Literacy has been described as the ability to read for knowledge and write coherently and think critically about the written word. Literacy can also include the ability to understand all forms of communication, be it body language, pictures, video and sound (reading, speaking, listening and viewing). In a technological society, the concept of literacy is expanding to include the media and electronic text, in addition to alphabetic and number systems.
These abilities vary in different social and cultural contexts according to need and demand. Within a highly idealist modern context, individuals must be given lifelong opportunities to move along a continuum that includes reading and writing, critical understanding and decision making abilities they need in their community. The Queensland School Curriculum Council, Australia, has defined literacy in simple terms as being “the ability to communicate by reading, speaking, listening and viewing”.
Literacy represents the lifelong intellectual process, of gaining meaning from print. The key to all literacy is reading development, which involves a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken words, decode written words and culminates in the deep understanding of text.
The Phonics Alive! Family of Literacy Software enables students to embark on a reading development program which involves a range of complex language underpinnings including:
• Awareness of speech sounds (phonology), Phonics Alive! 1 and Phonics Alive! 2 The Sound Blender
• Spelling patterns (orthography and etymology) Phonics Alive! 3 The Speller,
• Grammar (syntax) orthography and patterns of word formation (morphology), Phonics Alive! 4 Grammar
All of which provide a necessary platform for reading fluency and comprehension.
Once these skills are acquired the reader can attain full language literacy, which includes the ability to approach printed material with critical analysis, inference and synthesis. To write with accuracy and coherence. To use information and insights from text as the basis for informed decisions and creative thought.
To round out literacy skills it is understood that computers play an ever increasing role in today’s technological world. To prepare our students for this new world they are being introduced to computers at an ever decreasing age, Phonics Alive! 6 Typing teaches primary age students to use a keyboard correctly.
The Phonics Alive! Family of Literacy Software contains wonderful animations and reward systems that will impress young minds with mental images. These will assist in memory retention to reinforce and help retain the knowledge they are learning.