e-book Other Peoples Words: Cycle of Low Literacy

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For teachers should be trying to understand how their students culture can affect. Thus, a teacher must acquire this skill in order to be an effective teacher. Chapter 1 1. Jenny dropped out of school in seventh grade because for her school did not come easily to her. She unfortunately sees her son, Donny, struggling in school, which causes her to finally decide that she cant continue living on her life not knowing how to read and write. For that reason she makes the conscious decision to go an university to seek help with improving her reading and writing skills, so she can finally help her son with his homework.

The book states, Jenny was particularly concerned about the effect of her nonliterary on Donny's ability to learn to read and write in school. This drove her to find her way to the university-based Literacy Center Purcell. The person in charge of this center told Jenny that she would work personally with both her and Donny, but the lady in charge asked that in return she had permission to record their lessons in order for her to do further research.

Chapter 2 1. Urban Appalachian are also referred to as the invisible minority. These specific groups of people are mainly white, Baptist, and blue collared. In addition to this, their typically lifestyle includes hunting, pickup trucks, campers, and working on cars. Fortunately, the majority of third generation Urban Appalachians usually are better educated, healthier, and typically do not claim the mountain region as their home.

The prejudice and stereotypes that this cultural group has to face is being seen as hillbillies. The book states, Scholars point out that, while African American. To illustrate, one of the cultural differences is that they rely on getting any type of support from their family because for them charity is the absolute last resort.

Therefore, when the university offered to give Jenny and Donny supplies to help them through school, Jenny would always refuse. She also insisted on paying the university the best way she could, which was giving the lady in charge a beautiful quilt that Jenny made. Chapter 3 1. Written language is assuming that the reader and the writer are not in the same room when the persons writing is being read.

Thus, when someone is writing they have to write in a way that someone will be able to comprehend it. For instance, students use written language to write a paper or a formal letter. While, when a student uses oral language, they are typically having conversations with a friend or teacher. In addition to this, in written language, a writer can only use an endophoric reference.

- The Washington Post

This means that a writer cannot use personal pronouns without using some sort of reference. For when someone is talking to another individual, they can use personal pronouns because they can personally point to what they are talking about. He states, Oral language is critical to the development of reading and writing. He also discusses effective instruction strategies that will better benefit students. These strategies. In addition to this, Reutzel explains that the best way for a student to acquire the skill of oral language is by allowing them the opportunity to talk.

Students should be given opportunities throughout the day to talk. Children learn about reading and writing during their preinstructional years because children learn language in three dimensions.

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The book states, Everything they learn about written language before schooling is constrained by what they learn about its functions and the values placed on its various forms within their particular sociolinguistic communities and cultures Purcell. Additionally, children begin to lean about how text represents meaning during the preinstructional years. To illustrate, the book states, Achievement tests are useful when making decisions about instruction. If a child is exhibiting learning difficulties, a psychologist might administer the Peabody Individual Achievement Test to gain information about childrens math, reading, and spelling skills Wotham, page Big Donny and Jenny could not read or write anything for the majority of their lives.


  1. Our nig, or, sketches from the life of a free black, in a two-story white house, North Showing that slaverys shadows fall even there.
  2. - The Washington Post.
  3. Other people's words : the cycle of low literacy in SearchWorks catalog!

They would both try to look for familiar names and pictures in order to provide them guidance. To illustrate, when Jenny would be outside the home trying to look for a specific place, she would be looking for physical indicators to find stores, offices, and items in the grocery store.

She would also only be able to. Jenny also confesses to Purcell that her family never sends them post cards because they all know that they cannot read. Jenny goes on to say that she would never think to turn over the postcard and read it because she thought that the picture was the only reason why people send post cards. Since Jenny would just look at the pictures in order to understand a certain topic, this unfortunately also impacted how Donny viewed reading.

For that reason when Donny began to read he would just look at the pictures and provide his own words to describe the picture. Chapter 4 1. Purcell asked Jenny one day to read a passage from a fourth grade reading level book in order for her to get a sense of what Jennys reading ability was. While Jenny was reading, Purcell got the feeling that Jenny assumed that when someone is reading, they must individually isolate words with no concept of the way that sentences are structured.

Jenny developed this idea of reading because she only mastered a few skills of reading. That is why; Purcell came to the conclusion that a new type of instruction needed to be established for Jenny and Donny. Therefore, Purcell decided that it would be in Donnys best interest to establish a foundation of necessary information about written language before continuing on with instruction. For that reason, Purcell encourages Donny to be involved with a variety of different literacy events.

Purcell states, He must observe, participate in, and experiment with written language being used for many different real-life life purposes Purcell. Through this process, Donny will be able to learn the. This foundation includes: an understanding of why print is meaningful; how print allows for diversity in communication; and how print has a variety of symbols that people can use to decode language in reading and writing.

The theoretical approach of the learning center is to teach students that language is studied to provide meaning and a genuine purpose in ones life. There are also specific components that are taught when it comes to teaching language.

These components include: sounds, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. The final theory of the learning center is that a student develops language in a variety of frameworks. Purcell states, In skills-based instruction children read from materials specially written to teach sequenced skills, in the Literacy Center children read from materials written to fulfill authentic functions of print Purcell. In addition to this, the Literacy Center teaches that reading and writing are both functions that need to be performed, while a skill based approach believes that students first need to learn how to read and then they eventually read to learn.

She continues to explain that when teaching student phonics, instruction should include several demonstrations and activities that reveal to the student the reason for reading and writing. Donny knew the majority of the consonant sounds, but he struggled with differentiating vowel sounds. For this reason, the skill-based approach did not work effectively for Donny because he did not have a basis basic reading skills, such as phonemic awareness.

To illustrate, when Donnys teachers were using the skill-based approach this was the knowledge that Donny knew: That his name could be written, that print is read and not pictures, and that books could be read by looking at the pictures and producing one's own language to go with them Purcell. As a result, through instruction at the Literacy Center, Donny has improved immensely with reading and writing.

As I was tutoring them, my main goal was to teach them phonics and how to read sight words. In a lot of ways, I felt like Purcell trying to lay a foundation of reading skills for these two boys. My tutees had the very similar issues as Donny. For they both knew their consonant sounds, but had trouble with certain vowel sounds in words.

This concept unfortunately stumped him for the majority of the semester.

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Luckily, through constant practice of reading the word to him he eventually remembered the word. Purcell dismissed the idea that Donny and Jenny may both have a learning disability because she realized that they both were not properly taught the skills needed for reading and writing.

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Purcell declares, As time went on, and Jenny and Donny both learned the skills and strategies needed for reading and writing. She continues to articulate that instruction is essential to helping a student progress. I can attest to this idea because in preschool I was diagnosed with a learning disability. During my years in grade school the majority of my teachers did not make accommodations for me or give me that extra help that I desperately needed. However, I did have a tutor from kindergarten till my sophomore year of high school, who taught me the basic skills that I needed to acquire in order to know how to read.

If it werent for my tutor, I would have probably ended up in a very similar situation as Donny and Jenny.


  • Purcell-Gates on the Differences between Oral and Literate Culture.
  • ONCE UPON A TIME IN MALAYA?
  • THE IVORY CELL.
  • Other People's Words: The Cycle of Low Literacy.
  • Donnys viewed him as a total failure because the school thought that each student was at the same reading level. They assumed that every first grade student understood the different functions of print. The school also adopted the idea of whole class teaching. This required that the whole class would progress through material at the same time. For that reason, if students were falling behind then they had to make sure that they were keeping up with the class as much as possible.

    Unfortunately, this caused Donny to give up and not even try to keep up with the rest of the class because he was so behind. In other words, he did not know that letters have sounds, he did not know the difference between the instructional terms spell and read, and he did not know that one must match eye gaze to individual words in order to read Purcell. These are concepts that all the other students in his class knew, but since Donny didnt he was viewed as failure. Purcells approach to designing instruction for Donny is to first teach Donny the basics of reading that he was lacking.

    To illustrate, Donny first learned that language can be represented with print, and he moved tentatively into an early understanding of the phonemic basis of written English through invented spelling Purcell. Purcell also suggested that Donny should repeat second grade and continue to attend the Literacy Center during the summer, so he could catch back up. In addition, she also created fun projects for Donny to do in order to understand certain concepts.

    For instance, they decided to make a book, so Donny could see the form and functions of print. The partner-reading procedure is often helpful when developing readers are reading text that is at the upper limit of their ability Purcell. Purcell selected the partner-reading procedure because she could help Donny maintain his concentration and attention with the text.