The Importance Of Literacy In Education

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Literacy
As a child, I never had books read to me. It was not really part of the middle-class lifestyle in Punjab, where I was born and lived for 5 years. In Punjab, I completed two years of early education known as LKG (lower kindergarten) and UKG (upper kindergarten). The school I went to, although a high SES school, did not have a library where we would go to read picture books. Moreover, the books we did have for ‘English’ were a compilation of poems and stories, with very few pictures. Poems or story was read by the teacher, and then told the ‘moral’ of the story. Nothing more. Neither was there any extrapolation nor exploration of character or plots. Although, it was taught in school it was still a second language for me.
Nieto (1992) asserts that the language students bring along impacts their learning, and teachers often want to take away the student’s language and culture. I was often told to speak English at home, and at home I was told to speak Punjabi. Teachers who want to create equity in class may in fact, by ignoring differences, by accepting the dominant culture as a norm (Nieto, 1992). Many teachers expect that students know how to ‘talk books’, because it is ‘nature’, however it heavily underpinned by nature (Heath, 1982). Understanding the culture and the type of home literacies students practice in is imperative in providing the appropriate support for the student. When I first came to Australia, my teachers thought I had superficial English skills
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