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Literacy Practices in the Globalized World

Introduction

Every person goes through literacy learning in early childhood and continues developing it in various ways throughout their lifetime. The most appropriate and frequently applied practices for it are reading, writing, communicating with others, and expanding vocabulary (Bennett et al. 246). Today, globalization provided humanity with a valuable opportunity to know each other better, exchange cultures and experiences. Literacy, curiosity, and the ability to communicate with diverse people shaped my willingness to learn foreign languages and profoundly impacted my life. I believe that language learning is a significant part of literacy development, essential in the modern globalized world.

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Developing Literacy in Childhood

Improving literacy is a life-long experience that begins in childhood when we learn how to speak in the native language, read, and write. I have always been talkative and have repeated everything I heard in my family’s conversations to expand my vocabulary. Furthermore, I began reading and writing earlier than my siblings and friends and was one of the quickies readers in primary school. My parents recognized these capabilities and included various literacy practices, such as reading books, writing cards for holidays, and asking me to explain what a particular word means. Puglisi et al. state that “the relationship between early informal home literacy activities and children’s language and reading skills is largely accounted for by maternal skills and may reflect genetic influences” (499). While developing my communication skills in my mother tongue, I discovered that foreign languages exist in our daily lives, and it inspired me to learn more.

Globalization impacted the culture worldwide and made many foreigners available that revealed the differences between values and became the tool for literacy improvement. My parents listened to the music of various artists who sang in French, Spanish, German, and even Russian. The experience of hearing the phonetics of other languages can help better understand one’s own (Bennett et al. 244). As a child, I re-pronounced the lyrics of foreign songs without knowing their meaning and imagined that I know and can speak in all those idioms. The literacy practice of distinguishing the mother tongue from the others by listening to the music has also shaped my curiosity and willingness to explore other cultures.

Children reveal their talents in certain spheres such as counting, reading, or arts during their first three years of life, and parents need to pay specific attention to what they like doing the most. Moreover, in today’s global society, the practices from other cultures might be included to help involve specific literacy exercises for early education (Puglisi 498). For example, the western approach of teaching toddlers a foreign language’s vocabulary simultaneously with their ability to speak and reading in their mother tongue is beneficial for brain development (Bennett et al. 246). My interest in unknown words was timely noticed by my parents, and they included conversations about different translations of the same words into my early literacy practices. Their strategy to explain to me that, for example, “apple” can also be called “manzana” helped me perceive the world more broadly.

In today’s globalized world, we frequently encounter foreign cultures and languages, forcing us to explore more and better understand our identity. We had the two books in foreign languages at home – “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes in Spanish and Alexandre Dumas’s novels in French. I could not understand. The literacy practice of reading, comparing, and translating my language to another developed my writing and reading skills. Moreover, foreign literature provided a different viewpoint on historical events and social institutions mentioned in the novels (Maine et al. 389). After the experience of exploring Spanish and French books from my home, I started learning foreign languages.

School’s Influence on Literacy Development

Educational programs for literacy improvement thrive in the globalized world with the opportunities to study other cultures’ literature and science, communicate, and gain novel learning approaches. During the school years, I read various classical novels, wrote essays, and completed multiple assignments – these practices helped me develop communicational skills, made me open-minded and curious about other cultures and languages. Although globalization is frequently perceived as severe for the nations’ cultural identities, I think it is beneficial. Being a united community is necessary for developing healthy societies worldwide, where diversity is respected, and knowledge of others’ values provides more understanding of our own (Saleem and Ilyas 83). Therefore, literacy practices performed at schools are strongly tied to cultural exchange. My experience of the interest in foreign languages grown from learning how to read and write is an example.

School is essential to help an individual grow into a decent person, and the current trend in implementing multicultural curriculums to study various phenomenons of the modern globalized society. Subjects that aim to develop literacy maintain their importance, and such practices as studying foreign languages through reading and writing make them even more valuable. I visited different linguistic courses during my school years, and familiarity with grammar, morphemics, phonetics and other idioms’ rules assisted in studying the mother tongue. Learning more than one language positively influences students’ motivation to expand their boundaries from cultural, behavioral, and communicative perspectives (Maine et al. 390). Consequently, further generations would move towards globalizing and building an entirely new culture based on a combination of various values and backgrounds.

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Literacy’s Benefits I Revealed

International volunteering is a profound outcome of the globalized world we live in today as it provides an environment for cultural exchange. I’ve recently had that valuable experience with my literacy and linguistic capabilities in use. Indeed, being a part of a team where people of various backgrounds requires each participant to build a dialogue that tailors their points without intervening in the others’ borders (Maine et al. 386). My observations revealed that multilingual communication is the literacy practice that shapes individual’s perception of their values. Furthermore, the demand in describing my culture in a way others will understand demanded skills we got through reading and writing at schools.

Globalization that enforces the need for language learning is beneficial for our brains, thus literacy practices applied for it are good for health. The research shows that studying and memorizing foreign idioms decreases the risks of such diseases as Alzheimer’s (Antoniou and Wright 2217). Besides, frequent help the brain maintain its best performance, improve memory and cognitive functions (Antoniou and Wright 2217). Today, I communicate with my foreign friends through social networks, read and listen to the books, and craft assignments necessary for studying. My goal is to support literacy improvement, develop lifelong learning habits, and explore other cultures through literature and communication.

The increasing influence of social networks on people’s daily lives is another important outcome of globalization that profoundly impacted literacy development. Indeed, practicing writing and reading became more available and engaging with online communication. Furthermore, Maine et al. state that “cultural literacy empowers intercultural dialogue, opening a dialogic space with inherent democratic potential” (383). An appealing opportunity to get friends from other countries inspired me to meet with new people in socials and forced me to improve my literacy. The notion that the more books you read, the better grammar, vocabulary, and thoughts structuring you have is also true for foreign languages, and I successfully applied these practices in my online learning and communicating experiences.

Conclusion

My experience exploring the world through developing literacy outlined my values and helped in being open to others, respecting diversity, and feeling comfortable in the globalizing world. Moreover, learning foreign languages allowed me to broaden my knowledge about cultures, meet new people, and improve my studying capabilities. As the world continues moving towards globalization, educators need to maintain strong literacy practices to help further generations develop a thriving society.

It is also critical to analyze the COVID-19 pandemic’s influence on the way society develops and communicates. The lockdown forced to make the education remote, and it significantly changed the literacy practices for children. As in-school communication became unavailable, parents today carry more responsibility for the amount of knowledge obtained. Consequently, the literacy practices such as regular reading and writing are the demand for the modern families. Based on my experience, home part of eduction needs to include communication, providence of various books, and opportunities for children to craft texts. Learning languages is another profound literacy practice, however, many parents find it difficult to implement into the daily life. Globalization is an important step forward for humanity’s development, and the pandemic revealed that multicultural communication is beneficial in the modern world. I am glad to have the interest in developing my literacy throughout my life, and learning foreign languages is a valuable option to expand practicing opportunities.

Works Cited

Bennett, Susan V., et al. “Culturally Responsive Literacy Practices in an Early Childhood Community.” Early Childhood Education Journal, vol. 46, no. 2, 2018, pp. 241-248.

Maine, Fiona, Victoria Cook, and Tuuli Lähdesmäki. “Reconceptualizing Cultural Literacy as a Dialogic Practice.” London Review of Education, vol. 17, no. 3, 2019, pp. 383-392.

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Puglisi, Marina L., et al. “The Home Literacy Environment is a Correlate, but Perhaps not a Cause, of Variations in Children’s Language and Literacy Development.” Scientific Studies of Reading, vol. 21, no. 6, 2017, pp. 498-514.

Antoniou, Mark, and Sarah M. Wright. “Uncovering the Mechanisms Responsible for Why Language Learning May Promote Healthy Cognitive Aging.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, 2017, p. 2217.

Saleem, Abdul, and Mohammed Ilyas. “Goals of Teaching Literature: Literacy, Liberalism and Global Citizenship.” International Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, vol. 8, no. 2, 2019, pp. 78-86.

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