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Amber Howard's Personal Literacy Profile

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Amber Howard

on 24 April 2014

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Transcript of Amber Howard's Personal Literacy Profile

"Literacy is viewed as a flexible group of skills and strategies that are closely linked to context and purpose. Contemporary views of literacy have moved beyond simple print literacy to encompass notions of active citizenship, new communications practices and information technologies, critical thinking and linguistic and cultural diversity. The multiplicity of literacy practices has led many educators to use the plural terms 'literate practices' and 'multiliteracies' to emphasise the diverse ways that we use the non-verbal, spoken, print, visual and multimodal communications practices of the world in which we live."
- ACT Government, 2014.
What is Literacy?
Code-breaking practices
- Composing and checking emails.
- Communicating through text messages.
- Summarising course readings by producing handwritten notes.
Text-participant practices
- Looking for directions through maps.
- Writing academic work for University degree.
Literacy Practices
The literacy practices that I engage in regularly are code-breaking practices, text-participant practices, text-user practices and text-analysis practices as described by Winch et al., 2011, p. 40.

Amber Howard's Personal Literacy Profile
Text-user practices
- Online website browsing (Google, CDU Learnline, Facebook).
- Computer programs (Microsoft Office).
- Cooking dinner from a recipe.
- Documenting daily events.
- Putting important dates in calendar.
- Booking appointments.
- Reading newspaper, magazines.
- Filling out forms, checklists.
- Marking the daily roll.
Text-analysis practices
- Summarise course readings.
History of Schooling
My knowledge and learning of literacy began in the early years of my schooling. I remember learning the basics of numbers and letters and this was done using the method ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check’.

Throughout primary school my knowledge of literacy developed further. I was taught how to spell words and was assessed regularly on the spelling of words. These basic skills were used as a spring board for longer, more difficult words and then sentences. Learning to read was also completed over a period of time throughout primary school – starting with simple books and graduating on to more complex books. Towards the end of my primary school years, through the use of computer educational games, I gained basic computer literacy skills.
History of Schooling
During high school I developed my literacy skills further by learning to write essays, short stories and decipher poems. In high school I studied Information Technology and this subject benefited both my school work and personal life. Technology became a bigger and more integral part of my life. It was mainly in my senior years that I worked in collaboration with other students. These collaborations ranged from simple projects to school productions .Being involved in these activities further engaged me in the critical, social and cultural aspects of literacy and enhanced my communication and problem-solving skills.

The skills I learnt and developed through my schooling has enabled me to engage in literacy practices in my daily life. Engaging in literacy practices ensures I am a confident and successful member of society.
Previously my perception on literacy was limited to being able to read and write. Due to my research, I now know that it is so much more than that. Literacy involves critical, social, cultural and technological aspects.

Over my life I have engaged in numerous literacy practices such as code-breaking practices, text-participant practices, text-user practices and text-analyst practices (Winch et al., 2011, p. 40).

I was not consciously aware that I had been engaged in the social and cultural aspect of literacy but reflecting back on my life I can see that I was. I can apply literacy in different ways depending on the situation and context. I will need to be conscious of and implement these aspects into my classroom. I can achieve this by getting to know each individual, their background, abilities and traditions. This information can also be used to ascertain what level of knowledge each child has and then I would be able to tailor the lessons to assist the children in achieving certain learning outcomes.
Over time literacy has developed from a simple notion, of being able to read and write to one that is more complex and includes critical, social, cultural and technological aspects. "Critical literacy is the ability to read texts in an active, reflective manner in order to better understand power, inequality, and injustice in human relationships" as stated by Coffey, 2014. Social literacy is focused on the way people use the written language in everyday life and is not concerned with the individual’s knowledge and use of literacy skills (Goodman et al., 2003). Cultural literacy is described as ‘the knowledge of history, contributions and perspective of different cultural groups, including one’s own group necessary for understanding of reading, writing and other media' as stated by dictionary.com.
It is initially essential to have the ability to read and write but the focus has now shifted to the interaction between the reader and the text and the social and cultural situation.
Literacy has further expanded due to new communication practices and information technologies and will continue to change over time as new communication modes are introduced. It is important to educate in the use of technology and online communication, as the world is extremely connected through technology. Being competent in the use of technology will help children in their learning and later in life to be confident and successful members of society.

“Successful learners have the essential skills in literacy and numeracy and are creative and productive users of technology, especially ICT, as a foundation for success in all learning areas.” MCCEETYA (as cited in Winch et al., 2011, p. xliv).

In response to contemporary communication and learning contexts, literary pedagogy is gradually changing within the classroom.
The use of technology over the years has also increased and is a beneficial tool in acquiring literacy knowledge. Establishing a sound knowledge base in technology in the early years of education will benefit the children in their further learning process. This knowledge is also needed to participate in society successfully, as technology is used in so many areas of our day to day living.

Having a happy, secure classroom, where all children feel they belong and have a sense of equality is very important.

Strategies for learners in a diverse classroom setting as found on http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/39272_2.pdf
- To create a culturally sensitive learning community.
- Develop positive teacher-student-parent relationship.
- Design lessons that motivate all students to learn.
- Implement those lessons using differentiated instructional strategies.

Literacy is a complex subject and due to the ongoing new forms of communication being established, is one that will always be expanding and therefore our knowledge and practices will also be continually expanded and improved upon.
Reflect on Literacy development
Reflect on Literacy development
ACT Government. (2014). Literacy. Retrieved from http://www.det.act.gov.au/teaching_and_learning/literacy_and_numeracy/literacy

Coffey, H. (2014). Critical Literacy. Retrieved from www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/4437

Goodman, S., Lillis, T., Maybin, J., & Mercer, N. (2003). Language, literacy and education: a reader. Retrieved from labspace.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=445539&section-2.2

Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L., & Holliday, M. (2011) Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature. 4th Edition. Oxford Press.
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