The Rewarding Job of Doing Literacy Work
Imagine living your life without books or any written information. Even in a post-literate age, that's hard to imagine. Yet that is the reality for millions of people all over the world. In almost all cases, it is the poor and marginalised who are denied access to literacy.
Do you have what it takes to be a literacy specialist? The following are all very valuable:
- A love of teaching and passing on skills to others
- Concern for the marginalised
- A desire to serve and help others
- Flexibility and tolerance
- The ability to organise and manage people
- Talent in art or graphics
- Good communication skills
- Commitment to being a team player
- Enthusiasm for learning new languages and cultures
Adapted from Wycliffe UK
What Does Literacy Work Involve?
In many language programs, literacy work goes on side by side with Bible translation and mother tongue Scripture promotion.
A literacy team is usually made up of literacy workers, who are speakers of the language and have good knowledge of the local language and culture, and literacy specialists who have received more extensive training in literacy principles and methods and who may be speakers of the language or may be other language speakers. Literacy consultants, with considerable literacy experience and expertise, provide valuable guidance and input into literacy programs
A typical literacy team will be involved in:
Local training, supervision and administration
organizing and teaching courses
training and supervising literacy teachers
training writers and illustrators
office and program administration
planning and strategizing
networking with local churches, educators and leaders
drafting and publishing primers for educated and pre-literate language speakers
facilitating the publication of many other book titles on various topics (e.g. health, development, educational, humorous, historical, Scripture related)
producing training materials
Local Languages Endorsed
The Ugandan government has adopted a bill mandating the development of an educational policy that includes the national (local) languages, alongside English. It stipulates that local languages should be the language of learning in primary 1-3. By passing this important bill the government recognizes the contribution of local languages in the overall development of the country.
- International Literacy Day (September 8) is an occasion to remember that we should not take literacy for granted and to applaud the work of literacy workers and volunteers whose efforts make a difference to people’s lives.
Reading provides opportunities for individuals and communities to better themselves through improved health, higher paying employment and many other ways.
Literacy is a foundational skill, which gives entrance to the universe of books, to the Internet and to the Bible in a person's mother tongue.
Reading provides access to information, to instruction and edification.
Writing provides a means for expression and a method for the preservation of culture and for the dissemination of information.
Find out more: Statistics