The Importance of Literacy

Did you know that on September 8th, the whole world celebrates International Literacy Day?

International Literacy Day was founded in 1966 to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights. The idea behind this day is to raise awareness for the literacy problems that exist locally and abroad.

Literacy is a fundamental human right and forms the basic foundation on which people are able to continue learning and developing throughout their entire lives.


Have you ever considered what it would be like not to be able to read or write?

How would you read a recipe?

How would you understand the MTR schedule?

How would you choose the right products at the store?

How would you read a text or respond to an email?

Being able to read and write let us participate in this world in a meaningful way and paves the way for us to keep learning and understanding the world and those around us. We can deliberate complex ideas and topics because we can read, write and discuss them. We can learn from the mistakes of others by studying history and seeing how people thought, felt and acted before us.

Once students have mastered the basics of reading and writing, a whole world of knowledge is opened up to them. In our English Literature courses, students get a glimpse into other worlds, cultures and times. These worlds come to life through the texts we study. Studying Literature allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the kind of attitudes, thought patterns and values held during different periods in history. Seeing the evolution of humanity helps deepen our empathy levels and broaden our horizons.


Tips to improve Literacy

Read Books: We encourage our students to read in their leisure time too. It’s not just good for recreation, the simple act of reading helps us to speak, write and communicate language better, especially when we are reading in a language that is not our mother tongue.

Read Aloud: Reading to yourself out loud is a helpful tip to facilitate a better understanding of the text. This is because you are reading, hearing and speaking all at the same time.

Listen to Audiobooks: We spend so much time waiting around. Waiting for busses, trains or during a commute. Why not use this time more constructively by popping in your earphones and listening to an audiobook? Audiobooks are great for improving comprehension and vocabulary. Hearing new words in context is great for developing a more expansive vocabulary, especially for kids and second-language learners.


Watch Plays: In English Literature classes we study plays. To help students understand and enjoy them, our tutors encourage watching them too if possible. Many are available on YouTube. Hearing the actors delivering the scripts brings them to life and helps students recall them easily when it comes to exams.

Gather Quotes: Quotes are a great way to share ideas and drive a point home. It’s a good use of language and often, a succinct and eloquent way to communicate concepts. When studying English Literature, many quotes will stand out in the texts and students are encouraged to memorize as many of them as they can. By incorporating quotes in their exam essays, students demonstrate ability, understanding and application. They will collect more marks along the way.


International Literacy Day 2021

COVID-19 serves as a reminder of just how important literacy is. Far beyond just being the cornerstone of education, literacy is a tool that empowers people to research, understand and make choices about their lives. It allows us to grow and develop as individuals and as a society. Without literacy, we would have no doctors, nurses, scientists or professors. There would be no way out of this pandemic.

According to UNESCO, International Literacy Day 2021 will explore how literacy can contribute to building a solid foundation for a human-centred recovery. International Literacy Day 2021 will be an opportunity to reimagine future literacy teaching and learning, within and beyond the context of the pandemic.

At ME, we support the initiative and encourage our students to fully appreciate the power of literacy. In our English Literature classes, we get to impart these values and foster a passion and appreciation for education.

To learn more about the English Literature courses we offer, as well as other courses on offer, please book a free trial with us here. Alternatively, give us a call on +852 2383 0300 or WhatsApp +852 9298 3538.


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"As parents, we are very happy to see the total transformation of Katherine during the past year of studying in ME Education. Mr. Steve teaches her writing. Thank you very much for the wonderful job and support especially from Mr. Steve, Ms. Sarah, and all ME consultants!"

Parents of Katherine Zhang Li Yu

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