Literacy is traditionally broken up into five separate areas: speaking, reading, writing, listening and comprehension. Throughout this semester I believe that there has been a large focus on the reading and writing portion of literacy. While I do believe that it is important for the students to have a firm understanding of these concepts it should not take the light away from the other areas of literacy.
Speaking… I believe that speaking is more than a students ability to memorize and utilize vocabulary. It is important that the student also learn how to effectively communicate and hold discussions. I believe that the best way for a student to achieve this is through the facilitation of discussion and exposing the students to different ways of speaking.
Reading…I believe that reading is more than just a students ability to read from a text. We should foster students love and passion for reading so that they continue reading for enjoyment into adulthood. We must also work towards teaching our students to read critically so that they can analyze the text and determine it’s validity.
Writing…I believe that writing should be more than a students ability to form complete sentences. It should be more than their ability to write using appropriate grammar. I believe that students should be able to inspire themselves to write creatively and integrate colorful and bold language that challenges their readers to think in a more complex way. They should not feel dread when asked to write for an assignment, they should view it as an opportunity for self-expression.
Listening…I believe that listening should be more than a student sitting quietly in their desk and hearing the words that are being said. I think that listening can be listening to those around you (external) but it is also listening to the voice within. The students should not be afraid to listen to their own voice and make attempts to express themselves in new ways.
Comprehension…I believe comprehension is more than being able to retell what a student has seen or experienced. It is about how the student interprets what they experience and the connections that they are able to make as a result of this. As they develop their comprehension they can be more critical of the content that they are being exposed to and then draw their own conclusions and form their own opinions. As new information is introduced they will be able to adjust their views.
I know that not every student will be fluent in all areas of literacy. Because of this, it is essential that we as educators must provide every opportunity possible to highlight our student’s strengths and support their weaknesses. Literacy is not only for English Language Arts, but it can also be applied in all areas of the classroom. By opening these concepts up into all areas of learning you provide the students with extra chances to improve their literacy.