Adolescent Literacy

The article "Reinventing Literacy for New Times: Perennial and Millennial Issues" talks about the importance of the development of new demands to adolescent literacy. These demands are first of all connected with the changes in the society and the increasing role of effective skills of working with information. The author discusses the difference between adolescent literacy, content reading, and secondary reading; pays attention to the issues which might help in improving adolescent literacy and correspond to students’ needs; moreover, the author questions the importance of critical literacy. Still, the main message of the article is how to make use of the given information in the teaching process.

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To start with, it is underlined that nowadays the adolescent literacy is a serious problem, because youth have difficulties even with the elementary processes of reading and writing. No doubt, this fact deserves attention: the reasonable way out should be definitely found.

First of all, teachers must understand that the level of literacy depends on many factors, which have an impact on the learning process. In my opinion, a teaching-learning situation is the most influential factor since learning as well as teaching is a double-sided process, and its result is closely connected with the rapport between teachers and students. I strongly believe that the main role of a teacher is to make students feel thirst for knowledge and will for self-improvement, a logical result of which is a high level of literacy. However, if students do not have an inclination to cooperate with teachers and meet their demands, they will not achieve any prominent result.

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In the article, it is emphasized that depending on the character of a teaching-learning situation, a teacher should choose the best practice which will be helpful in improving students’ literacy. To do this, a teacher must analyze students’ needs, their strong and weak points, their likes and dislikes. In fact, students’ personal qualities must be necessarily taken into account. Every teacher should be a good psychologist in order to be able to notice all these peculiarities which play a crucial role in a successful organization of a learning process. It is interesting that in the article, the interpersonal dimension of literacy is also mentioned. Probably, first of all, it relates to a teaching-learning situation which has been already discussed, but I think that relations between students, their attitude to each other, and the way they communicate with people around also contribute to the interpersonal dimension of literacy. That is why a teacher must observe how students interact during classes and how they behave when they happen to be in an informal situation. It will definitely help to understand what students prefer, what they ignore, and how they treat the world around them. In its turn, this will lead to understanding what students need and what priorities they have. As a result, it will be easier for a teacher to choose a set of effective methods and ways of organizing work.

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To sum everything up, it must be underlined that adolescent literacy is a great problem which needs solution. In the analyzed article, there is some useful information which might help teachers in improving adolescent literacy. First of all, the attention should be paid to a teaching-learning situation; then, in accordance with it, the reasonable methods of organizing a learning process should be chosen. The latter ones also depend on students’ personal qualities and interpersonal relations between them. The tips mentioned in the article are really useful, but teachers are not obliged to blindly follow these or those pieces of advice as for the improving adolescent literacy. The main thing they have to do is to respond to students’ needs and help them to find ways to improve literacy.

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