LITERACY SKILLS – THE ROOT OF ALL KNOWLEDGE
Reading, writing are very important skills for all of us. Thanks to these skills, our need to learn and acquire new knowledge is facilitated. The power of literacy skills is not only in reading and writing but in the ability of a person to apply these skills to connect, explain and clearly distinguish the complexities of the world they are living. Whether you are a mathematics, history, science or art teacher, the first thing to do to help your teaching effectiveness is your students have good reading and writing skills. In today’s society, these skills retain its values in educating children.
For many companies or offices, the requirements of the application process are to write a letter of recommendation along with the job application. In the case of high school graduate, students have completed their final year of studies at university but still do not know how to write a letter, presenting a coherent idea. These specialized students may be good but do not pay attention to developing reading and writing skills. The result is the same job application, a professional who does not really excel but has a clear plan, and the target of recruiting is more dominant. The current reality is that reading requirements in high school are not considered important. At the teacher preparation exams, students only need to learn the summary to be able to get good grades rather than to practice reading skills regularly. On the one hand, education is not about reading, writing, thinking through language. On the other hand, learners have not realized the importance of reading to themselves. As a result, many young people lack the skills to read – write properly, do not know how to express thinking clearly.
In my personal experience, the development of literacy skills for children should be maintained at various times rather than focusing on a fixed subject area. Many educators think that teaching reading and writing skills to children is the task of language teachers. It is important to remember that reading and writing skills will greatly assist children in learning subjects or any other activities. Then there is no reason for us to impose the teaching of literacy skills as the work of a particular subject. At our school, students are included in the Effective Reading program (ERP) as a compulsory activity for all students at all grade levels. After a year of development, by reading the different types of books, writing the diary for the books they read, we found some of the benefits of this program:
+ Develop reading skills, gather information, analyze, interpret text, synthesize, feedback, evaluate.
+ Develop writing skills and presentations.
+ Develop problem-solving ability to face the challenges of life.
+ Development of reading culture, aesthetic capacity, knowledge accumulation, contributing to the formation of self-learning, self-study throughout life.
+ Practice reading skills on the internet: measures to improve literacy skills.
Due to the impact of information technology, the widespread use of the internet, e-book pages become common place, many pages are read, and books are downloaded free of charge to attract the attention of students. Depending on the age, the use of internet in reading will have certain support. However, not everyone knows how to take advantage of the internet. Besides, reading on the internet, students should remain concerned with a book. Scientists have also shown that when reading a printed book, the higher the concentration, the more focused the printed text is, the more readable it is on the internet. Actually, one can read a thick book but it is difficult to concentrate on reading about many words on the internet.
In spite of the fact that the Internet allows endless educational possibilities, with the continuous flow of information, the vastness of the internet can be an obstacle for children who are unable to screen and interpret efficiently documented presentation. A book can not collect all that people want to find out so they need to go to the internet. This is the medium that seeks to expand knowledge and lead to another book. Young people need to practice targeted search skills on the internet. When it comes to recognizing the value of reading, one has the motivation, the goal to read effectively.
In short, the children may choose any form of reading that fits the type of intelligence they have as long as their literacy skills are developed. Teachers and parents alike need to be aware of this in order to help children develop their reading and writing skills.
By Nam Ngo Thanh
Nam Ngo Thanh works as primary school teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He is a Microsoft Learning Consultant and Varkey Teacher Ambassdor, having been a finalist for the 2018 Global Teacher Prize. He has authored multiple articles, and been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into his teaching. Nam was also named Educator of the Year Asia 2017 and the winner of the 2018 Global Collaboration PLN Award. Nam is the founder of the global projects Five Safe Fingers, Everyday Kindness, STEM and #SDGs in Action.