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Cultural Literacy

What cultural literacy is and why it's important.

Blair Mahoney

on 11 February 2011

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Transcript of Cultural Literacy

Cultural Literacy What is it? Unesco defines literacy as the "ability
to read and write a simple letter." Cultural literacy is more complex: readers need
to understand the context or significance of the material. "To be or not to be" This is a simple sentence to read, but if readers don't understand that it is an equation, if they have never seen Hamlet or read Shakespeare, then they won't understand why these particular words have been used. Books and newspapers assume a "common reader", a person who knows the things known by other literate persons in the culture. Literature as a subject especially highlights the need for cultural literacy because the background knowledge to read such complex texts is much more extensive. The good news is that studying Literature helps to improve your cultural literacy and make you a better reader in other subjects.
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