Identifying Literacy

One thing that has stood out to me about literacy is that how little I know about it. As each day passes I find new ways in which literacy is used in my life. In Brandt’s article, Sponsors of Literacy, she discusses how literacy effects individuals in the job market. It is not just the different means and methods that literacy effects the job, but how other individuals can share the tools needed to excel in a particular field. This can be done with the sponsors knowledge or without.

What stood out most to me was Brandt’s conclusion, “I am not advocating that we prepare students more efficiently for the job markets they must enter. What I have tried to suggest is that as we assist and study individuals in pursuit of literacy, we also recognize how literacy is in pursuit of them” (Brandt 183). This passage suggests that we have a broader understanding of literacy. This awareness of how broad literacy is will help students pay more attention to, and then take advantage of what could be to their advantage.

Moll and Gonzalez continued this idea of taking advantage of your surrounding literacies with the concept of “funds of knowledge”. They also recognize the often-overlooked potential of literacy resources right in front of students. This could be anything from knowledge of construction or even a second language. If individuals are made aware of how vast and beneficial different forms of literacy are, then they can use them to their advantage. They can make sponsors of not just teachers or supervisors at work, but also family and people in their community.

In my own experience, I also started noticing areas within my job that I would have never thought could be considered literacy. Usually it was a simple task, but important enough to be taught at fire academy’s. For example, when I back an engine up to turn around, I give a set of hand signals to the driver. A nonverbal form of communication that was put in place because of accidents that had happened in the past. These simple hand gestures prevent damage to not only an expensive vehicle, but to other property and more importantly, human safety. It seems like almost daily that I am recognizing tasks in my life that I hadn’t previously thought were a form of literacy.