What is literacy - Essay Example

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What is literacy

Within the parameters of intensively competitive labor and job markets, on the one hand, and global markets for goods and services, on the other, literacy, in all its variant forms and manifestations, has assumed unique importance.Whether as relates to immigrant L2 communities in the United States or native citizens, literacy often emerges as a non-negotiable criterion for employment and hence, the capacities and abilities of individuals to integrate into their societies and become constructive members therein. Given the importance of literacy, both on the individual and the societal levels, understanding what literacy means, clarifying the variances between L1 and L2 literacy and outlining the socio-cultural and ideological implications of literacy emerge as the primary concerns and objectives of this paper.Popular understandings of literacy as the ability to read and write, while accurate, effectively obscure the inherent complexities of the term and over-simplify its implications. As Speilmann and Radnofsky (2001) contend, literacy extends beyond the narrow parameters of the aforementioned definition to encompass the communicative skills requisite for both integration in society and the realization of individual career and social potentials and aspirations. Concurring with the aforementioned Kern (2000) defines literacy as "an elastic concept: its meaning varies according to the disciplinary lens through which one examines it." It is, from this definitional perspective, a mercurial and fluid concept, both difficult to pin down and even more problematic to pin down. ...Show more


Within the parameters of intensively competitive labor and job markets, on the one hand, and global markets for goods and services, on the other, literacy, in all its variant forms and manifestations, has assumed unique importance…
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