|Literacy has been listed as a level-4 vital article in Language. If you can improve it, please do. This article has been rated as C-Class.|
|WikiProject Education||(Rated C-class, Top-importance)|
|WikiProject Linguistics / Applied Linguistics||(Rated C-class, High-importance)|
||It is requested that an image or photograph be included in this article to improve its quality.
The Free Image Search Tool may be able to locate suitable images on Flickr and other web sites.
- 1 Redirect
- 2 Teaching literacy section
- 3 Phonics section
- 4 Learning about literacy section
- 5 Constructive criticism
- 6 Syllables
- 7 Removed reference
- 8 Removed passage on texting
- 9 Arab Countries Illiteracy Rates Claim
- 10 Citation request in "Which approach is better section"
- 11 Map is outdated
- 12 Analphabetism and illiteracy
- 13 Postliterate society
- 14 Vandalism
- 15 Older data
- 16 The criticism section (Sudbury Model)
- 17 Whole Article
- 18 Writing
- 19 Spoken language
- 20 Graph references a blacklisted site that leads to a Worm/Virus
- 21 Digital Citizenship
- 22 New literacies
- 23 Pre-literate
- 24 "Literacy in South America"
- 25 Introduction section
- 26 "History" Section Xuanzong
- 27 Literacy in the 21st Century
- 28 Pakistan Section Reads Like An Editorial
- 29 Full English Literacy?
- 30 US White Full Prose Proficiency
- 31 "The Dark Age of Literacy."
- 32 Sabotage
- 33 Decline of Western Literary in the middle ages
- 34 Map is inaccurate and should be updated (Ethiopia)
- 35 Ironic that "Literacy" begins with an unintelligible sentence
- 36 Lead: "one's own name"
- 37 Egypt
There is absolutely no reason why this page on "literacy" should be redirected from the "New Literacy Studies" page of from a "new literacy studies" search. They are quite separate entities (this is akin to having the page on "Canada" automatically redirect to the page on the "US"). The latter is a field of study and needs it's own page back again.
Teaching literacy section
In considering earlier comments about the lack of an international view in this article, I think the teaching literacy section is too long to exist as it is in this article because it is so English-centric.....................
I would like to suggest that we consider including a summary about teaching literacy in English here, create an separate article that addresses this topic specifically, and link to that article from this section (as in WP:Summary style. It is certainly a complex enough topic to warrant its own article.
There is an existing article on reading skills acquisition, however, as mentioned above, literacy refers to a much broader range of skills than does reading acquisition. So I don't think it would be appropriate to try to combine "teaching literacy in English" with "reading skills acquisition," even though the topics overlap.
Best, Rosmoran 14:58, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Hi, all. One thing I think needs to be addressed in some way is that a comprehensive "phonics" method of teaching reading covers a great deal more ground than most people realize. In addition to teaching phonological awareness and sound-symbol correspondence, a comprehensive program also includes instruction in irregular words, the 6 syllable types, morphology (root words, prefixes, suffixes, etc) and word origin.
I'm not sure how best to include this in the article.
Best, Rosmoran 09:38, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
- I copied what you said into the article almost verbatim, though it should be properly referenced. It would also be a good idea to update the phonics article. -- Beland 02:32, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Learning about literacy section
The Teaching/Learning literacy section is receiving "undue weight" in this article. That is to say, teaching literacy is dominating the content of the article, which is supposed to be about literacy in the broader context.
There are other articles that cover reading acquisition. I propose merging the bulk of the Teaching section in with the Reading skills acquisition article. What would remain in this article would be a summary of the major points currently included in the section, with a clear link to the more detailed article. (See WP:Summary style for information and examples).
Rosmoran 04:16, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
- This subtopic is even more dominated by the topic of reading acquisition than it was when I posted the previous comment. If you have objections to this content being reduced to summary style and references provided to the articles that explicitly cover these topics, speak now!
- Rosmoran 16:39, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I'll begin with the section titled "Why learning to read is hard," as it strikes me as the most flawed. First, the entire section is based on the statement that "many children of average and above-average intelligence experience difficulty when learning to read." This does not necessarily make it an inherently difficult task. Like all acquired skills, it comes easily to some and causes great frustration for others, much like math or riding a bike. Second, it only gives evidence that learning to read in English is especially difficult, and offers no comparisons to other languages. While it brings up some interesting points (brain being wired to process speech as opposed to written language, etc.), it doesn't prove its thesis and offers only one side to the argument. Much of the "Teaching literacy" section reads like a high-school term paper or magazine article, and simply seems unnecessary given the content. Finally, the article seems to have a definite slant towards the English language (and the U.S., in particular), the "Illiteracy" section being the most obvious. Personally, I think a good "slash and burn" is in order, and would help the article immensely ("trim the fat," so to speak). Opinions? intooblv 08:41, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
- I agree with much of what you say. One comment I've posted a couple of times is that the article is very heavily weighted toward reading acquisition. A brief summary-style type section should be included, because a critical element of literacy is learning to read. But the details can be handled in the articles specific to that topic, many of which already exist. I haven't done anything about it in part because I prefer to work as part of a collaboration.
- As to the difficulty of learning to read, dealing with the symbolic nature of the task is inherently difficult because there are so many neurological, cognitive and motor systems needing to be coordinated, and because it is a new skill relative to our long-term evolution. Consider: if it were "easy," most human civilizations would have writing systems. In fact, only a few civilizations have invented their own writing systems -- most were borrowed or adapted from the inventing language. Even today, two thirds of extant human languages are unwritten. You are correct that learning to read does come easily to a good percentage of the population, about 30%, but our illiteracy rates illustrate just how difficult a task it is. Nearly all the "illiterates" speak their own languages fluently (even if not correctly or eloquently).
- Incidentally, the above paragraph summarizes the type of information I think should be included in this article.
- Before a slash and burn campaign, I think it would be helpful to determine what topics *should* be included in the article. That would focus the "slash and burn," and also give us direction as to what needs to be kept or added.
- Rosmoran 15:18, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
- You make some very good points, and I appreciate your acknowledgment that learning to read isn't always difficult, and (if it can be cited) I think that your "30%" figure is definitely worth mentioning. My main beef with the "Why..." section is that it puts too much effort into trying to prove that learning to read is difficult ("just look at all them little squigglies!") and not enough effort into why it is difficult. I think that the neurological/biological aspects of the argument are by far the most important/compelling, yet they make up very little of that particular section, which instead focuses on how complex English is as a written language. While true, this shouldn't constitute the bulk of the argument
- Perhaps "slash and burn" is a bit harsh, but it sums up my feelings about this article fairly nicely; there's simply too much unnecessary material. My next post will probably include a list of suggestions for the article, which will need critiquing. intooblv 19:33, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
- I'm glad you are interested in the article as a whole and willing to work on it. It's an important topic of particular interest to me, but I hesitate to work on it alone because of my personal biases.
- I look forward to seeing your further comments.
- Rosmoran 21:18, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
This is a minor point, but in the section "Why learning to read is hard", part of the section come from a book — Why Our Children Can't Read by Dr. Diane McGuinness. In that section, it is explained that English has sixteen different syllable patterns, with a maximum of three consonants after the vowel. I understand the mistake may be with Dr. McGuinness (and I can't correct a quote), but this seems to ignore words like exempts, glimpsed, horsts, instincts, sculpts, sixths, texts, thousandths, and waltzed. All of these have four final phonetic consonants. If you use a different definition of consonant, you can approach five consonants with the word "warmths".
Her main point may be valid, but it seems she's just wrong about syllables. (If that is in her book)
I'm not sure what to do, or if anything should be done, but if anyone changes this, the same thing is here, too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reading_education
220.127.116.11 17:57, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
- One thing that could be done is to take the quote out, as it is inaccurate, or comment on that fact. You'd need a source to contradict that source...Hires an editor 18:34, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
- This is an interesting point that I didn't notice before. Mcguinness' list of syllable types is very different from the 6 syllable types normally presented in language and reading instruction courses.
- In the typical 6-syllable paradigm, all of the examples you give fall into what is known as a "closed syllable." A closed syllable is one that has a vowel followed by one or more consonants --- in this type of syllable the vowel is usually short (your examples do include some of the exceptions, such as the r-controlled vowel -or in horsts).
- In your examples, the extra letters are all suffixes that do not add additional syllables (for example, a -tion ending adds another syllable to the word). Syllable patterns in this context are related to spelling patterns, not pronunciation. Adding an -s at the end of a word does not change the syllable type -- it's still a closed syllable. (Incidentally, even in McGuinness's paradigm, "glimpsed" and "waltzed" are non-examples even by your definition, as "e" is a vowel. )
- I think that we can probably replace the specifics of McGuinness' syllable types with a different example of the irregularities of English spelling. To my mind, including the syllable patterns clouds the picture rather than clarifying it.
- What would you think about using an example along the following lines (taken from the Alphabetic principle article:
- In English, spelling patterns usually follow certain conventions but nearly every sound can be legitimately spelled with different letters or letter combinations.  For example, the letters ee almost always represent /i/, but the sound can also be represented by the letter y. Similarly, the letter cluster ough represents /ʌf/ as in enough, /oʊ/ as in though, /u/ as in through, /ɔf/ as in cough, and /æɔ/ as in bough.
- Rosmoran 04:55, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
- No thoughts or comments. Except that in the context of the articles, Dr. McGuinness's list seems (to me) to be phonetic, not ..uhm...graphemic? Also, I have no idea what you mean by "your definition".
- 18.104.22.168 22:34, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
- Orthographic is probably the word you're looking for. :-)
- With regard to McGuinness referring to phonemes (sounds) or spelling (letter patterns), it's certainly possible that I misunderstood. My experience is that discussing syllables in terms of CVC, etc, is only done in reference to the spelling patterns of those syllables. I don't have McGuinness' book in front of me, so I have no way to confirm one way or the other.
- By "your definition," I just meant the way you seem to interpret the stated rule based on the examples you provided: exempts, glimpsed, horsts, instincts, sculpts, sixths, texts, thousandths, and waltzed. No offense intended. Rosmoran 00:44, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
This was floating around at the end of the "Information and communication technology literacy" section, but I have no idea what facts it is supposed to support. -- Beland 00:58, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
- Achterman, D. (2006, December). Beyond wikipedia. Teacher Librarian, 34(2), 19-22. Retrieved July 11, UNO, Information Science &Technology Abstracts database.
Removed passage on texting
I removed these two paragraphs, which are a rather strongly opinionated criticism of how text messaging is allegedly making children illiterate. Any such discussion would need to be more well-rounded; I'm sure you could find other authors who have written that text messaging is putting normal pressure on the language to change, and some who would call this author overly proscriptivist. The their/there example is a weird one to pick on, since those two words sound the same when spoken, and as such are commonly confused when written. Is any of this really an appropriate level of detail for this encyclopedia article? -- Beland 01:05, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
It has been argued by many[weasel words] that the linguistic changes which are associated with new media technologies and communicative practices have not only altered but replaced normal levels of literacy and accepted norms of communication. Indeed apart from becoming recognised as its own form of written communication, text talk has been “absorbed into languages more generally”,  and with its ever increasing use by mobile users it has been suggested by many to have contributed to a drastic decline in literacy rates of school children around the world. It has been reported that high school students are writing entire essays in text talk rather than standard English.
In his book Cellphone Culture Gerard Goggin examines how the spread of texting and other forms of multimedia literacy can be seen as a “threat to culture”.  Indeed Goggin remarks that text talk is typically discussed as something that “threatens the processes of cultivation and learning around which pedagogy and citizenship revolve”. Such anxieties and fears stem from the potentially damaging effects mobile phone texting can have on written literacy. Indeed it has been reported that a “number of senior secondary pupils can not distinguish between ‘their’ and ‘there’”. In addition to discussing the fears of multimedia literacy Goggin also documents studies conducted in Sweden that show that the “language use in text messaging is to be regarded as a variant of language use, creatively and effectively suited to the conditions of SMS and the aims for which it is used”.
- Goggin, Gerard (2006) Cell Phone Culture, Routledge. London and New York
Arab Countries Illiteracy Rates Claim
"Asian, Arab and Sub-Saharan African countries are regions with the lowest literacy rates at about 10% to 12%"
So can someone give an example of an Arab country that has literacy rates at about 10% to 12%, as this article claims?
Citation request in "Which approach is better section"
The following sentence needs a verifiable citation because it is a statement of opinion :
- Consideration should be given to alternative methods of teaching reading since neither the phonics method, the whole word or whole language method, nor any combination of them is completely successful with every student.
Map is outdated
Hello. Noticed that the World Literacy map for some countries might be outdated. Like Pakistan for example needs to be orange in the 50-69% according to all estimates including UN and world factbook. Can someone fix this chart? - SG —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 07:48, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
- "Statistics released by the U.S. Education Department this week show that some 32 million U.S. adults lack basic prose literacy skill. That means they can't read a newspaper or the instruction on a bottle of pills. " - LOL 3rd world level ... the us army is printing comic strips to replace user manuals ... --126.96.36.199 (talk) 20:03, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
- Recent reports in mainstream USA media state that around half of adults in Detroit are "functionally illiterate" - might this be the case in, say, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Philadelphia etc which are similar socio-economically? In this case it would certainly suggest that there could indeed be millions illiterate, or is Detroit just an atypical "cluster"? --MichaelGG (talk) 13:55, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Analphabetism and illiteracy
Both of them currently redirect here. I believe they should have a separate article, as, simply, literacy and illiteracy are two related but different phenomena.--22:18, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
There was a vadalism on this page. Due to lack of experience in wiki system, I can't undo the change. The vandalism includes deletion of whole section on 16:37, 29 September 2008. Please help.
- I've reverted the article to revision 240316085 as of 07:10, September 23, 2008. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:04, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
The criticism section (Sudbury Model)
It strikes me as a good example of WP:Fringe. "Wikipedia is not a forum for presenting new ideas, for countering any systemic bias in institutions such as academia, or for otherwise promoting ideas which have failed to merit attention elsewhere."
This Sudbury model is taught in 40 schools around the world according to its own article. That's 40 schools out of hundreds of thousands, needless to say, a very insignificant fraction. I don't think their non-mainstream teaching methods/opinions deserve their own section, and to be honest, it all sounds very opinionated and matter of fact-like. It sounds like someones trying to sell their idea and spread the word of this fringe teaching method. If anyone disagrees, please post your argument here before reverting. Sbw01f (talk) 20:41, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
- Agree. Furthermore, there are only two citations, one of which is to the sudbury valley school itself and the other to a research talk which is about self-teaching but not about literacy. Since no one in 1.75 years has addressed this concern I am removing the section pursuant to WP:Fringe and WP:Notability since it only provides citations to a single source which is not "independent of the subject". -- InspectorTiger (talk) 22:16, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I haven't looked at this article for quite some time, but reading it now makes my head spin. It has been gutted from it's previous incarnations and definitely reflects a particular ideology. This article definitely does not meet the neutral POV of Wikipedia nor are many of the assertions supported by references. G. Jacobs 29-03-09
Why is this article almost entirely about reading? What about writing?? There is only the smallest mention of writing here. Why is the nearly the whole article about learning to read with no mention of learning to write?! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 18:14, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I have altered several statements that included the ability to listen and speak in the definition of literacy---proclaiming that this would be the "traditional" view (or similar). This is manifestly untrue: The traditional view is to read and write, sometimes even just read. (Cf. even the actual discussions later in the article.)
From the references, I suspect that someone that someone used modern US educational material, with its strong over-inclusive and unscientific tendencies, as a basis. Please do not do this. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 03:37, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Graph references a blacklisted site that leads to a Worm/Virus
The graph World Literacy graph sites a link that is a blacklisted site on Wiki and also gave my computer a worm. How did a blacklisted site get into the description anyway? Does Wikipedia not clean links after it has blacklisted a site? 220.127.116.11 (talk) 08:19, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
In the online world of easy publication and the absence of editors, is it important to include Digital Citizenship or Ethics as an element of modern literacy? For example, there is an ethical code of conduct required by Wikipedia which if it is not followed will result in the remove of your ideas (see the discussion on texting above). In other words, if UNESCO's definition of literacy holds true, is there an ethical responsibility to participating in community? Is online ethical behaviour a criteria for one to be considered literate or is this a value judgment? I think I am either scratching the surface here or I am way off base. I welcome your thoughts. RSOldring (talk) 00:35, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
I've posted at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Sociology#Computer/technology/web/net/online/digital literacy about the profusion of articles on "new literacies", which may need merging and cleanup. Anyone interested in the topic please comment on that thread. Fences&Windows 18:59, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
WP doesnt yet have a page on pre-literacy, or pre-literate culture, but the phrase is used a lot in anthropology articles. I may create a stub for the word, but i think its a major omission that editors here could also take up.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 04:08, 25 June 2010 (UTC)
"Literacy in South America"
How useful is this section? It seems a bit of weird slant on the topic, and doesn't even address any of the issues with it, nor the progress made in Brazilian literacy by Paulo Freire and others. Seems more of just like "Look at those people, how silly."
I'm not offering to update it, because I've got no particular knowledge of South American literacy, but, it seems, neither does the author of the section. If you've got nothing to say... Gabby93 (talk) 09:35, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
"History" Section Xuanzong
It's mentioned in this section that the Chinese monk Xuanzang came to learn Math and Philosophy in 625BC. According to Wikipedia, Xuanzang lived in the Tang Dynasty, and therefore 625BC might have been a typo. I changed it to 625 AD.
Literacy in the 21st Century
This section reads like it was copy/pasted from a website trying to sell you a book on Web 2.0 or something. It barely communicates anything, and certainly nothing substantial about literacy in the 21st century. I don't want to delete it out of hand, in case there's some merit to it that I'm just not seeing, but I don't think it's contributing anything. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 05:55, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Pakistan Section Reads Like An Editorial
The entire subsection for Pakistan reads like an editorial. And this is unfortunate as this is supposed to be an encyclopedia not a collection of Op.Eds. A more appropriate entry would have involved a brief synopses of Pakistan education system, followed by statistics indicating improvement and regressions, followed by a list of existing challenges. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Elnyka (talk • contribs) 20:53, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Full English Literacy?
In the opening paragraph, there is this sentence: "Once these skills are acquired the reader can attain full English literacy,"
Shouldn't it simply be "can attain full literacy"? Literacy obviously does not apply to only English; it's being able to read and write in at least the vernacular. PhnxFyreG (talk) 19:25, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
- I would say yes. I tried to look at the source cited in support of the definition to see what was said there, but I couldn't figure out from the citation what source is being cited. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 01:29, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
US White Full Prose Proficiency
The change from 14% (which I placed) was unexplained. It took some time for me to find the 14 so I'm not going to look for the 17 but please provide a pointer so that it can be changed to 17 if you have NAAL data to support it. 17 is definitely plausible. The 14 should still be in the sources I gave from NAAL. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 12:59, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
- Ah, it might have been 17 white, 14 general, 2 black, have an edit with pending verification, will commit it or leave per start entry for this thread. 126.96.36.199 (talk) 13:05, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
"The Dark Age of Literacy."
According to the image's description, it's an original work. Since it's an original work, the labels, rooted in an anti-Christian and particularly anti-Catholic historiography, are NPOV, and the paintings in the background unencyclopedic. The summary quotes sources for recent centuries, but essentially admits that the (improbably low) numbers between 400 and 1300 are OR, explaining the (dodgy) methodology, and that the numbers for antiquity are from an "unpublished work," making them unverifiable. For these reasons, I'm removing it entirely. Twin Bird (talk) 14:28, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
- I think you mean "not NPOV" or POV. For you to complain about it being NPOV, as your text does, is absurd, nonsensical. NPOV, (Neutral Point of View) is the quality being sought. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 00:03, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
First sentence under Literacy in Europe reads: "i was come to the shop to get a packet of cigaretes and a got caught from the shopsIn 12th and 13th century England," I'm guessing that's not right... Jack Daw (talk) 03:36, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Decline of Western Literary in the middle ages
This section asserts, amid lots of other claims, that literacy declines in late antiquity because of the rise of Christianity. That's quite a controversial, political claim; and it isn't referenced in any way. The "references" given are to things not related to that claim. So I've deleted all this unreferenced material, and left what seems to be NPOV and referenced. I've also renamed the section to something general.
Basically this paragraph was always rubbish. It needs to contain stuff from books about ancient literacy, not whatever gunk about ancient libraries or whatever happens to be around. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 20:08, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Map is inaccurate and should be updated (Ethiopia)
Ironic that "Literacy" begins with an unintelligible sentence
That sentence needs to be made simpler, clearer. Maybe break it into two? I'm an avid copy-editor, but there seem to be a lot of people involved in this page, so I'll leave it to y'all.—Wegesrand (talk) 11:39, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Lead: "one's own name"
The article begins with: "Literacy is the ability to read and write one's own name and further for knowledge and interest, write coherently, and think critically about the written word." [Emphasis added.] Going by what the rest of the article says, literacy isn't primarily defined by being able to read and write one's own name; that appears to be more of a historical thing. As such, it really doesn't belong in the first sentence of the article. What do you guys think about moving it to a different part of the lead? Cheers, — Preceding signed comment added by Cymru.lass (talk • contribs) 16:36, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Egypt has a relatively high literacy rate. The adult literacy rate in 2010 was estimated at 72.0%
Population of Egypt = 83, 644, 000 X .30 (% illiterate) = 25,106,000 illiterate. How does this a 'relatively high literacy rate'? Compared to which countries? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 01:50, 24 August 2013 (UTC)