Teaching Treasures™ Literacy



Literacy

Literacy is the ability to read and write a language proficiently, how we gauge the proficiently of any persons literacy skills, is performed by testing their understanding or comprehension of written text. A study in USA was conducted in 1992 and found that on average only 15% of the population had excellent literacy, 43% had average skills and the rest of the population basic to non existent literacy skills. By these statistics we can clearly see that there is a need for teachers and parents to spend more time teaching the important subject of reading or rather teach the love of reading books to children, especially if you find your child is not coping with reading text suited to their age.

Children become heavily disadvantaged if they only have basic reading skills. If you have a child that has less than average standard for their reading skills, we strongly suggest that you encourage them to read more books and spend time with your child improving their standard, it is very important for their future.

The power of a person's literacy not only relies in the ability to read and write, but the ability to put these skills to work in shaping the course of their life. Higher standards in literacy enables us to better understand the world around us, it can also provide us the keys to a deeper understanding of more complex concepts. Good literacy skills can transform your life and your child's, don't let your child miss out on their full potential.

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At Teaching Treasures Publications we provide a wealth of learning to read teaching materials, a selection of informational articles about parenting, teaching and tutoring. Our teaching tools and materials are also used for ESL and adult literacy. All the teaching resources we provide are useful for parents, teachers and volunteers improving literacy skills. Topics we write about include teaching help, word study, word families and reading methods that cover language experience the phonics approach and lots more. We also encourage the use of a wide variety of children's literature and non fiction books. Check out our new learn to read course packed full of easy to follow guides for parents to successfully teach their child to read and write.

It is also very interesting to read part of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority statement on the outcomes students should achieve in literacy, they state that. "Students should become literate as they develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions to interpret and use language confidently for learning and communicating in and out of school and for participating effectively in society". Wow that's a mouthful, this statement says a lot but are these stated outcomes being achieved for the majority of students within the education system? They go on to say that, "literacy involves students in listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print, visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes in a range of contexts".

With all that said, these statements really do not explain how they are going achieve the stated outcomes, "they are just statements of a broad structure of what can be expected "! I am sure that the authorities aspirations are very admirable with these stated outcomes but the question should be raised. Why do we hear and read so many complaints from parents who are left at the end of each day with the task of educating their children? In an article I read recently a parent asked why she was left explaining at night complex mathematics to her child? While that day her child did a two hour cooking class.

Her analogy of this was... she should be teaching the fun things like learning to prepare food to her child, while the teachers teach the more complex subject of mathematics. I would have to agree, but as our educational administrators dump more stated outcomes, the less time teachers have to spend on the more important subjects like literacy. Put yourself in the teachers shoes, would you rather toil with 25 children explaining and teaching complex maths or even complex literary texts and concepts? Or spend time teaching the fun activity that keeps your students engaged and eager to participate?

I am not one to discourage homework for children, but consideration of the child and parents should be carefully considered when handing out homework, especially if a child has poor literacy skills. Priority should be be centred on getting that child's literacy skills up to scratch and the rest will fall into place as the child develops a deeper interest in researching literature.

© 2015 All rights reserved Ingrid Griggs

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References:

(1992) National Adult Literacy Survey
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Centre for Education Statistics.
Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/NAAL/kf_demographics.asp

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/literacy/introduction/introduction

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