Research Paper Illiteracy

Topics: Literacy, Secondary education, Reading Pages: 37 (9356 words) Published: February 19, 2010
Topic: Literacy

Statement of the Problem:

An investigation into how the level of literacy affects form two pupils’ progress in content literacy at Coryal High School.

Background to the Problem
This problem began at the primary level where students missed out on basic concepts. These basic concepts were taught at the infant level at primary school. These students operating at the frustration level of reading never understood those concepts. These students proceeded from the infant level to standard five, without having a basic understanding of reading concepts. Since this problem was never resolved at primary level, it is now being transferred to secondary level. Moreover, since the removal of the Post Primary Centres, and all students are now being admitted into secondary schools, the extent of the level of illiteracy in this country is now being revealed. There are many secondary schools now with students who are illiterate and unable to cope with the level of work being done at secondary level.

Purpose of the Study:
It is hoped to achieve added assistance for students at frustration level of reading and aims to find effective strategies of moving students from frustration level to an independent level of reading, thereby placing students in a state of readiness for the level of work at secondary school.

Significance of the Study:
This study will be significant to English teachers as well as all other teachers and principals. It will also be significant to curriculum officers as well as parents. It will be significant to these stakeholders because it would provide them with a more literate and educated community thus adding to the value of the human resources of the community as well as the nation. This will create a more purposeful, disciplined and productive society, thereby cutting down on crime, idlers, and giving room for meaningful living. This will in turn lead to a higher level of success in all subject areas by students.

This paper has to do with the students at secondary school who are not showing any progress at the academic level due to their frustration level of reading. This results in drug abuse, low self confidence, teenage pregnancies, drop outs, or students being totally frustrated because of their inability to cope with the standard of work in secondary school. It creates a society that is academically starved and functionally illiterate. In an effort to remedy this problem, the paper seeks to provide a more literate society whereby students can develop themselves holistically. It will benefit the community because it will seek to relieve students from the stress, frustration and humiliation of being illiterate and make provisions for engaging pupils in remediation programmes to combat illiteracy.

Statement: Illiterate students are unable to function effectively at secondary level. Question: Are illiterate students unable to function effectively at secondary level?

Research Questions:
1. Is the standard of work at this school suited to all students? 2. At what level of literacy do students enter secondary school? 3. Do students with literacy problems show meaningful progress in content areas? 4. Is sufficient time devoted to literacy in this school? Definition of Terms:

Literacy: the ability to read and write. Today the definition has been expanded. Many now consider literacy to be the ability to locate, evaluate, use, and communicate using a wide range of resources including text, visual, audio, and video sources.

Illiteracy: the condition of being unable to read and write.

Functional illiteracy: refers to the inability of an individual to use reading, speaking, writing, and computational skills in everyday life situations.

Metacognition: A turning inward, purposely at first and automatically thereafter, to reexamine our processes of comprehending, changing interpretations of...

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Diehl, Holly L. (2005) Snapshots of our journey to thoughtful literacy: The Reading Teacher, 59(1), 56-69.
Dillingham, Brett. (2005) Performance Literacy: The Reading Teacher, 59(1), 72-78.
Faulkner, Val. (2005) Adolescent literacies within the middle years of schooling: A case study of a year 8 homeroom: Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 49, 108-117.
Herbert, L. H. (1970). Teaching Reading in Content Areas. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Illiteracy: A national crisis. (2003, May 07). The Daily Express, p.7.
McKenna, M.C., & Robinson, R.D. (1997). Teaching through Text: A Content Literacy Approach to Content Area Reading, 2 ed. New York: Longman.
Ministry of Education. (2003, October 06). Embracing the Literacy Challenge: A Preventative Approach. The Daily Express, p.14.
Moss, Barbara. (2005) Making a case and a place for effective content area literacy instruction in the elementary grades: The Reading Teacher, 59(1) 46-53.
Nation’s schools turning out poor readers. (2005, July 27). The Daily Express, p.28.
Reading Programmes that work. (2006, March 20). The Daily Express, p.7.
Rubin, D. (1993). Teaching Reading and Study Skills in Content Areas. 2ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Walker, Barbara J. (2005) Thinking aloud: Struggling readers often require more than a model: The Reading Teacher, 58, 688-691.
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