statement they also highlight the fact that despite functional literacy being essential to a prosperous society, there is currently an inadequacy in the rates of literate Australians. Current estimates provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) state that in 2006 just over half of Australians between the age of 15-74 had adequate prose and document literacy skills. According to Australian Council for Education Research (2014) (ACER) the repercussions of not obtaining a functional level of literacy are not only to the individuals’ detriment, but it also impacts on the economy and productivity of the associated society. The ABS (2008) attributes this detriment to society on individuals not being skilled in literacy and numeracy, which hampers their ability to obtain meaningful employment in the modern day workforce. One contributing factor for individuals not acquiring a functional level of literacy identified by ABS (2008) is school attendance. The ABS (2008) states that individuals who hadn’t completed year 12 or an equivalent course were twice as likely to have poor prose literacy skills. This ideology therefore signifies the relevance that literacy has in our schooling system. Without a strong emphasis on literacy teachers are fundamentally disadvantaging their students and society as a whole. This statement has the...

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