What is Literacy?

Whenever I hear the term literacy used the first thing that pops into my mind is the ability for someone to read and write. However, the term literacy has evolved into something more than just those two skills. It can take on an infinite number of roles, depending on what you are referring to.

When you discuss a foreign language, literacy moves into the position of whether you are literate in that particular language.

Referring to math, one has to look at how well they can perform mathematical functions and display their knowledge of concepts to determine whether they are mathematical literate.

Moving to technology, there are a number of things I can do on my computer and the Internet pretty effectively.  However, I am sorry to say that I cannot read and write computer programming languages.  While I may be illiterate in those aspects, I do feel as though I can technologically literate overall.

So, when you refer to literacy you cannot simply assume that we are talking about whether one can read or write, but instead whether they can perform the function/skill in question.


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