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Reading is the perfect way for me to pursue literacy as a student. Reading would later lead to my participation in learning and writing substantive spoken, written, and visual texts through critical study and text composition. When I was in primary school, I was the first one to touch a book with words on it. I read the text word for word under the supervision of my instructor. That helped me understand the new vocabulary and get a general understanding of the story's context. However, when I have a certain amount of vocabulary, I read using my critical thinking skills. I do not read the words of the texts just for the sake of reading, but rather read to acquire knowledge. I read the words to discover the information and ideas within a text and then evaluate to decide what to accept and believe. Therefore, I monitor my understanding as I read. I examine the text more closely to test my understanding if I sense that the assertions are irresponsible or ridiculous.
Each growth stage’s reading process or purpose is different. Thinking back to my childhood, when my parents or my kindergarten teacher would read fairy tales to me. These stories typically helped me to create an image of the general idea of what is right and what is wrong. As I progressed to middle school, I began to learn how to describe objects completely. For instance, my teachers taught me how to describe the view like that of a forest. “When I walked into a forest, one side was dense honeysuckle while the other was open. The warm orange color covered all things. At that moment, these objects let me calm down and relax.” I later encountered world literacy when I joined high school. The books I read may have been different, but they served the same purpose as my other readings: to narrate a story. High school readings helped me to build my views on the constructions of world’s point of view, outlook on life, and perspectives on the value of myself. For example, I get awareness by reading different kinds of non-academic books. These books usually have specific topics to attract my attention. For example, “To Kill a Mockingbird” expresses a history background on how injustice appears in depth south, “A Separate Peace” shares a story of friendship between two boys, and “The Namesake” talks about how the main character finds his new self-identity under second generation immigrants’ background. Books are like life’s epitome. We all get inspiration from them.
More importantly, I just go over through all text and get the core idea of the essay when I read novels. Usually, knowing the meaning of the book lets me have the new cognition of an object. However, reading course material is different. It is merely a way to look for answers as I participate in class discussions or find the right answer for my homework. For me, reading course materials means I need to keep taking notes while reading. I cannot just make a summary because course materials include a lot of definition and formula. Sometimes, I need make the whole chapter review to ensure I understand the course materials.
In contrast, reading for academic versus non-academic purposes differs quite much. When I enrolled in college, I tended to believe that I did not have much time as high school to spend on out-class readings. I thought the majority of my reading time is spending on class assignment texts. I have realized that education is wide-ranging and I need to read more materials both for academic and non-academic purposes. I sometimes get a negative emotion on acquiring knowledge because I tend think that reading class assignment is either boring or useless. The primary purpose why I read the text could be to just take a test. However, I am a critical reader and I like subscribing to a school of thought or the idea being put forward in a text hence I try to understand everything so as to make an informed decision.
However, the fact remains that during college, I read more than I ever did previously in my life. I was reading for particular reasons as I was learning how to get and understand the background of certain issues. I learnt how to collect exact points in a question and raise issues for discussion. Reading academic work on a regular basis helped me enhance my ability on expanding knowledge base. For instance, I was required to read “The Pride and Prejudice” when I was in my High School. In the beginning, I treated it as homework. A work which I refused to read. However, when my English teacher started to analyze and showing the movie in class, I gradually loved the story. According to the detail point, I found out how the main characters’ emotion had been influenced by the people around him. In addition, I learned the way Jane Austin was affected by her father, her talent, and the unique perspective that differentiated her from others. The work helped me to personally shape a positive image and be powerful on how to improve myself to solve problems in my life better.
Consequently, I have tons of materials to read such as assignment prompts, thousands of textbook pages, and -- in some cases -- friends’ essay drafts that need proofreading while in college. These are the type of materials which bring knowledge me. At present, In my UWP 01 class, my instructor assigned some reading for me, such as Shitty First Drafts, Seven Element, and Invention Throughout the Writing Process. These readings were selected for academic reasons as they explained some useful skills in writing and reading. For instance, from the reading materials, I now know I need to use different languages based on my audience. When I am writing an academic essay to my professor, I must use precise words, and all my examples needs to be evidence-based, predictable, and abide to research rule such as giving credit to the author through referencing. However, when I write an essay for my peer, to let them know how I have resonated, I will use vivid examples from daily life. What is more, knowing how to build a proper structure of my essay is not enough, and I should revise several times aiming to develop a better essay. The more I read and the older I get, I realize that each habit in every learning stage has a big influence on me moving forward.
In essence, what I learn today will have an impact on my reading habit tomorrow. For instance, I am used to holding a pencil when I’m read. I learned this from my primary school teacher. When I start having a general quick scan, the pen helps me to circle the keyword. For instance, when I read “the story’s background is…” and the author writes “this story is to…”, I know the writer’s purpose. After I circle or underline the sentences with the keyword(s), I skip the lines and continue my reading. When an author(s) writes, “…I am not a reading person but my teacher encourages…”: this kind of word transition tells me the author wants to tell the reader that something changes him on making the decision. After the opposition transaction term, I get to know the author tries to express to the readers that there is a clue to show he is doing contrary to what he likes. After reading each paragraph, I then use several words to write simplified summarized main ideas of an article. This helps me have a clear mind when I look back the article once more.
Conclusively, everyone has his or her individual way of getting literacy skills. For me, reading both academic and non-academic materials helps me acquire a lot of knowledge. Academic materials help in shaping my future career goals and questioning an in-depth understanding of key career principles. On the other hand, non-academic work enriches my life. Non-academic work does not only allow me to cherish any relationship in my life but also live with people with different personalities. In addition, it allows me to examine self and perfect ego personality. Being a critical thinker, I conclude that literacy brings me more fun, and the journal to literacy enriches my perspective.
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