Walking into a class room full of seniors, one might not suspect that some of the students can not read above a third grade reading level (Mcmaster). In fact one million teenagers from the ages of 12 and 17 do not have the reading ability of a third grader. Literacy among American people is important because it affects our economy greatly. Not only that but it also affects the lives of the American population. Illiteracy is a large problem within the United States that can be reasonably solved using different tactics.
More than most would imagine, illiteracy is a phenomenal crisis throughout the world. Today, there are approximately 800 million illiterates in the world. Ninety-three million of those are Americans who have basic or below basic literacy. Thirty million of the 93,000,000 are functionally illiterate. The other 63,000,000 read at a fifth to an eighth grade level and cannot understand a basic newspaper. According to Literacy Partners, a foundation which helps low-income parents with limited English proficiency transfer literacy
It’s difficult to imagine being one of the millions of Americans who are incapable of reading or writing as we spend most of our lives doing both. Whether it’s reading the daily newspaper or successfully completing a job application, literacy is essential to living a life with independence. Unfortunately, without the ability to communicate, most illiterates
Throughout the world social problems such as illiterate, elderly, handicapped, minority groups, and poverty have been the biggest part in our society for many years. Some of our social problems had died off, meanwhile, they’re still many problem that we are still facing as a society. One of the major social problem we face is people being illiterate. Being illiterate is meaning a person can not read nor write, and it can also mean that a person is grammatically incorrect. There is as much as 23% of the adult population that are ignorant to basic skills of the 4th grade level. In the U.S. the ethnic group that is most affected by not being able to read or write is
Imagine waking up to an unfamiliar world. A world that only may seem familiar due to years spent breathing, but not living. In this unfamiliar world, one can only imagine the panic and frustrations illiterates face each day as they coexist. An expert on this issue, Jonathan Kozol, wrote a book that deals with his theories of illiterates in America. He mentions how democracy is sacrificed from lack of acknowledgement of this issue. While focusing on chapter four in his novel, Kozol highlights real life hardships for illiterates and defends that their freedoms are nonexistent. In Jonathan Kozol’s essay, “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society”, he presents the major costs and dangers from illiterates that impact our society as a whole and that our nation fails to address.
Imagine not being able to read this essay. Many Americans do not posses the ability to do what you just did. In Jonathan Kozol’s essay titled, “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society,” he exposes the complications of being illiterate as well as how it affects a person on a social, personal, and financial level. He brings to light the troubles illiterates go through right from the beginning, and takes repeated stabs at the way they function, and how it brings extreme troubles. Kozol effectively educates and exploits the overlooked troubles of being illiterate, by providing examples of their embarrassment, using repetition emphasizing on their limitations, and making assertions to explain how they survive.
Statistically, based on reports from 2003, 99% of the total population ages 15 and over can read and write (CIA Library). Thus, one can conclude illiteracy is not a crisis. However, “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society” by Jonathan Kozol, implies something different. Kozol emphasizes the hardship of an illiterate, and briefly explains the importance of helping an illiterate without providing much of a solution, while Kozol’s essay was ineffective overall because of the lack of factual evidence and flawed conclusions, his strategic use of tone, repetition and rhetorical questioning provided some strength to his argument.
Writer Jonathan Kozol, in the essay “The Human Cost of an Illiterate Society,” suggests that the alarming rates of illiteracy in the U.S. are corroding the fundamentals of democracy, reinforcing the structures of inequality that created the problem to begin with. His argument draws on a range of evidence and support from multiple sources such as philosophers and historical figures, anecdotes, and first-person accounts. Kozol’s purpose is to not simply illustrate the various personal tragedies that people with underdeveloped reading skills face, but to tell his audience that such tragedies when you add them up constitute a threat to the basic values that maintain the nation as a whole.
In American society, literacy, or the ability to read and write, is taken for granted. In many areas around the world, and even America before public schooling, the power you carried with literacy was priceless. Deborah Brandt, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said “Literacy like land, is a valued commodity in this economy, a key resource in gaining profit and edge. This value helps to explain, of course, the lengths people will go to secure literacy for them- selves or their children. But it also explains why the powerful work so persistently to conscript and ration the powers of literacy” (Brandt 169). This quote from her publication, Sponsors of Literacy, shows how literacy is power and the people who are in control of it need to influence, or as Brandt would say “Sponsor” (167) those who are illiterate.
The problem is not only that illiterate people are dependent on others, it’s also that the literate, well-functioning people of society aren’t always willing to put forth help. Help may only take a few minutes out of someone’s day, and to them be no big deal. For an illiterate person, those few minutes may be the defining of their lives.
In society today, people are judged by their level of education. Education is the key in society today. According to begintoread.com, today in the United States 1 out of 4 children grow up without learning how to read. Also at early stage of life the brain start developing and adjusting to the environment that they were raised in. In addition, books and education helps develop the brain especially in early age. According to the National Center for Education, Statistics shows that the majority of people who don’t complete high school have basic or below-basic literacy skills. 26% of prison inmates nationwide had parents who had not completed high school, and 37% of inmates had not completed high school themselves. Literacy is powerful in times of development because it leads to success in life and helps with solving a problem.
Throughout this article, Gioia discusses that literacy is declining with people from “ages 18-24.” This is found mostly with younger adults in america. Dana includes that with the decline of literacy “It signifies deep transformations in contemporary life.” This evidence gives us the idea that without reading, the lives of many will take a turn for the worst. It persuades his
African American regions are processing new strategies for people below average functioning under level number one literacy. There are state officials, business leaders, and human resources who promote assessment class to determine the adequate needs for African Americans needing more help with illiteracy. The African
Learning to read and write, or getting an education in general, is something that is easily handed to us in the world today. Imagine living in a world where you were expected to be uneducated, illiterate, and stupid. In the texts “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie and “Learning to Read and Write” by Frederick Douglass, these young boys grew up in different worlds where they were looked down upon and were expected to fail due to the standards they grew accustomed to. Although Douglass and Alexie underwent contrasting hardships on their educational journey, they both shared the realization that learning to read and write was both a curse and a blessing. With those shared