Literacy (Essay Sample)


Literacy has always been thought to be only about reading and writing hence defined as the ability to read and write. Reading and writing are just the basic components of literacy. Literacy can also be defined as the ability to use language effectively to communicate or make meaning of all aspects of our daily lives. Literacy is the most part of ones’ schooling because communication is the center of our lives today. If someone does not have the ability to read and write, that person can only use verbal means of communication. Literacy is the pillar on which modern society is built on. Without literacy and the ability to think critically, the world will still be stuck in the Stone Age. In a world that has become technologically driven, literacy is growing increasingly important. In the 21st century, literacy is perceived to be the foundation of success. Without literacy, I could not have been able to write this essay.

Literacy is essential in keeping accurate information. The ability to write has enabled us to record present events accurately detailing to future generations like it was yesterday. Without literacy, communication skills will be limited to speech, technology will be rendered unusable, and it might be almost impossible to acquire a job. Without the ability to read and write one cannot be able to generate any form of written communication like compose notes, text or even mail. When there are no means of recording information, the information has high chances becoming inaccurate in the future. Take an example of folktales, which have been passed from generation to generation only by word of mouth. As a result, multiple versions of every folktale exist today. Only a few people have a good memory, so if the information is not written down critically, it ends up becoming unclear.

A person who cannot be able to read or write cannot be able to operate technology. The modern society is becoming increasingly digital. Computers and mobile phones have become a large part of our daily lives, so it is essential for one to have the ability to operate them. Communication is now mostly based on electronic media such as social media and e-mails. These technologies operate under the assumption that the user can read. It will be incredibly difficult for an illiterate person to operate a computer because without the ability to read, even a computer keyboard will be completely foreign. Without the use of these technologies, it will be difficult to lead a successful life in the society today. The world is embracing modern modes of payments like cheques and credit cards, without the ability to read and write, it will be difficult for one to make use of these modes. Reading gives us the ability to make effective use of technology. Reading is becoming increasingly important as our daily lives are moving further into the digital world. The ability to use digital literacy skills effectively plays a very important role in nonverbal communication.

Literacy makes it easy for a person to get a job. Most jobs today require applicants to have the ability to read. Jobs today are advertised on written media. Without the ability to read one cannot be able to know about any job vacancies announced through written media. The ability to read is considered important because it enables one to observe safety signs or even read training manuals among many other. The ability to write has become basic in the job market. Most jobs today require the applicant to send a filled application form to be sent to the employer. It will be impossible to fill an application form if you do not know how to read and write. Literacy plays a significant role in preparation, composition and successful presentation in a job interview. Most jobs today also require a record keeping or filling in attendance sheets every time you report to work. Without literacy, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find, apply, acquire and even keep a job. Most jobs today require academic qualifications before hiring. It is quite impossible for one to obtain these academic qualifications without learning the art of reading and writing.

A literate person might not realize the importance of literacy. This is because he might not be aware of the challenges illiterate men face. An illiterate person cannot be able to read a letter that has been addressed to him or write a letter to a dear one. An illiterate person cannot be abler to calculate both his/her income and expenses, nor can he/she be able to keep his/her accounts. Illiterate people are also vulnerable to health problems. Literate people can be able to read awareness messages, prevention mechanisms and even ways of reducing infections from diseases like STDs. Illiteracy makes one feel weak and insecure both morally and psychologically. Literacy empowers people in the society and improves their self-esteem. Literacy has a positive impact on the economy. When the workforce of a specific community or country increases its productivity, it enhances the region’s economic growth.

Illiteracy is a tremendous disadvantage. Lacking basic reading and writing skills in this modern society closes doors to many great opportunities. Reading enables us to access information in all written media; it enables us to make great use of technology. Literacy is the key to a brighter future. A literate person has high chances of leading a successful life because he is able t make good use of the resources around him. The ability to operate machines, read and record information is becoming a fundamental requirement in the job market today. Literacy is the root of education. It is the ability to read and write that makes it easier for the learners to understand different subjects of study. The importance of literacy can be seen in the broader social and economic benefits that are attained as a result of reading and writing. Historical events can now be recorded accurately and stored for generations now without the risk of becoming inaccurate. Literacy not only enriches ones’ life but also creates opportunities for individuals to develop skills that help them in providing for themselves and their families.

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