How I Became Literate

Ms. Hunter
111 26A
June 24, 2010My Literary Experience
Literacy to me always meant simply reading, and writing. Now that I think about it, I??™ve become literate in many other ways besides the two. Those many other things include speaking, comprehending, and distinguishing between homonyms. I think most people think about reading and writing when they hear the word ???literate??? because those are mainly associated with the term. To my amazement, the horizon of literacy can be expanded rather far. My neighborhood, school, and music helped me become the very literate person I am today. ???It isn??™t chunky it??™s chucky!??? I remember hearing my uncle say that to me when I would beg my mom to let me stay up and watch a scary movie called Chucky. Being around people that will never let you get away with mispronunciation helped me be a clear and fluent English speaker. I hate to be constantly corrected so I started paying close attention to words and how they are pronounced as well as their meanings. I also don??™t like to sound uneducated which motivated me to ask my older relatives to differentiate between words that sounded alike and so forth and so on. I think it??™s kind of funny how little things that happen at an early age can mold u into a certain way in your adolescent and even adult years.
I grew up in a neighborhood that was flowing with children. We played outside all day no matter the weather. One friend I had we were inseperable. Her name was Mercedes and she loved to collect earthworms. I personally wasn??™t thrilled about the situation but I did it and actually began to like it. This is just one of the many things she encouraged me to try that I ended up enjoying. Mercedes went to a different school and also was a grade higher than I was. The literature book she was issued at school called ???Treasure??? had an interesting story in it that I could read but couldn??™t comprehend due to the fact that I didn??™t know what a lot of the words meant. When I finished reading I gave her a look of confusion and I said ???I don??™t know what comfortable is.??? And after that she showed me how to read the sentences prior and after to get an idea of what the word means. This strategy that I am now very good at is called using context clues.Every since I was able to even babble, I??™ve loved music. Until this day i can sit in a room for hours and listen to music. When I was younger if a song came on that I liked I would sing along. But being so little, there were still words I didn??™t know so when a part of the song came on that I had not learned, I would have to be quiet and my cousin would tease me about it. There??™s this show called the Fresh Prince of Bel-air . I absolutely loved it. The theme song that played when it came on was my favorite. In the song they mentioned a ???throne???. Now I was unfamiliar with this word so I thought that he was saying something else and I had simply made that up. I decided to keep saying ???throne??? when I sang along just because that??™s what it sounded like he said. Right or wrong, I still was going to say it. After I got in about the 2nd grade I learned the word throne and do you know what the first thing I thought about was Exactly! I said to myself ???so he did say throne after all! Now I understand what he meant.???Homonyms. Well learning about homonyms wasn??™t hard at all. It was actually very interesting and cool to me. Once again, I don??™t like for anyone to think I??™m uneducated or not so smart so I am very precise about using the right words when I am writing. My favorites are to, two, and too. Most people will say ???well there??™s no difference!??? that makes me look at another person as if they haven??™t learned what they were supposed to simply because most people learned that in the 2nd grade. Any literate person will know when to use ???to???, when to use ???two???, and when to use ???too???. Or how about their, there, and they??™re These kinds of things, in my mind, are essential to literacy. Never really thought much about whether just reading and writing made u literate until I had to write an essay about it. But now that I??™ve thought about it that couldn??™t be true because anyone could read a story but when it??™s over, if they don??™t understand what they just read, then it was purposeless. There is no good in reading if you can??™t make sense out of what your reading and there is no purpose in writing if you r reader can make no sense out of what you??™ve written. Cluelessness to the meanings of words, when to use particular words, and incorrect use of words can throw a reader off.Literacy can be expressed as so many different things on a ton of different levels. It??™s just about deciding what elements you think are a part of it. My choices were speaking, comprehending, and distinguishing between homonyms. These are important factors because reading and writing means nothing if the writer has no clue as to what he is writing. My friends, family, and music taught me a lot about how to be literate in many different ways. School can??™t teach you everything. Some things are just an everyday part of life but you never know that they??™re going to impact your future.