Literacy is a very important skill that can affect several aspects of life. Literacy can be taught in a variety of ways, and usually begins at a young age. The ways in which literacy is taught largely impacts an individual’s ability to be literate – each method of literacy training varies and has advantages and disadvantages. Literacy is an essential skill that can be taught effectively by using a sequential process that incorporates a combination of techniques and methods based on individual need.
Literacy includes reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Children begin learning these skills typically before entering school, and will continue to learn and use these skills throughout life. Each and every individual develops a literate identity and builds personal theories of literacy (Beach & Ward, 2013). This literate identity is built and created based on how an individual is taught, and will essentially follow him/her throughout the course of his/her life. Being illiterate, or not being able to read, write, or have comprehension of language can affect the way individual’s think and feel about themselves, and can be a determining factor in how an individual interacts with others and what he/she may accomplish in life. Literacy is something that affects all individuals, whether positively or negatively, and will impact numerous aspects of their lives.
In order for literacy to be learned successfully, no single method of teaching can be enforced. Instead, learners should be exposed to a variety of methods and strategies that will ensure that what is taught is actually comprehended and learned. According to the New South Wales Department of Education and Training (2009), there are eight critical aspects of literacy development, which include reading text, comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, aspects of writing, aspects of speaking, phonics, phonemic awareness, and concepts about print. Each of these eight aspects is equally important; each of these eight aspects requires different methods and techniques when being taught so that learners become familiar with and understand each. These eight aspects build on and feed off of one another, and shall be taught and developed with support.
The teaching of literacy should be done in steps, similar to the concept of scaffolding. Rodrigues and Smith (2014) claim that using a scaffolding approach to teaching literacy provide learners with a foundation, and prepares learners for the next step. Learners should be provided with modeled, guided, and independent teaching.
In modeled teaching, scaffolding is direct and teacher led (New South Wales Department of Education and Training, 2009). Modeled teaching involves leading, demonstrating, modeling, and explaining what is to be learned (New South Wales Department of Education and Training, 2009). Learners should be provided with illustrations, examples, graphic organizers, word cards, enlarged texts, and summaries when new concepts are introduced and need...