Literacy development is the ability to read and write and speak — skills that go hand-in-hand. Without proper literacy development, people cannot function at a job, in school, at home or in society. Reading prepares people for a lifetime of accomplishment and is relevant for all ages. For instance, reading:
- Exposes you to new thoughts, ideas and concepts
- Makes you feel more accomplished
- Improves understanding
- Helps you to take decisive action
- Enables you to learn from others
- Helps you to communicate more effectively with others
- Focuses your mind
- Increases the strength of your imagination and creativity
Reading Is Critical
Reading affects the performance of students across the various disciplines. Reading in adolescence is often critical to college success. In the beginning grades, one through five, students are developing their reading skills. They must monitor their reading comprehension and progress very closely. In grades six through 12, students are reading to learn. Students in these latter grades are learning new concepts, terminology, ideas and facts across a multitude of disciplines. Certain content presupposes the need for understanding background information, which typically can only be gained by reading. Literacy development applies to every area of a student’s life, well into adulthood.
Why Is Reading so Vital?
Developing reading comprehension skills is an extremely complex process. Knowing more background information about a certain topic aids and deepens reading comprehension about that topic. Reading at its core level involves:
- Asking questions about yourself and the text
- Testing hypotheses
- Making predictions
- Making decisions based upon your predictions
- Summarizing knowledge
- Synthesizing knowledge into new and useful forms
What Are the Benefits of a Master’s Degree in Literacy Development?
According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 14 percent of Americans function at the lowest level of literacy, meaning that they can read text but are unable to perform basic tasks, such as reading a street map. Individuals with poor literacy skills are more likely to struggle later in life, facing financial and sometimes legal trouble. With a master’s degree in literacy development, you can help these individuals and many other populations of students to learn how to learn. In teaching people how to learn, you set them up for success throughout their lifetimes.
Reading is for life: on the job, in the classroom, at home, for pleasure and in daily society. What we learn when we read is critical to our success and development. Across the disciplines and at any age, reading provides us with new ideas, understanding, more effective communication tools, skills and abilities such as creativity and imagination, and gives us concentration and focus.
Learn more about the UT Arlington online M.Ed. with an Emphasis in Literacy Studies program.
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