Literacy Essay

Topics: Education, Teacher, Learning Pages: 5 (1785 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Natasha Kirlew Professor Stephens English 14 2/2/13

In the articles by the authors James Paul Gee, Lisa Delpit and the short story by Toni Cade Bambara all help readers understand their definition of literacy. I agree with Delpit because literacy allows individuals to communicate and that allow equally. So we can speak and understand each other. If people communicate better they will read and write better, individuals will speak better which allows more opportunities in their lives. In the article “What is Literacy” James Paul Gee advocate that young readers and writers acquire primary and secondary discourse through listening to and imitating the language spoken in their homes by family, friends and the environment. Primary discourse is the first language a person learns before any formal education, school, and careers or outside atmosphere. Secondary discourse is the language that is learned through professional or formal teaching through school, church, community organizations and any other institution. Delpit is right when she argues that all students can learn to move from primary to secondary discourses because if provided with good teachers and an good education then they will know how to relate their primary and secondary discourses. Gee believes literacy helps students, the readers and writers are able to control and manage their uses of secondary discourses; they can easily move in and out of any number of discourses, at any given movement. Gee says discourse is like an “identity kit,’’ which refers the “appropriate costume and instructions on how to act and talk so as to take particular role that others will Gee learned to also recognize others when they do so. (Gee1). Gee has the idea that it is difficult for readers and writers and argues that it is “almost impossible” for students to successfully learn secondary discourse when they learned and acquired their primary discourse is differently from their secondary discourse the standard English language. Gee has the idea of acquisition which is the process of acquiring is an process of acquiring something subconsciously by exposure to models and an process of trial and error, without a process of formal teaching. It happens in natural setting which are meaningful and functional in the sense that the acquire knows that he needs to acquire the thing he is exposed to in order to function and the acquirer in fact wants to be so function. This is how most people come to control their first language. (Gee, 2) Acquisition has to do with the primary discourse. Acquisition is learning in school, colleges, universities and other forms of institution. Gee has the idea of learning that involves conscious knowledge gained through teaching, through not necessarily from someone designated a teacher, some degree of meta-knowledge about the matter. Gee’s concepts of acquisition and learning Gee believes that teaching grammar is not a very good way of getting people to control language, second language states as the example that most people aren’t very good at attaining a second language in a very functional way through formal instruction of a classroom. People who acquired a second language in a natural setting don’t make good linguistics, and some good linguistics can’t speak the language they learned in a classroom. Second language performance acquisition and learning are two different things, according to Gee and he relates it to literacy and reading. Reading has to do with literacy and the ability to interpret words and symbols. Learning to read has to do with some aspect of discourse and children should be exposed to learning because, it stresses poor performers. Gee overall idea that poor performers need to learned the common sense of literacy. Poor performers are able to write and read...
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