The Importance of Functional Reading

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The Importance of Functional Reading

The Importance of Functional Reading

Obtaining an acceptable level of literacy can greatly improve many factors in your life, including improvements to your social life, education, and career prospects.

The ability to read, write, and understand information can hugely impact your employability.

If you need support with literacy or numeracy skills, there is plenty of help available.

Getting Support

Improving literacy can make your life a lot easier at the workplace and even carrying out your daily activities.

There are practical steps you can take today to help improve your skills. These include: 

·       Get an email pen pal! Students need to be able to read and respond to emails. By having an email pen pal, you can practice your skills. Simply start by sending 1-2 sentence emails back and forth and gradually build up to asking and answering questions, gathering information, etc.

·       Get cooking! Following a recipe is a critical functional reading skill for students to learn. Start with visually supported recipes and gradually work up to reading recipes from cookbooks, food packages, the internet, etc.

·       Schedule up! Reading a schedule is a crucial life skill for students! Learning to read a variety of schedule formats is important and seeing schedules in multiple formats helps to master the skill.

·       Read those receipts! Students need to be able to read receipts to make sure they are not overcharged and if they need to make a return.

·       Let’s go grocery shopping! There are so many ways to combine the grocery store with building your functional reading skills! For example, writing and reading a grocery list, reading grocery signs, reading price tags, and reading and matching coupons are all challenging and fun ways to practice!

·       Send some love! Who doesn’t love getting a greeting card? It is so much fun to send one too!  Use greeting cards to get better at functional reading! Students can use them to practice writing and reading skills.

·       Make a to-do list! Most people make and read to-do lists on a regular basis. It can be as simple as a list of activities you need to get done in a subject, a day, etc. Making and reading a lost of chores students need to do is a great way to combine reading and life skills instruction.

·       Read those labels! Being able to read and understand a label is a skill students will need across all settings.  Here is a list of different labels students will need to be able to read:

1.     Nutritional labels

2.     Medicine bottle labels

3.     Cleaning product labels

4.     Store signs

5.     Directional labels and signs

Literacy Skills

Literacy has been defined in various ways over the years. Previously, being able to sign your name was considered a reasonable sign of literacy. Our understanding of what it means to be literate has altered and current definitions have considered the literacy demands of the American society. A more recent definition of literacy is the understanding, evaluating, using and engaging with written texts to participate in society, to achieve personal goals and ambitions and to develop knowledge and potential.

Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in ways that will allow us to communicate effectively to a variety of different audiences and to make sense of the world. Reading and writing, when integrated with speaking, listening, viewing and critical thinking, constitutes valued aspects of literacy in modern life. Literacy is a critical component to ensure all students have the best chance to succeed in everyday life.