Literacy is more than just knowing how to write and read well without mistakes. It can be seen much more broadly, for example, as an opportunity to expand one’s capabilities and develop one’s potential constantly. But in any case, in practice, literacy will manifest itself in the ability to express one’s thoughts in oral and written speech without errors.
We have already talked about whether literacy is necessary in today’s world and why it is important to be literate so that we won’t repeat ourselves. In today’s article, we want to talk about effective ways to improve literacy. Not only are they suitable for everyone, but they also allow you to enhance your literacy level very quickly without spending a lot of time and effort. Experts from educational companies who helped write my paper for me believe that literacy is one of the critical elements of an educated person.
Literacy is closely connected with broadening the mind, the developing of eloquence, and an increase in erudition, so if you start paying attention to one thing, the other will automatically improve. Hence the first and foremost advice on improving literacy is to get knowledge from books. But what kind of books should they be?
What is the best kind to read?
Reading to improve literacy
We have already said more than once that the best way to improve one’s literacy level is through reading. It broadens your horizons, enriches your knowledge, and makes you smarter. But to do this, you need to read not just anything but specific literature. Let’s list what we think contributes most to literacy:
- Classical literature. To determine which books by which authors are worth turning to, it is enough to remember the school curriculum.
- Technical and professional literature. To improve your literacy, it is recommended to read books from your area of professional interest. These include all kinds of reference books and dictionaries, patents and instructions, drawings and diagrams, reports and essays, magazines, and almanacs related to what you do for work. Studying such materials will increase your professional level and get unique knowledge, and at the same time fill the gaps in spelling and presentation manner.
- Audiobooks. Even though this type of literature does not precisely correspond to the concept of “reading,” such books are no less helpful than traditional versions. They are trendy among those who have problems with punctuation. Listening to professional speakers, who have put a speech, capable of high-quality intonation, without noticing, you begin to have a much better understanding of punctuation. Another convenience of audiobooks is that they can be combined with listening to any other business: driving, cleaning, cooking, or walking down the street. The books themselves can be both fiction and educational.
- Special literature. It refers to books that improve literacy. They are explicitly designed to improve literacy rates. Of course, such literature is more suitable for professionally engaged people in writing, editing, and proofreading, but “ordinary” people will also enjoy their reading for general development. As for authors, we advise you to pay attention to such masters of the word as Rosenthal and Minchin, as well as the books “50 Writing Techniques” by Roy Clark, “How to Write Well” by William Zinser, “How to Write Books” by Stephen King, and “The Living and the Dead Word” by Nora Gal.
- Internet-themed resources and subscriptions. On the World Wide Web, you can find a lot of enjoyable, including free materials to improve literacy, from forums and directories to entertaining interactive content – games, tests, various tasks.
Reading any of these materials (or, better yet, reading them all together) is a sure way to improve literacy. But it is not only important because it is necessary to consolidate the acquired knowledge. And to reduce the ability, you need practice. Let’s talk about what kind of practice is appropriate in our case.
Consolidation of literacy
What does practice mean when we talk about consolidation of literacy? It is straightforward – it is a lot of repetition and writing of words, reading and highlighting punctuation marks. And you can use several practical tools for this:
- Spelling reading. This beneficial technique helps you remember how to spell words correctly in no time. The idea is that you read the terms out loud very slowly, saying them syllabically and pronouncing each letter as clearly as possible. For greater efficiency, it is recommended to write down the words – then they will be remembered even faster (by the way, it is orthographic reading that teachers use in schools when they start giving students their first dictations).
- Study aids. Look in your stash or go to a bookstore and buy several Russian language textbooks – this way, you will quickly solve the problem of practice checking and improving literacy. You’ll find plenty of assignments in the textbooks, as well as all the Russian language rules you need to learn. If necessary, you can repeat the division by gender, cases, verb tenses, paronyms, and other topics.
- Online resources. Above, we have already named several valuable sites to help you check and improve your literacy. But you can also add to the areas that specialize specifically in dictations, tests, and other verification tools.
- Tutor. Engaging in self-improvement of literacy, it is straightforward to miss something important, but if there is a professional assistant, the probability of this is reduced to almost zero. That’s why it’s helpful to study with a tutor. You can find an experienced teacher among your friends or through advertisements. You can also advertise to find a tutor yourself. By the way, today, anyone has an excellent opportunity to study with a teacher without leaving home because many teachers hold classes online with the help of special programs, for example, Skype.
- Game activities. When bored with reading books and textbooks, and your eyes get tired of the computer screen, but you still want to study, you can play alone, with friends, or with one of the family members.
Follow these recommendations for strengthening literacy to remember all the new information quickly. And in addition to them, we offer a few more additional tips and a couple of valuable exercises.
Literacy exercises and tips
- To improve your literacy level, you can buy a collection of exercises for preparing for exams and do the tasks from it every day. There is, however, one catch: the functions in such groups often require a lot of time, effort, and a good deal of assiduity. If that’s not a problem for you, plan your schedule and get started, but if for some reason you don’t have a lot of personal resources to spend on improving your literacy, try the exercises below.
- There are a total of two exercises that we will cover. They are instrumental and practical, although you will need only 15-20 minutes a day to do them. The only condition for getting results is daily exercise. But the tasks are so simple that even a very busy and lazy person can easily do them regularly. So, here are these exercises:
- Find a copy-book of words and phrases (or a collection of vocabulary dictations) online, take a notebook or notebook, and write down in it any passages you like – take them and rewrite them. This exercise engages your motor memory, so your brain will remember how to write complex words and sentences. To make the task more difficult, you can read the sentence first, then repeat it from memory, repeat it on the principle of spelling, then write it down and check to see if you made any mistakes.
- Take any magazine or newspaper and a colored marker to highlight the text. Start reading any article and use the highlighter to highlight any words where you think you might have made a mistake, as well as words whose meanings you do not understand or do not fully understand. With the help of this exercise, you will prevent errors in writing and pronunciation of various words in advance and expand your vocabulary. By the way, this task is convenient to combine with the compilation of your vocabulary: write down in a notebook all the terms and concepts that seem interesting to you and reread them and repeat their meanings at leisure.
And now let’s talk about tips that will also be your faithful helpers on the way to improving literacy:
- We have already talked about reading, so we only add that you should give it as much time as possible. It is better to start reading a book today, filling the free time every day with this activity. It would be just great if you could read at least one small book every two weeks. To do this, you need to devote 1 hour to reading in the morning and 1 hour in the evening.
- We have already talked about writing, so here we will only add: at least 15 minutes in the morning and in the evening for taking notes. It can be rewriting texts or a short essay about the past day. If you work on the computer, typed in MS Word. The main thing is to use as many different words as possible and check the spelling.
- Do self-check regularly. If you have the slightest doubt about the pronunciation, spelling, or meaning of a word, ask for help from dictionaries. Yes, it can be time-consuming, but it’s better to spend a few extra minutes than to remain in the dark. Plus, don’t forget that the baggage of mistakes accumulates just as much as the baggage of knowledge.
- Use the Word of the Day app. The application seems to be a trifle, but it will add one new word to your vocabulary in the automatic mode every day, and you will know both its correct spelling and meaning. Imagine that you will have 365 new words in your vocabulary in one year, and that’s with absolutely no effort on your part!
- Memorize one new rule every day. Download or buy a couple of Russian language textbooks or a rule book. Study one rule every day, check how it works in practice, and then be sure to practice self-testing. Also, repeat the previous day’s power every new day, and at the end of the week, give yourself a test of the rules you learned during the week.
- Check and edit everything you write. It applies to the same dictations or writing excerpts from cheating books and everything you have to write. It includes texts, messages on social networks and messengers, and comments. Even if it’s a correspondence with a friend, try to write correctly. This habit will serve you well.
- Keep a style sheet. In her book “Writers are not born,” the American writer Jan Jaeger mentions. The method is designed to improve the quality of writing, and the essence of it is that you divide the sheet into two parts: in the left one, you write down all the words where you often make mistakes, and in the right one – everything that relates to grammar and word usage.
- Engage in play activities. In addition to the games that we have already mentioned, other game options improve literacy, allowing you to combine pleasure with usefulness. Drawing, modeling with plasticine, embroidery, making words out of magnets (for example, together with children), solving crossword puzzles and scandals, solving puzzles, charades, anagrams, and rebuses are just a few ways to become more innovative.
In this case, as well as in most other vital tasks, everything depends solely on you, or instead on your personal qualities, such as determination, efficiency, and discipline. Remember that the most important thing is to constantly work on yourself, apply different ways and their modifications to improve literacy, test yourself and continually wish to become better and brighter.