yes, therapy helps!
Literacy: what is it, types and phases of development

Literacy: what is it, types and phases of development

April 26, 2024

The learning processes through which we acquire information and knowledge are many and varied, and research around them takes into account more and more factors and aspects of the environment which influence the development of our ability to learn.

One of these concepts is that of literacy , a term referring to learning processes that takes into account not only individual capacities in terms of literacy, but also the influence that the sociocultural context and the role of the person has in this process.

  • Related article: "The development of reading and writing: theories and intervention"

What is literacy?

Literacy means the concept that refers to the set of skills and abilities that enable the person to Collect and process information in a certain context by reading and converting it into knowledge , which can be manifested orally or by writing.

However, the concept of literacy is characterized by emphasizing the sociocultural vision of learning. That is, it goes beyond the boundaries of cognitive abilities. In literacy, not only is recognition and understanding through language taken into account, but it also recognizes the influence of the social context, the roles and dynamics of the reader and the writer, as well as the possible interlocutors.

  • Maybe you're interested: "30 interesting games to learn to read"

Types of literacy

This sociocultural conception of learning through written language specifies that there can be several types of literacies . Some of them are the vernacular literacies, which refer to reading learning in everyday life, and official or regulated literacies.

In addition, there are a large number of areas in which literacy can be given. Theorists of learning have come to propose such as financial literality, labor literalism, critical literality, of information, digital or disciplinary , to name just a few of them.

Taking into account this great variability within literacy, the skills and abilities that make a person expert in a certain type of literacy are also very varied, which means that the ability to read or write is only part of the set of faculties necessary to develop and obtain literacy in a specific area.

Key concepts

There are two concepts that are key to understanding the notion of literacy. These are literacy events and literacy practices.

1. Events of literacy

Also known as literate events, they refer to all day-to-day or day-to-day situations in which written language plays a fundamental role . These events of literacy are evident in the reading of signs, posters, forms, pamphlets or documents.

However, for these actions to be considered as literacy the person must possess in his repertoire of skills knowledge of the rules and conformities that are tacitly in the situation, known as literacy practices.

2. Literacy practices

Literacy practices, or literate practices, encompass social and cultural rules and conformities named above. They bring meaning to the situation or context in which the act of reading takes place.

What are the principles of the rule?

Following what is described by the theories that define the concept of literacy, we can break down a series of principles by which it is governed. These principles are specified in the following statements:

  • The acquisition and learning of literacy is possible through the combination of explicit and implicit learning . In addition, these are given gradually so it can be improved and refined.
  • In order for literacy to occur, it is necessary the mediation or influence of sociocultural factors .
  • These abilities can occur beyond the school setting, and can be developed independently of the sociocultural group or age.
  • In addition to the ability to understand written letters and symbols , literality requires the knowledge and interpretation of all kinds of representations of information, such as, for example, icons and graphics.

Finally, in order to acquire literacy, people require situations or contexts with a significant purpose that allows them to put literacy into practice. In the same way, it is necessary to present all kinds of opportunities to apply them in different situations that motivate them.

How is it developed and expressed in learning?

Although there is no "protocol" or fixed and predetermined stages that regulate the learning process of literacy, we can distinguish a series of phases that, although they appear diffusely, serve to guide us in how people acquire these capabilities .

There are three moments through which literacy develops: emergent literacy, formal learning and literacy.

1. Emerging literacy

From the first years of life of people, they are exposed to all types of information and messages represented in written form, which they must interpret and work with their uses and meanings .

Before starting school, the child is surrounded by books, advertisements, brochures and catalogs and all kinds of press or documents with letters and symbols, all associated with the culture to which the child belongs.

This phenomenon that occurs long before literacy or formal learning is given the name of emergent literacy and can be reflected in the child's ability to know how to use a book or what the symbols he perceives refer to.

2. Formal learning

Then, the school stage begins in which the person acquires the formal skills that allow literacy , as well as the phonological skills, which in the beginning consists of a learning in itself (learning to read and write) will become a means of learning other knowledge.

3. Literacy

At the same time as formal learning, the person acquires, gradually and through the experiences of their daily life, all the necessary skills that make up literacy.

These situations favor the improvement of these skills which will become specific literacies for each of the subjects.

Stages of Literacy Development (April 2024).

Similar Articles