The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

The joy of Literacy

Whenever I come across the word, for some reason it brings to my mind the opposite. I always envision children who are deprived of formal education. Children who would love to be able to read and write, but can’t due to poverty or political unrest in their countries.

I live in Turkey where, in many small schools spread out in the eastern region, a book is a priceless object. Children read the same book over and over again just to satisfy their quench for discovering something new and different.

It is a very common occurence where illeterate elderly women, who were denied an education during childhood, complete literacy courses provided by the state. The joy on their faces when they are able to read the signs on the walls, the boards indicating the destination on the buses and any form of text is something to be seen. It must be a great thing to not have to make up a lie such as: “My eyesight is impaired, could you please read this for me?” when you know that it’s obvious that there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.

I’m an EFL teacher living and teaching in Izmir, located on the Aegean coast of Turkey. I work in one of the top-notch, private primary schools. My third grade students love reading books in the native language, but prefer listening to an English book read to them with animation. I’m interested in this course from the literacy in second language perspective. I hope that the knowledge I gain from this course will help me to blend literacy and technology in the same melting pot.

Jennifer Ozturkeri


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