What does the term literacy mean?

Recently, a group of tutors at Kingston Literacy were asked the above question. Here’s what they said:

  • understanding what you read
  • access to information and knowledge
  • learning about others and yourself
  • functioning in society
  • being self-sufficient
  • writing ideas that can be understood
  • enjoying life
  • having power
  • being able to learn more
  • doing basic mathematics
  • reading for pleasure
  • having a world of opportunities open up
  • entering a new world of knowledge
  • learning about life
  • expanding your knowledge
  • expressing your thoughts through words
  • filling out forms
  • understanding written instructions
  • being able to get more education
  • feeling rewarded
  • functioning effectively in the job market
  • broadening your life skills
  • feeling free
  • having an outlet on a miserable day
  • being able to share feelings and emotions
Think of 3 general, broad categories into which you could fit all these answers.

“Why am I doing this?” you might well ask. Critical thinking skills (categorizing, sorting, linking, creating, etc.) are also part of the work you’ll do with your student. This activity is an example of critical thinking. There are no right or wrong answers here.


Session 1 Index