Nowadays, an issue of literacy is widespread and there are many views as to the necessity of this dignified quality in every person. On the one hand, literacy is always in fashion and it characterizes a person as well-educated, accurate, and rather intelligent. Thus, everyone honors such a personality and he/she is bound to receive appropriate recognition from other people. On the other hand, to acquire literacy means to work hard and practice a lot. However, many adolescents try to cope without writing and use different modern devices to communicate with each other, let alone practicing to widen their writing skills. For this reason, it is quite rigorous to find a right motivation as well as a sufficient reason to encourage both a typical pupil and an already grown-up person to make efforts to become literate. The thing is that the life has recently been significantly alleviated and a person who is fond of reading masterpieces of literature, listening to classical music and, what is more, who possesses a special writing talent is not a pattern to follow anymore. Furthermore, the place where this inner gift should be discovered – an ordinary school or a university – does not provide any assistance to young writers anymore. Many teachers and tutors simply follow a strict schedule and do not give students a chance to develop their writing capabilities. Thus, there are no interesting topics to create a unique essay, as well as to develop literate skills. Notwithstanding all these obstacles and challenges of the modern world, one should bear in mind that being literate means a lot and becoming a real literacy professional is worth making real efforts.
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Firstly, being literate means the ability to have a notion of all intelligent spheres of the entire world. According to Vallance and Barrett (2006), the most appropriate expertise nowadays is to have information literacy. In fact literacy can mean various things, but first of all it involves proficiency. Vallance and Barrett (2006) consider that a person is literate when he/she knows at least two foreign languages and can use this knowledge to write literature works. In fact, becoming information literate should be estimated highly in the modern society. Thus, a person manages to find appropriate information and select those facts that are required by a goal set. Moreover, one can cope with finding relevant data by means of diverse contemporary sources, which is extremely useful nowadays. A personality who is literate never omits such places as libraries, museums, and art galleries since they are unique repositories of necessary information. If one wants to become literate, he/she has to learn how to work with different information resources, such as card and computer catalogues, network database, and information technology initiatives. One of the ways how to do it is to define the main idea of the work and try to make a title pursuant to it. The next step is to type this title or the main word of it. In fact, it is possible to get the necessary data or to find some links, which will assist with coming across the most indispensable information.
Moreover, it is obligatory to keep in mind that literacy involves constant usage of such traditional resources as dictionaries, annual reports, encyclopedias, and almanacs. It is true that sometimes people ignore presence of such important materials, yet they contain such unique facts or data that are impossible to find via the Internet.
Secondly, it is advisable to start writing something (a report or an essay) only in accordance with some known facts. One should never read somebody’s opinion or a personal view concerning a certain question because there will always be a desire to copy thoughts of the other person. Whenever reading some important facts and starting working with them, the advice is to try to build some logical associations in mind, which will help develop a key idea of the work. Besides, it is very effective to write a thesis statement of the work. Actually, there should be a thesis for every part of the essay: introduction, main body, and conclusion. With the aim of making the work more informative and coherent, it is important to end each paragraph with a thesis and start writing a new paragraph asserting the same idea.
To cope with challenges while writing a thesis, everybody has to use some useful techniques. It is important to understand whether the thesis answers the main topic of the essay to be sure it covers all necessary material mentioned in the whole paper. This technique was described in Anson and Schwegler (2000). The writers also emphasize an obligation to use relevant words, which reveal the subject instead of making it obscure. Furthermore, it is advisable to elaborate on some personal tricks, which alleviate the process of creating these important statements. For example, one can try to define the most indispensable words in every sentence of the essay and, by using synonyms, one is bound to create the main thesis or simply come up with the most suitable words associated with the topic.
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One more important thing that one should take into account is that schooling and literacy are not synonyms. This idea has found great support from Kintgen, Kroll, and Rose (1988) in their book devoted to literacy. The thing is that contemporary schools do not manage to provide with a chance to reveal a writing talent. In most cases, teachers simply find some peculiar rules every pupil has to adhere to. For instance, when writing an essay, one has to follow a specific structure while working: introduction, main body, and personal conclusion. Moreover, one is bound to use definite expressions and introductory words, as well as some counter-arguments. On the one hand, it makes the work of a pupil easier since his/her task is simply to follow the rules carefully and there is no need to demonstrate imagination. On the other hand, it puts some limits on what a pupil can write. It is true that some students have a unique personal approach to writing, which is a rare phenomenon in the modern world. However, there are only a small number of teachers who appreciate those extraordinary qualities in their pupils. Frankly speaking, the vast majority of tutors have already got used to checking and evaluating the work performed in a concrete way and do not want to complicate their lives. Thus, such gifted personalities who display a special dedication to writing do not receive any recognition at early stages of schooling and in most cases bury this unique talent.
According to Denti and Guerin (2008), “literacy is the cornerstone to improving school achievement” (p. 10). It means that there should be some connection between literacy and school. However, teachers are a key component, which can stimulate professional literacy among pupils. The most important task of the teachers is to encourage students to write and learn grammar rules. In fact, it is possible to gain these aims by constant motivation and cooperation. Teachers should become real friends of pupils who will guide them in a right direction and will be always ready to provide appropriate advice. It is not effective to punish students or to threaten them with putting a bad mark and a possible failure while passing exams. It is advisable to point out main mistakes and defects and give some hints how to correct them. What is more, to reach literacy is possible by providing motivation as well as incentive to students. It is a good idea to praise students for their hard work and present them with a necessary book or a useful resource to improve their work. Furthermore, extra curriculum lessons are a great chance to communicate with the best students in a more peaceful atmosphere.
All in all, being literate is quite useful and every educated person understands the necessity of this important expertise. For this reason, the question concerning how to become an effective literacy professional is rather topical and implicates a variety of possible right answers. However, the most important advice is to work hard on one’s writing abilities, broaden one’s general outlook, and study foreign languages. Moreover, it is indispensable to find an appropriate person who will guide towards achieving the highest result.