In order to write my personal literacy profile I will answer
these questions first:
What is literacy?
I must admit that before learning about literacy, I held the view that literacy was the ability
to read and write, an idea that had formed as the result of my upbringing,
which placed a strong emphasis on reading and writing as the pre-eminent forms
of communication. (nmurchliteracyprofile.wordpress.com)
But after further investigation I realized although these
components are a part of what literacy is, it actually includes so much more. (madeleine-heap).
Literacy describes the dramatically
change in social and technological contexts of communication and learning,
develops a language by which it talks about representation and communication in
educational contexts, and addressing the question of what constitutes
appropriate literacy pedagogy for our times. It ends with an overview of recent
work in the field and provides some examples of attempts to translate the literacies
ideas into educational practice. (Kalantzis, new literacies, new learning)
The traditional content of reading and writing is a lot wider
and includes the use of different sign systems that represent meaning. According
to the Australian Curriculum, students become literate when they develop the
knowledge, skills and dispositions to interpret and use language confidently
for learning and communicating in and out of school and for participating
effectively in society (Australian Curriculum)
Literacy is the social practice of meaning-making, and, in
the 21st century, there has been a return to multimodality, where literacy is
no longer print dominated but instead includes digital media and other forms of
communication. With the rise of the digital age, new media are now readily
available and can be used by amateurs. The
world was changing, the communications environment was changing, and it seemed
to us to follow that literacy teaching and learning would to have to change, as
well. Therefore, literacies are shifting towards the digital, where
people can create and distribute content and layer different modes of literacy
in a way that was not previously achievable (Kalantzis, multileracies, 2014)
Another definition for literacy is,
that it is an ability to be able to use printed and written information to help
a person function in society, achieve goals and develop knowledge and
potential. Nowadays, students and adults are judged on their literacy
skills being labeled as literate or illiterate.
There is a quote that always kept me
thinking, it says “the more you read the more
you learn, and, the more you go out and interact with others the more you learn
more”. (madeleine-heap). For me I just realized recently
learned the meaning of the word literacy as a whole. It does not only mean to
learn how to read and write, but to learn about different aspects of life. Our
daily practices in which we engage in are classified as literacy based. For
example, checking social media daily and learning about tools of navigation in
it, listening to YouTube video to learn about new recipe, reading a novel or
even the daily news helps to overcome a different aspect of literacy. The use
of the five senses as well shows us how to overcome different types of
literacy. (ACARA, 2018)
There are several activities in which
for an individual engage in which are classified as literacy related.
Different types of multiliteracies:
Written/ Linguistic: This means the use of spoken and
written language through use of vocabulary, generic structure and grammar.
Audio: learning through noise effects, ambient noise
and silence through use of volume, pitch and rhythm
Visual: learning thorough the use of colours, photos,
Gestural: using motions, such as sign language, or even
as simple as waving hello
Spatial: using movements
in space to communicate, such as dance or drawing a map (nmurchliteracyprofile.wordpress.com).
Tactile: learning through touching for example: clay, touch
screens, Braille, symbols; anything that communicates via how it feels (O’brien,
Multimodal: through the using of the gestural, spatial,
oral and audio modes. This is the combination of two or more modes in various
combinations. As people engage in society they use modes of literacy,
which are relevant to the culture of which they live (Winch & Halliday 2014
pg xxxviii; Christie 2013) I gained most of my knowledge of how to effectively
communicate and share information ‘hands on’ in my job as has been described as
enculturation; the process where the culture that is currently established
teaches an individual the accepted norms and values of the culture or society
where the individual lives (Grusec & Hastings, 2007, pg 547).
differ around communication, interpersonal etiquette and standards of
communication effectiveness, being culturally literate, or possessing the
skills to understand and participate fluently in a given culture is a necessity
in our society and as a teacher of many cultural backgrounds.
I am currently working as a language teacher in a high
school. The school where I’m working for there are more than 6 languages, in
order to have a better communication with the students I try to learn the
greeting in their own languages which helped me to have a better communication
and therefore build a better relationship with them . I have to use my
multicultural literacy skills daily in order to communicate effectively.
Multicultural communities, particularly those coming from
war zones and have been thrown to countries without enough knowledge about the
country or the language spoken (Mau, 2018). All of these
factors are linked to the students’ achievements at school and their
development of English literacy skills. Many of the students I work with have
low literacy levels, which do not indicate a lack of intelligence, but a lack
of skills.Reading and writing
are tools that are used to overcome literacy and
it is the most effective way to develop literacy skills. The better way to keep the students interested is to put reading
into contexts of enjoyment that gives reading and writing its purpose.
At the end the teachers aim is to expand the students capacities. (Lian, why do
(Lian, 2015, p. lecture)
texts for enjoyment:
It’s a challenge to make someone read for pleasure. Because people
is different and in order to make a teaching material enjoyable, the best way
is to make reading enjoyable in order to increase the students’ knowledge in a
specific topic. The
National Literacy Trust has noted that in order to become a reader it is
important to develop the love for reading since a young age. Because If
children did not enjoy reading since young age they are most likely to not like
when they grow up (williams, 2014).
For me reading in young age shaped who I am and my future.
Always reading adds something to who the person is. There is evidence which illustrates
the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational purposes and
personal development. I remember my father in order to keep me and my siblings
engaged during a drive to our relatives or when we take a walk together, he
used to make little competition between us about who will read the billboards
first or who will read the menu for us that developed our natural need
to be more engaged socially (education, 2012).
In high school I liked reading thrillers and I liked to
learn about other cultures through travel writers. I remember reading a daily
journal for an author who wrote about his travels and the amazing journey he
had, and I enjoyed learning
about this beautiful other cultures. It was very educational to me to learn
about these different cultures and helped me to respect all cultures even the
ones I did not learn about them. As a result, when I travelled, that allowed me
to create links between real life and texts. Effectively, that allows me to create
deeper understanding of the functions which these elements play in texts (Lian, why do people read?).
I remember as well the novels I had in high school and how
reading these novels were very challenging for me, because it was in a foreign
language. What made me learn about these novels was watching movies for these
novels. It developed my literacy skills and introduced me to other ways to
overcome my literacy.
Ever since I started studying to become a teacher, I started to
read more about the subjects I am learning in order to increase my literacy
skills and broaden my potential to be more prepared for the students.
As a student connecting reality with my studies was the most
challenging, in order to understand the text selected by the teacher, it is
better to connect the
understanding about the literacy relevant topic with our contemporary times.