Literacy is critical in helping us make sense of our world. From the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep, we are constantly making meaning of the world around us.
Literacy has traditionally been thought of as reading and writing. Although these are essential components of literacy, today our understanding of literacy encompasses much more. Alberta Education defines literacy as the ability, confidence and willingness to engage with language to acquire, construct and communicate meaning in all aspects of daily living. Language is explained as a socially and culturally constructed system of communication.
Literacy with Young Children
From the moment a child is born, his or her literacy journey begins. Children’s literacy abilities are nurtured through their families and communities. Examples are
the infant smiling or crying to communicate their needs to a parent
the toddler forming their first words
a young child interpreting the symbols around them
a preschooler singing a song and
a parent and child laughing over a story
Literacy with School-age Children
As children enter the school system, there is a strong focus on the development of reading and writing skills. Children engage in learning opportunities that have them interacting with many different forms of text, in print and digital forms, using words, visuals and graphics. Students begin to learn
the rules of language
how to acquire information, evaluate it, and ethically use it
how to construct meaning from various kinds of text and
how to communicate effectively
As students move through the school system, they continue to refine all of their foundational skills as they explore a wider variety of texts and technologies. The vast amounts of information that are available through both print and the Internet and the ability to communicate with wide and varied audiences around the globe have expanded the ways our students read and communicate. Literacy for our students today also means preparing them to be critical and ethical consumers of information.
Where Does Literacy Instruction Take Place?
Literacy development does not take place in just the Language Arts classroom. It is a shared responsibility among all educators. Although specific knowledge and skills are taught primarily in Language Arts, every subject area teacher is responsible for further developing, strengthening and enhancing literacy. Every subject area has its own unique literacy demands. Content area teachers know their subject matter and their programs of study. They are aware of the literacy requirements of their subject and understand that it is through literacy that meaning is made within their subject area content. Students need to be taught how to read different kinds of text, write and express themselves in the formats associated with each subject, and use content-specific vocabulary.
Literacy development occurs not only in school but in every aspect of daily life. We interact with others when we have a conversation. We read maps, advertisements, newspapers, recipes, manuals and websites. We analyze and interpret vast amount of media information. We write poems, songs, reports, blogs, and emails. Literacy opens the door to the world.
According to the latest research on literacy and learning, we find many countries from all around the world with a literacy rate of more than 95 percent. To help readers learn more about the world leaders in this field, we have highlighted the countries with the highest literacy rates from across the globe.
High educational standards are seen in countries all around the world, but the literacy rate in some countries, like Andorra, Luxembourg, Greenland, Norway, Liechtenstein and a few others can’t be ignored. Within these, literacy reaches virtually 100 percent.
Andorra is one such country with virtually 100% of its populace being literate. A part of Southwestern Europe, its government directs by law that every child between the ages of 6 and 16 is required to submit to compulsory attendance within its school systems. The Andorran government has managed to provide free schooling up to the secondary level of education. This, along with a percentage of its GDP being allotted for the education sector, has resulted in very high literacy rates in Andorra. Similar practices are observed in other countries, such as Finland, where around 7% of GDP is spent on education.
Other Nations with Near-Complete Literacy
A literacy rate that drops to a percentage just below 100% is seen in quite a few countries of the world, including Azerbaijan and Cuba, where the rates stand at around 99.8%. Slightly lower on the literacy curve we see that rates of around 99.7 % seem to dominate much of the developed first- and second-tier societies of our planet. Georgia, Tajikistan, Russia, Barbados, Poland, and Slovenia all proudly stand in front of the world with such literacy rates. Focusing on Russia, it is estimated that 53% of the population there receives some form of tertiary education. The government believes in free educational deliverance systems, and the fields greatly focused on therein are in “STEM” fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
Turning towards countries like Slovakia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, they remain in the range between 99.6% and 99.2%. Slovakia, a country with a 99.6% literacy rate, has 20 publicly operated universities and 10 private universities. Indeed, citizens from many of the countries constituting the former Soviet Union and “Eastern Bloc” can lay claim to having some of the highest access to tertiary level educational opportunities in the world.
The Highest Literacy Rates Worldwide
Due to quality educational systems, these countries boast literacy rates at or near 100%.
Literacy Rate (% of Population)
- updated on April 25, 2017
By James Burton
Over the past several decades, global literacy rates have significantly increased. The main reasons for such an upward trend stems from the evolution of the educational system of many developing countries, and an increased acknowledgement of the importance of education to these societies in their respective entireties. Still, many nations are struggling with the provision of educational resources to better their populaces, building the necessary infrastructure it requires and ensuring regular enrollment of students within their schools. Nonetheless, even those countries lagging well behind global norms realize how necessary it is to supply high quality education to the masses in order to compete and succeed in the global market.
Unwrapping the perfect ending...
I put hours of work finding the best kid's books to review for you each day. If you enjoy visiting Storywraps and would like to donate something for my time and effort I would greatly appreciate it.
Go to the top of my blog at the right hand corner (below my photo) and please donate what you feel lead to give. The amount you donate and the frequency you donate is totally up to you. I thank you in advance for your support. I love what I do and appreciate any amount that you may give so I can make our community even better. Thanks a million!
Please skip on over to Facebook and "LIKE" my Storywraps page!!! I'd so appreciate that.