What is Literacy?

The word literacy gets thrown around quite a bit these days. There’s computer literacy, math literacy, and financial literacy — usually meaning to gain competence in any subject area. In many cases, gaining competence also means being able to read, write, and speak about any subject area. For me, literacy means teaching the skills necessary to communicate your ideas academically and professionally.

For education this requires scaffolded, differentiated instruction which in some cases is best acquired with a literacy specialist. For a first grader learning reading comprehension, literacy means being competent in letters and sounds that work together to make words, sentences, paragraphs, and finally stories.

For a third grader, literacy may mean writing her own stories with illustrations followed by showing and telling (or sharing) with teachers and classmates. As a child develops, reading and writing skills can waiver as other literacies compete for a child’s attention. If unnoticed, gaps in literacy skills can be detrimental to a child’s education.

Children read and write in EVERY SUBJECT.

Next time: learn how a literacy specialist can help close the gap in early literacy learning.