The Importance of Libraries and Literacy

The Importance of Libraries and Literacy

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ENGLISH is the pre-eminent language of international communication. Consequently, those who master English reap many academic, social and professional benefits. In the school setting, proficiency in English makes the learning of other subjects much easier. The importance of English cannot be overemphasized.

LITERATURE is important since through exposure to it a student will improves language skills. They not only enrich their vocabulary but also learn to use language in a variety of ways. Similarly, an improved knowledge of the language enhances the learner’s appreciation of literary material.

LITERATURE ALSO provides genuine and expressive samples of language in context. This helps students gain familiarity with many different linguistic uses, forms and conventions of the written mode.

READING literary works provides a context in which learners can acquire new vocabulary and knowledge of the rich possibilities of language use. It has been established that teaching language structures in isolation is not only boring, but it also tends to produce learners who lack communicative experience.

GRAMMAR is important, but is far from enough. There are structure and expressions in the English language which are fixed and unchanging, in order to speak and write naturally and expressively, the learner must acquire the ability to use these expressions which are an inalienable part of the language.

LANGUAGE is not learned in a vacuum. It revolves around issues and concerns that affect us on a daily basis. These in our context may include civic education, good governance, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the need to conserve the environment, the fight against corruption, the struggle to preserve our moral and spiritual values, and technological advancement.

EMPHASIS SHOULD BE ON THE ACQUISITION OF COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE AND NOT SIMPLY ON THE PASSING OF EXAMINATIONS.

PROFICIENCY in English is a desirable lifelong goal. The ability to read fluently and efficiently is vital both in school and for life. Good reading skills improve performance in all school subjects. Reading helps in information gathering and learning of concepts. Through reading, the learner is exposed to new vocabulary, new sentence structures and different registers.

READING also acquaints the learner with good models of language use. The teacher should derive strategies that will make reading interesting and fulfilling.

THE INTERNET and concerns about its misuse by students obviously needs to be considered, but in a broader perspective. Schools have tools at their disposal to manage sites and block unwanted ones

WHAT DO adequately stocked libraries mean for Kenya’s future? Well, successful completion of them in a critical mass number of our schools will position Kenya as one of the few emerging countries who have secured privileged access to information and knowledge on both its own history and culture and the rest of the worlds.

IT WILL SERVE as a springboard for further growth and development and set Kenyans apart in fluency. Proficiency in the world’s first language is important. It is an amazing fact that currently there. There are five times more people learning English  in China than there are people in England.

LIBRARIES provide another vehicle for culture development and national pride. Kenyan authors are top of our requested lists.

ESTABLISHING libraries now is a once-in-a generation opportunity for all of us – individuals, charities, corporations, well-wishers. It will bolster our future economic prosperity by providing quality education and leadership for this and future generations.

GETTING AND KEEPING a job boils down to communication. We live in a world of rapidly expanding communication. Brains alone are not enough. You must articulate your ideas. Lack of fluency holds you back.

WE SEE IT ALL THE TIME! Children from posh private schools get the jobs because they speak well. They may not be as well educated, but they market themselves better.

By Rita Field-Marsham (info@fieldmarshamfoundation.org)

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