Essay Preview: Literacy Narrative
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The definition of literacy is to read, write and communicate. To me, literacy means the ability to understand what you read and write and how well you communicate with others. I also believe that obtaining and focusing on an education makes you literate. Literacy is a tool for liberation and empowerment and with it comes information and knowledge. It gives you such a vivid picture of the world that we live in and how important it is to be literate in society.
My experiences with reading, writing and communicating began at home and extended to Kindergarten and elementary school in the island of Trinidad and Tobago where the British system of learning was and still is dominant. My parents always focused on education and learning since I was very little and we were fortunate to be able to read story books growing up. I even won a poetry competition when I was six years old. My ability to write and speak changed when I came to the United States. Words were spelled differently and sentences were constructed differently. Being that I was brought up in the Caribbean speaking the “Queens English” together with the Trinidadian dialect/slang, the “American English” accent was a challenge for me to grasp in the beginning.
Moving to the U.S was an eye opener for me. I saw life and people in a whole different light and it was a huge adjustment to make. I did not have any friends or family and so I turned to reading as my escape and guide. My books were my companions and every day I would read on my commute to and from work on the bus and subway. I was actually anxious to get onto the bus and train just to get engrossed in my book. I also enrolled in college and that was another adjustment that I had to make being in a new country and interacting with the American educational system and learning. I was an adult student in a class filled with youngsters and I was amazed at how much technology and social media influenced people to the point where reading a newspaper or novel was a thing of the past.
It dawned on me that a lot of people didnt take literacy seriously perhaps because of the era we live in. Now just happens to be the time where everything is being completed by computers, or even phones. Televisions are to the point where they cannot become any thinner, phones decreased in size and became wireless and now computers are dominating our time. When I grew up the only way for us to know what was happening in the world was to read a newspaper and writing letters to our family abroad was our means of communication. Technology is something that will always evolve and is very important in our lives and future, but being able to think and write critically is an integral part of literacy. The skill set has not changed but what has changed is the attention span of the readers, young and old. I learned to read and write at a young age, the way I speak and communicate