Reading + Writing = Literacy

What is literacy? A question asked by some but should be asked by many. As you can see, I included the basics of literacy, reading and writing. And when added together equal literacy. Two forms of communication that we’re all familiar with. But, what exactly is literacy?

According to the Report of the National Reading Panel, the definition of literacy is basically “text comprehension, the ability to make meaning, [which] is the ultimate goal of reading. It requires specific skills and strategies, vocabulary, background knowledge, and verbal reasoning skills. Written expression refers to a highly complex, cognitive, self-directed process.”

So, as I mentioned, the definition of literacy is reading and writing and a whole lot more. The Report of the National Reading Panel shares that literacy includes five components that lead to comprehensive literacy instruction:

  • Phonemic awareness(PA)—an awareness of and the ability to manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words;
  • Phonics(P)—the study and use of sound/spelling correspondences and syllable patterns to help students read written words;
  • Fluency(F)—reading text with sufficient speed, accuracy and expression to support comprehension;
  • Vocabulary(V)—the body of words and their meanings that students must understand to comprehend text; (the Literacy How reading model includes Morphology with Vocabulary); and
  • Text comprehension(TC)—the ability to make meaning requiring specific skills and strategies, vocabulary, background knowledge and verbal reasoning skills.(Dickinson, Golinkoff & Hirsh-Pasek, 2010).

The panel continues to say that “being literate includes more than reading” which leads us beyond these essential components [to] several additional components: oral language (OL)spelling (S)syntax (SYN), and written expression (WE).  And at the core of these components is the “foundation for both aspects of reading—word reading and comprehension.” Oral language is needed to for both reading and listening comprehension.

Take a look at a model of The Literacy How Reading Wheel

Happy Learning! Happy Teaching! Happy Learning!

Literacy Art by Iris


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