Definition of Literature and Literacy


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There have been many definitions on literature and literacy but they all come to one. After reviewing multiple definitions of literature and literacy I have decided to narrow down to this.Literacy is termed as the ability of person to produce text and decode text so that it can have a meaning. In other words, it refers to the ability of someone to read and write as well as understanding something. It is both a science and skill (Fang, 2013). Basically it is the mechanics of writing and reading. It is related to literature because literacy provides patterns and structures that bring about existence of literature. All the word-communication has its foundation in literacy. On the other hand, literature refers to the art of reading and writing. Literature is visceral and cerebral implicit and explicit (Fang, 2013). It usually thrives in nuance and ambiguity. Literature requires both readers and writers to have an insight of the conditions of human and be able to understand and convey the ideas with great skill and imagination. 

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Forms of literature and literacy

Literature is divided into prose and poetry. Prose refers to those written with a common flow in conversations in both sentences and paragraphs. Poetry, on the other hand refers to expressions written in line, verse or stanza. It has a measure and rhyme and the tone used is melodious.

There are many types of prose in literature, for example; News, drama, short story, plays, legends, novels and biographies. News refers to a daily report of events in a given society, it can concern matters about politics, economy and accidents. Short stories are stories that involve one character or more in the same plot with a single impression. Plays are divided into acts and scenes that are presented on the stage (Routman, 2018). Legends basically are fictitious stories about origin. A novel is a long narrative. It is divided into chapters and involves many characters. A biography, on the other hand outlines the life of a person in written form. 

We have three types of poetry; Narrative poetry, Lyric poetry and Dramatic poetry. There are different varieties of narrative poetry; Epic narrative which focuses on heroic things under supernatural control, metrical tale, normally written in verse form about romance and ballads which is seen as the simplest and shortest. It focuses on a single incident. In lyric poetry, the kinds of poems here are sung accompanied by a lyre (Routman, 2018). They are short and simple to comprehend. They include; folksongs, sonnets, elegy, ode and psalms. Dramatic poetry on the other hand include comedy that is amusing and has a happy ending, melodrama, tragedy, farce and and social poems it is either tragic or comedy.

Many people tend to think that literacy entails reading and writing in academic context. Literacy is wide in variety. I cannot exhaust all of them in this paper. I am focusing on a few. For instance, we have wellness literacy, financial literacy, health literacy, vernacular literacy, digital literacy and academic literacy.

Literacy in my practice

Like it has been discussed earlier, literacy is wide in variety. I will focus on then the way they have been listed earlier. Financial literacy refers to acquisition of knowledge and skills on how to use money and other related resources to satisfy human needs. For instance, a student that spends well at schools can be termed as financially literate. Health literacy allows one to be able to identify if he or she is free from diseases and infirmities with a state of complete mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Vernacular literacy involves present things to do with writing where one is expected to comprehend them (Davison, 2010). Digital literacy basically refers to human sophistication with which an individual is expected to have standards like digital proficiency, critical evaluation of information and digital communication. Academic literacy majorly focuses on school matters concerning books and performance in academics of an individual. One is expected to excel so as to be academically literate.

Literacy that I feel most at home with.

With reference to my age and experience, I think am old enough to know what types of literacy that I feel most at home with. To start with, being a student, I can confidently say that I am academically literate not only as a consumer but also a producer (Davison, 2010). Excelling in every aspect of my academics has always been my priority. Again, Digital literacy is something that I am proud of because I enjoy doing it. My sophistication has been majorly developed by continued interaction with computers to access the internet and other things that come with it. Digital proficiency and communication are one of my personal areas of specialization.



Both the production and interpretation of literature requires that both the reader and the writer enough literacy skills and knowledge to access and produce text.


1.Davison, J. (2010) Literacy and Literature. Phoenix 12, (5)122-124

2.Fang, Z. (2013) literature in literacy. Forms of literature. NA 912 

3.Routman, R. (2018) from literature to literacy. Mann Edu Books, 79 Crt Street, Pourtsmouth 76.         

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