What is literacy?
Take a moment to consider this question. If asked on the spot, how would you define literacy to someone else?
As a literacy educator and researcher, I often get asked about literacy development for children and youth. One way I respond to such questions is by asking how literacy is being defined.
Oftentimes the answer to this question revolves around basic functions of reading and writing. Relatedly, public discourse, that is the everyday ways we hear and talk about literacy, tends to reflect linear, simplistic understandings of literacy. For example, people are generally categorized as “literate” or “illiterate,” equating “literate” to being able to read and write.