BeforeI started this course, I could have simply defined literacy as theability to read and write. I could only refer to a person asilliterate if they cannot read and write. It through this course thatI realized literacy more than the ability to read and write.Conventional literacy changes the way we think about a given text.Convectional literacy cannot be acquired by just reading andrepetition, however literacy is a lifelong process. Repetition isessential for those learning English as a second language, to knowhow to use words in a limited context. Day by day, the way we thinkabout something changes depending on the information we know. In thiscourse, we have had discussion, reading, and various project throughthis effort I can define literacy as the art of not only reading andcoming up with ideas but also using the context for comprehensiveunderstanding. Today I can determine why the author used a givenstrategy to communicate to the audience. Who are the target audience?Why use a given strategy and not the other? What is the context ofthe author and did the author target audience of a given background?I can answer the above questions with ease, something that wasimpossible before taking course. Apart from classroom assignment,student should engage in co curriculum activities to develop thelevel of literacy.
Priorthis course, my writing procedure involved reading a given book andanswering the questions provided. This method of writing was moreparaphrasing author’s idea. One is limited to a given ideas andthere is no room to come up with original ideas. The course onwriting did not only help me to find sources but also to use my ownwork as sources to come with original document. Finding the sourcesis usually the hard part as we used to being provided with sources inprevious classes. The current method of writing encourages extensivereading, as one have to choose a number of sources after consideringa large number of likely sources. It through not being limited to anumber of given sources, I can support my ideas or opinion, this Icannot be limited to a particular topic but I can introduce newideas. The freedom to choose sources to use help one to own a giventhe work and to apply creativity[CITATION mic08 p 22 y l 1033 ].The new method of writing provoke one to think outside the giventopic and encourage extensive reading. Students should use thismethod of writing as early as possible so that they can horn theirskills such as finding sources. At first, lack of specificinstruction may be confusing but with time one will enjoy the freedomprovided. For instance one can use their interest in choosing atopic.
Thoughtthe semester I realized the importance of determining my targetaudience before starting the actual work of writing. Establishing thetarget audience assists one to make all the content relevant. In thechoice of language, having defined the audiences of a given paperensures that the language understandable and not offensive. Definingthe target audience, play a major roles in determining the ideas thatone will communicate in a paper. For example of my target arestudents, talking about change in teaching method may be irrelevantand may end up causing more harm than good (Barton 1994, 34). Thepurpose help a possible reader if the given paper is relevant to themor not. The purpose is also important to the author, as one have todetermine if the purpose of the paper have been achieved or not. Thepurpose is essential as it guide one the process of writing. Below isan example of purpose provided for a translating thought paper “Iam talking about the artifact-Temple of Heaven to real Chineseculture. Chinese people very believe in god. They think god ispowerful and helpful. Therefore, the way to get help from god is tosacrifice. I think my paper is somewhat successful because I providemany examples and explain the culture. However, there is lots ofinformation I should provide to my audience so that it is not verydetailed. I imagine my audience is New York Times’ audience whowants to know some Chinese culture. I imagine I am an expert who isvery familiar with China and Chinese culture. I want to provideChinese culture information to my audience” (Zhao2015).Determining the purpose and target audience and the purpose of thepaper is important step and is generally the first step followed byfinding the necessary sources to use in writing a paper. The two,audience and purpose guide one to determine what is relevant and whatis not. The context of the audience is also significant to a writer.What is the background of my audience? If the audience are aware ofTemple of Heaven, what is their relationship with the temple?
Theliteracy create meaning from disparate, sources bringing togetherideas from across vast human experience. For the reasons that areprovided, we need to know how this process occur and how we can useit to deepen our writing skills. As a writer one should have theability not only to share what has happened but to also power theshape of his/her readers’ response to that event (Zhao2015).The reader should be able to get the flow of every story in yourwriting just from the introduction of the purpose of paper. Thisgives the reason as to why we mostly focus on exercises to help usthink critically. The most helpful slogan in writing is the phrase‘how do I know what I mean till I hear what I say?’ this goeshand in hand with the saying nothing can be made out of nothing.
Thecourse provide one with conventional literacy. Writing provide ameans of communication to target audience. Pre-writing as a phase ofthe writing process include the determining the context, purpose andthe target audience. Revision as a phase of writing also enableswriters to re-see if the purpose of the paper has been realized.Literacy is a great heuristic and according to (gee, 1) discourseinstruct us on how to think, act and speak. Thus discourse play animportant in work places how to interact with each other and howpresent a problem or ideas. The course incorporate place wheredialogue is mode of making meaning, so that we can dramatize the factthat language changes with the meaning we make from it and that itspowers are generative and developmental. It is also the indispensableand unsurpassable means of reaching others and hence formingcommunities with them. Ability to speak is innate but language isrealized only in a social context. Dialogue is essential in themaking of meaning and thus to learning how to write.
Studentsand other people who are yet to take this course will find this paperuseful. This paper exposes the important fields of literacy andwriting. The paper also incorporate a method of writing which involvetaking into account the purpose, context, and the target audience.The paper also changes the way we see literacy, from simply theability to read and write to the ability to come up with originalpaper. To write an original having the freedom to choose sources andeven including own sources.
Inconclusion, literacy is not something that can be taught once, butliteracy is a lifelong learning process. Reading, discussion,participating in various project and in co curriculum activities areused to enhance our skills. In writing one should not be limited to anumber of sources in contrast one should be able to find sources andeven use own sources to support their claim. One should use thefreedom provided in writing to develop original paper instead ofparaphrasing other people’s ideas. Literacy and writing skills areessential in work places. These skills facilitate thinking,communication, and interaction with others. Conventional literacy isessential and students should undertake the course to enhance theirskills.
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Gee,James Paul. "What is Literacy?." n. pag. Web.
Zhao,Danling. “Cultural Analysis.” 2015. Print.
Zhao,Danling. “Translating writing- Translating thought.”2015. Print.