What Influenced My Literacy Development

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Literacy development is something which starts in growing stages and takes years to develop reading and writing skills. Just like it takes years for a mathematician to increase his problem-solving skills, it takes several years for an individual to develop his literacy skills because this process does not complete with the input of only one individual and factor.

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I remember when I was in elementary school, I used to be seated in my sister’s class instead of mine. I used to play with my sister with pencils. In the mean- time my sister’s English professor arrived and started to scold my sister because of me and I started to cry because I was upset. For few days I was so sick that I was not able to attend my classes. From that point of time, I had bad impression towards English teachers and I never focused on English courses. I still remember when I was in grade eight, I found professor Som who changed my impression towards English teachers and English subject. I was first introduced to the word ‘theses’ from him and as I wanted to be a computer scientist from my formative stage, he made me aware about importance of theses in senior year of bachelor’s studies. He taught me various topics in English including subject verb agreement, use of punctuations, reading and writing skills because I had a poor command over language at that time. He suggested me to increase my vocabulary power and he gifted me a book named “Word Power Made Easy”. I returned to home with strong motivation and I started to study the book but after fifteen minutes of study I was frustrated because I could not grasp anything from the book. I recall how he would send me to the children’s fiction section, and encourage me to read in an analytical manner, paying close attention to ensure that I was capable of grasping the information as well as the varied details. In addition to these, he would also encourage me to read science as it was instrumental in imparting comprehensive reading skills, especially when it came to analytical work, which he was fond of doing.

Personally, I think that this experience, as well as several encounters with my teacher in the library, shaped my literacy, and as such, played a huge role in ensuring that I furnished my grammar and analytical skills from my very young age. He would also encourage me to borrow books from the library, and then emphasize that I read them during my free time. This was coupled with the fact that he would at times ask me random questions from the books I had read. It was like he had read them all. This was a great shape to my literacy, analytical as well as comprehension skills in my early life. The day to day activities made me so strong that I was able to solve the difficult questions of grammar and punctuations. I learned the literacy skills including vocabulary skills, comprehension, print motivation, print awareness, narrative skills, letter knowledge, phonological awareness which made me a complete package of English language knowledge. After some days I gave my final exam and I was a topper from that school. My score in English was 93/100. My family members were very happy by seeing my progress in all subjects. It was the first time I realized the taste of hard work and I never looked back and started to increase my writing and reading skills.

Another influence to my literacy was the KAPLAN SAT preparation book. After my high school diploma in Nepal, I wanted to come to US for my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science so I had to do SAT for scholarships and admissions in US universities. I was very good in mathematics and I also had good vocabulary and grammatical skills so I was pretty sure I could ace the SAT test but when I was introduced to the KAPLAN SAT preparation book from my friend I came to know that I was wrong. I had to learn lot more in Reading and Writing so I started to study KAPLAN SAT preparation book. This book helped me to learn more about persuasive essays and it helped me to analyze comprehensive reading quickly. It also helped me to improve my writing skills using punctuations, subject verb agreement. Also, my literacy was also shaped by the encounter with novels like “Harry Potter” and “Sherlock Holmes”. The series of nine fantasy novels published by J.K Rowling helped me to know about more words and it increased my vocabulary power.

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