Free «Literacy Components» Essay Sample
Table of Contents
I. Components of Literacy
Literacy is the level of education characterized by the ability to do basic cognitive activities through the perception and transmission of the text information (Morrow & Gambrell, 2011). The main components of literacy include reading and writing abilities as well as communication skills. Reading teaches students to communicate with each other by sharing their own ideas, using vocabulary and demonstrating comprehension. Indeed, it develops personal awareness regarding different issues. Reading and writing skills allow students to express their thoughts using complex decoding standards.
II. Phonemic Awareness
Phonemic awareness gives a person an opportunity to hear, identify, and manipulate the phonemes that define the meaning of words. The phonetic system determines not only the physical properties but also the relationship between its constituent elements. Language and speech exist to fulfill a single task: to serve as the means of conveying information. Therefore, the function of sounds is to form the diversity of the words, to create a rhythm (an accent), and shape the tone with which the sentences receive different intonations (Lonigan, Purpura, Wilson, Walker, & Clancy-Menchettib, 2012). Speech sounds create language units and differentiate them. It is taught through the sound system descriptions for each language, for example, through the phonetic and phonological rules.
Phonics is a teaching method of reading and writing that allows learners to develop their phonemic awareness (Sykes, Wills, Rowlands, & Popple, 2012). It helps identify the correspondence between spelling and sounds. It gives the ability to decode English words by pronouncing them and memorizing the sound-spelling patterns. To clearly understand how a sound is read in different words, it is necessary to learn phonetic transcription. It serves like a second or parallel alphabet that helps achieve the correct pronunciation. Phonics is taught with the contrasting written and spoken units. In English words, the same vowel may sound differently, and learners should consider special rules for reading.
Fluency means the ability of a learner to read a text quickly, accurately, and expressively. It is important because it shows the level of comprehension of the context that leads to the further automatic recognition while reading silently. The observations on the dynamics of the reading process show that the higher fluency is, the better awareness of a reading material is (Morrow & Gambrell, 2011). The studies reveal that during the development of fluency skill, it is necessary to rely on the improvement of the most important mental processes, such as perception, memory, and thinking (Lonigan et al., 2012). Fluency depends on a correct pronunciation and identification of speech sounds, which, in turn, are impossible without a sufficient practice of coordinated movements of the vocal apparatus.
Vocabulary is a set of words that a particular person uses in his or her speech. Morrow & Gambrell (2011) believe that rich vocabulary is an indicator of the intellectual development of a person. Rich vocabulary helps people succeed in life, and, therefore, it is important to improve it constantly. For example, communication is the main source of the human vocabulary enrichment. While interacting, every participant uses his or her vocabulary. Many scholars advise to read books that are written comprehensibly and refers to one’s interests (Sykes et al., 2012). If a learner finds interesting words and expressions that he wants to remember, it is better to make notes and read them for several times. In addition, it is important to include these words in different contexts from real life.
Comprehension is a mental activity that allows a person to understand the content of the text. Many researchers believe that comprehension is the basis of communication and the whole life in society (Lonigan et al., 2012). It is one of the fundamental concepts in the field of humanities research. In linguistics, it allows a reader to study a problem while reading. Mental activity in the process of understanding the concepts is accompanied by the intellectual feelings. This activity deals with the complex process of perception. To improve comprehension, students may discuss the main points of the text in class or answer the questions in writing or oral forms.
VII. Balanced Literacy
Balanced literacy reflects a person’s level of writing and reading skills (Morrow & Gambrell, 2011). Traditionally, the word “competent” refers to a person who knows how to read and write. Balanced literacy also means the lack of grammatical and stylistic errors and compliance with the standards of literary language. Only educated people can have balanced literacy. Therefore, teachers use an integrated approach while working with learners on their knowledge. It means that they teach them how to read, write, comprehend, and build vocabulary with the help of various methods and techniques. Thus, a person does not have a balanced literacy if his vocabulary is poor or fluency is weak.
VIII. Interactive Read Aloud
Reading aloud is one of the most effective exercises for a speech development. It helps increase vocabulary, improve diction, intonation, emotional color, brightness, correctness of speech, and other elements (Sykes et al., 2012). Reading aloud allows a learner to remove hesitation, reservation, word-parasites, and other speech defects. The speed of an interactive reading aloud is usually slower than the speed of silent reading because there is a limited speed of pronouncing certain sounds. It is important to pronounce the words expressively and clearly instead of reading the text in a monotonous tone. It should be read naturally as a reflection of one’s own thoughts. Usually, the written text comparing to a spoken speech has a higher quality content and structure that improve the reader’s vocabulary and grammar.