Word of the Year Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends. It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas the ripple effect – How far does the impact of quality preschool education reach into the future? represented each year.
So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections. Change It wasn’t trendy, funny, nor was it coined on Twitter, but we thought change told a real story about how our users defined 2010. The national debate can arguably be summarized by the question: In the past two years, has there been enough change? Meanwhile, many Americans continue to face change in their homes, bank accounts and jobs. Only time will tell if the latest wave of change Americans voted for in the midterm elections will result in a negative or positive outcome.
Tergiversate This rare word was chosen to represent 2011 because it described so much of the world around us. Tergiversate means “to change repeatedly one’s attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc. Bluster In a year known for the Occupy movement and what became known as the Arab Spring, our lexicographers chose bluster as their Word of the Year for 2012. 2012 saw the most expensive political campaigns and some of the most extreme weather events in human history, from floods in Australia to cyclones in China to Hurricane Sandy and many others. Privacy We got serious in 2013. Privacy was on everyone’s mind that year, from Edward Snowden’s reveal of Project PRISM to the arrival of Google Glass. Exposure Spoiler alert: Things don’t get less serious in 2014.
Our Word of the Year was exposure, which highlighted the year’s Ebola virus outbreak, shocking acts of violence both abroad and in the US, and widespread theft of personal information. From the pervading sense of vulnerability surrounding Ebola to the visibility into acts of crime or misconduct that ignited critical conversations about race, gender, and violence, various senses of exposure were out in the open this year. Identity Fluidity of identity was a huge theme in 2015. Language around gender and sexual identity broadened, becoming more inclusive with additions to the dictionary like gender-fluid as well as the gender-neutral prefix Mx. Xenophobia In 2016, we selected xenophobia as our Word of the Year. Fear of the “other” was a huge theme in 2016, from Brexit to President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric. Despite being chosen as the 2016 Word of the Year, xenophobia is not to be celebrated.
Rather it’s a word to reflect upon deeply in light of the events of the recent past. Complicit The word complicit sprung up in conversations in 2017 about those who spoke out against powerful figures and institutions and about those who stayed silent. It was a year of real awakening to complicity in various sectors of society, from politics to pop culture. Our choice for Word of the Year is as much about what is visible as it is about what is not.
It’s a word that reminds us that even inaction is a type of action. The silent acceptance of wrongdoing is how we’ve gotten to this point. We must not let this continue to be the norm. If we do, then we are all complicit.
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The Roman Numeral Bowl: Are You Ready For Some Football? Where Do Our Favorite Emoji Come From? Start your day with weird words, fun quizzes, and language stories. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.
Easily clip, save and share what you find with family and friends. Easily download and save what you find. Jump to navigation Jump to search “Reading and writing” redirects here. World illiteracy halved between 1970 and 2015 . Literacy is traditionally meant as the ability to read and write. The key to literacy is reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep understanding of text.
The inability to do so is called illiteracy or analphabetism. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society”. Literacy is thought to have first emerged with the development of numeracy and computational devices as early as 8,000 BCE. Script developed independently at least four times in human history in Mesopotamia, Egypt, lowland Mesoamerica, and China. The earliest forms of written communication originated in Sumer, located in southern Mesopotamia about 3500-3000 BCE. During this era, literacy was “a largely functional matter, propelled by the need to manage the new quantities of information and the new type of governance created by trade and large scale production”.
Egyptian hieroglyphs emerged from 3300-3100 BCE and depicted royal iconography that emphasized power amongst other elites. The Egyptian hieroglyphic writing system was the first notation system to have phonetic values. Writing in lowland Mesoamerica was first put into practice by the Olmec and Zapotec civilizations in 900-400 BCE. These civilizations used glyphic writing and bar-and-dot numerical notation systems for purposes related to royal iconography and calendar systems. The earliest written notations in China date back to the Shang Dynasty in 1200 BCE.
These systematic notations were found inscribed on bones and recorded sacrifices made, tributes received, and animals hunted, which were activities of the elite. According to social anthropologist Jack Goody, there are two interpretations that regard the origin of the alphabet. Another significant discovery was made in 1953 when three arrowheads were uncovered, each containing identical Canaanite inscriptions from twelfth century BCE. According to Frank Moore Cross, these inscriptions consisted of alphabetic signs that originated during the transitional development from pictographic script to a linear alphabet.
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The consonantal system of the Canaanite script inspired alphabetical developments in subsequent systems. According to Goody, these cuneiform scripts may have influenced the development of the Greek alphabet several centuries later. Historically, the Greeks contended that their writing system was modeled after the Phoenicians. However, many Semitic scholars now believe that Ancient Greek is more consistent with an early form Canaanite that was used c. While the earliest Greek inscriptions are dated c. Phoenician, which is considered to contain the first “linear alphabet”, rapidly spread to the Mediterranean port cities in northern Canaan.
When the Israelites migrated to Canaan between 1200 and 1001 BCE, they also adopted a variation of the Canaanite alphabet. Baruch ben Neriah, Jeremiah’s scribe, used this alphabet to create the later scripts of the Old Testament. The Aramaic alphabet also emerged sometime between 1200 and 1001 BCE. As the Bronze Age collapsed, the Aramaeans moved into Canaan and Phoenician territories and adopted their scripts. The Aramaic language would die out with the spread of Islam and with it, its influence of Arabic. Until recently it was thought that the majority of people were illiterate in ancient times. However, recent work would challenge this perception.
When the Western Roman Empire fell apart, literacy became a distinguishing mark of the elite, and communications skills were politically important. Psalms or two of the Apostles’ epistles or some other part of Scripture. And if he is illiterate he shall go at the first, third and sixth hours to someone who can teach and has been appointed for him. He shall stand before him and learn very studiously and with all gratitude. The fundamentals of a syllable, the verbs and nouns shall all be written for him and even if he does not want to he shall be compelled to read. The post-Antiquity illiteracy was more than anything due to lack of suitable writing medium.
When the Western Roman Empire collapsed, the import of papyrus ceased to Europe. Since papyrus perishes easily and does not last well in the European climate, the only alternative was parchment, which was extremely expensive and accessible only by the Church and upper layers of the society. The Reformation stressed the importance of literacy and being able to read the Bible. Scandinavian countries were fully literate in the early 17th century. Adult literacy rates have increased at a constant pace since 1950. Literacy data published by UNESCO displays that since 1950, the adult literacy rate at the world level has increased by 5 percentage points every decade on average, from 55.
7 per cent in 1950 to 86. However, for four decades, the population growth was so rapid that the number of illiterate adults kept increasing, rising from 700 million in 1950 to 878 million in 1990. Available global data indicates significant variations in literacy rates between world regions. Literacy has rapidly spread in several regions over the last twenty-five years. In much of the world, high youth literacy rates suggest that illiteracy will become less and less common as younger generations with higher educational attainment levels replace older ones. However, in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where the vast majority of the world’s illiterate youth live, lower school enrollment implies that illiteracy will persist to a greater degree.
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Progress towards gender parity in literacy started after 1990. On a worldwide scale, illiteracy disproportionately impacts women. The 1990 World Conference on Education for All, held in Jomtien, Thailand, would bring attention to the literacy gender gap and prompt many developing countries to prioritize women’s literacy. In the past decade, global development agendas would increasingly address the issue of female literacy.
In many contexts, female illiteracy co-exists with other aspects of gender inequality. Martha Nussbaum, for example, make illiterate women more vulnerable to becoming trapped in an abusive marriage, given that illiteracy limits their employment opportunities and worsens their intra-household bargaining position. Social barriers prevent expanding literacy skills among women and girls. Making literacy classes available can be ineffective when it conflicts with the use of the valuable limited time of women and girls. School age girls, in many contexts, face stronger expectations than their male counterparts to perform household work and care after younger siblings.
A 2015 World Bank and the International Center for Research on Women review of academic literature would conclude that child marriage, which predominantly impacts girls, tends to reduce literacy levels. While women and girls comprise the majority of the global illiterate population, in many developed countries a literacy gender gap exists in the opposite direction. Many policy analysts consider literacy rates as a crucial measure of the value of a region’s human capital. Illiterate people are generally less knowledgeable about hygiene and nutritional practices, an unawareness which can exacerbate a wide range of health issues. For example, a 2014 descriptive research survey project correlates literacy levels with the socioeconomic status of women in Oyo State, Nigeria. The study claims that developing literacy in this area will bring “economic empowerment and will encourage rural women to practice hygiene, which will in turn lead to the reduction of birth and death rates.
Literacy can increase job opportunities and access to higher education. Ireland commissioned a cost benefit analysis of adult literacy training. While informal learning within the home can play an important role in literacy development, gains in childhood literacy often occur in primary school settings. Continuing the global expansion of public education is thus a frequent focus of literacy advocates.
Funding for both youth and adult literacy programs often comes from large international development organizations. In 2013, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning published a set of case studies on programs that successfully improved female literacy rates. In 2010, however, the UNDP replaced the adult literacy measure with mean years of schooling. Literacy is a human right essential for lifelong learning and social change. Literacy, broadly conceived as the basic knowledge and skills needed by all in a rapidly changing world, is a fundamental human right. The public library has long been a force promoting literacy in many countries.
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American Library Association promotes literacy through the work of the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services. 30 April in schools, libraries, and homes and this website provides tools and programs to encourage reading in children. Parents, caregivers, and educators can even start a book club. This community literacy program was initiated in 1992 by the Orange County Public Library in California. Orange County is to “create a more literate community by providing diversified services of the highest quality to all who seek them.
Located in Boulder, Colorado, the program recognized the difficulty that students had in obtaining child care while attending tutoring sessions, and joined with the University of Colorado to provide reading buddies to the children of students. Reading Buddies matches children of adult literacy students with college students who meet with them once a week throughout the semester for an hour and a half. Approximately 120,000 adults in Hillsborough County are illiterate or read below the fourth-grade level. Working since 1986, the HLC is “committed to improving literacy by empowering adults through education”. Since the 1980s, some have argued that literacy is ideological, which means that literacy always exists in a context, in tandem with the values associated with that context.
Some have argued that the definition of literacy should be expanded. A basic literacy standard in many places is the ability to read the newspaper. Increasingly, communication in commerce and in general requires the ability to use computers and other digital technologies. Arts literacy” programs exist in some places in the United States. Visual literacy also includes the ability to understand visual forms of communication such as body language, pictures, maps, and video.
Given that a large part of the benefits of literacy can be obtained by having access to a literate person in the household, some recent literature in economics, starting with the work of Kaushik Basu and James Foster, distinguishes between a “proximate illiterate” and an “isolated illiterate”. The former refers to an illiterate person who lives in a household with literates and the latter to an illiterate who lives in a household of all illiterates. The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Teaching English literacy in the United States is dominated by a focus on a set of discrete decoding skills. From this perspective, literacy—or, rather, reading—comprises a number of subskills that can be taught to students. From this same perspective, readers of alphabetic languages must understand the alphabetic principle to master basic reading skills.
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Phonics instruction, for example, focuses on reading at the level of the word. It teaches readers to observe and interpret the letters or groups of letters that make up words. In a 2012 proposal, it has been claimed that reading can be acquired naturally if print is constantly available at an early age in the same manner as spoken language. If an appropriate form of written text is made available before formal schooling begins, reading should be learned inductively, emerge naturally, and with no significant negative consequences. In Australia a number of State governments have introduced Reading Challenges to improve literacy. The Premier’s Reading Challenge in South Australia, launched by Premier Mike Rann has one of the highest participation rates in the world for reading challenges. Programs have been implemented in regions that have an ongoing conflict or in a post-conflict stage.
The Norwegian Refugee Council Pack program has been used in 13 post-conflict countries since 2003. The program organizers believe that daily routines and other wise predictable activities help the transition from war to peace. Learners can select one area in vocational training for a year-long period. They complete required courses in agriculture, life skills, literacy and numeracy. A series of pilot studies were carried out to investigate alternatives to instructing literacy to migrant ELLs, starting from simple trials aiming to test the teaching of photography to participants with no prior photography background, to isolating painting and sketching activities that could later be integrated into a larger pedagogical initiative. It should be pointed out that in such challenging contexts sometimes the teaching of literacy may have unforeseen barriers.
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The EL Gazette reported that in the trials carried out in Ethiopia, for example, it was found that all ten of the participants had problems with vision. 21st Century digital literacy instruction through the inclusion of digital cameras and posting images onto the web. Other ways in which visual arts have been integrated into literacy instruction for migrant populations include integrating aspects of visual art with the blending of core curricular goals. It is not just limited to English. This image is of the individual at her shop, and this is one of her products that she sells, dung for cooking fuel.
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The image helps the interlocutor understand the realities of the participants daily life and most importantly it allows the participant the opportunity to select what they feel is important to them. One in Ethiopia from stencil to more developed composition based on a village tour, photography, and paintings. From the work based in Ethiopia, participants were asked to rate preference of activity, on a scale of 1-10. More research would need to be conducted to confirm such trends. In bringing work together from students in culminating projects, authorship programs have been successful in bringing student work together in book format.
Such artifacts can be used to both document learning, but more importantly reinforce language and content goals. The culmination of such writings, into books can evoke both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Form feedback by students involved in such initiatives the responses have indicated that the healthy pressures of collective and collaborative work was beneficial. To do this in a second language becomes increasingly more complex, and in the case of migrants relocating to another country there can be legal and policy driven boundaries that prohibit the naturalization and acquisition of citizen ship based on language proficiency. Literacy is first documented in the area of modern England on 25 September 54 BCE, on which day Julius Caesar and Quintus Cicero wrote to Cicero “from the nearest shores of Britain”.
Formal higher education in the arts and sciences in Wales, from the Dark Ages to the 18th century, was the preserve of the wealthy and the clergy. The ability to read did not necessarily imply the ability to write. Historian Ernest Gellner argues that Continental European countries were far more successful in implementing educational reform precisely because their governments were more willing to invest in the population as a whole. Although the present-day concepts of literacy have much to do with the 15th-century invention of the movable type printing press, it was not until the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century that paper and books became affordable to all classes of industrialized society. On the other hand, historian Harvey Graff argues that the introduction of mass schooling was in part an effort to control the type of literacy that the working class had access to.
Signature rates were therefore likely more reflective of rates of literacy among French immigrants. In the 19th century, everything about print changed, and literature in its many forms became much more available. But educating the Canadian population in reading and writing was nevertheless a huge challenge. Despite this, the invention of the printing press had laid the foundation for the modern era and universal social literacy, and so it is that with time, “technologically, literacy had passed from the hands of an elite to the populace at large.
Historical factors and sociopolitical conditions, however, have determined the extent to which universal social literacy has come to pass”. Educational change in Québec began as a result of a major commission of inquiry at the start of what came to be called the “Quiet Revolution” in the early 1960s. In response to the resulting recommendations, the Québec government revamped the school system in an attempt to enhance the francophone population’s general educational level and to produce a better-qualified labour force. Canada conducted its first literacy survey in 1987 which discovered that there were more than five million functionally illiterate adults in Canada, or 24 per cent of the adult population. It represented a first attempt in Canada to produce skill measures deemed comparable across languages.
Literacy, for the first time, was measured on a continuum of skills. A stratified multi-stage probability sample design was used to select the sample from the Census Frame. This survey contained identical measures for assessing the prose and document literacy proficiencies, allowing for comparisons between survey results on these two measures and found that 41. Canadians between the ages of 16 and 65 scored at the lowest two levels of Prose Literacy and document literacy respectively. In the last 40 years, the rate of illiteracy in Mexico has been steadily decreasing.
In the 1960s, because the majority of the residents of the federal capital were illiterate, the planners of the Mexico City Metro designed a system of unique icons to identify each station in the system in addition to its formal name. Before the 20th century white illiteracy was not uncommon and many of the slave states made it illegal to teach slaves to read. Native youth in front of Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania c. Before colonization, oral storytelling and communication composed most if not all Native American literacy. In 1964 in Brazil, Paulo Freire was arrested and exiled for teaching peasants to read. Since democracy returned to Brazil, however, there has been a steady increase in the percentage of literate people. The literacy rates in Africa vary significantly between countries.
Most illiterate persons now live in Southern Asia or sub-Saharan Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, the rate of literacy has not improved enough to compensate for the effects of demographic growth. 20 years, reaching 169 million in 2010. Algeria up to age of 17.
Burkina Faso has a very low literacy rate of 28. The government defines literacy as anyone at least 15 years of age and up who can read and write. To improve the literacy rate, the government has received at least 80 volunteer teachers. Egypt has a relatively high literacy rate. Education is compulsory from ages 6 to 15 and free for all children to attend.
All boys learned to read the Psalms around the age of 7. The Guinea government defines literacy as anyone who can read or write who is at least 15 years old. Guinea was the first to use the Literacy, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding project. 8 years of primary school are provided tuition-free by the government. In January 2008, the government began offering a restricted program of free secondary education. Most of this literacy, however, is elementary—not secondary or advanced. Mali has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, at 33.