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Word Count: 1,018
By definition literacy is the ability to read and write ones own name and further for knowledge and interest write coherently and think critically about the written word In America literacy is not just reading but also comprehending as being able to take what you have just read and apply it to everyday life However not everyone is taught literacy by that definition because every community is different and use literacy for different aspects of their lives In Becoming Literature A Lesson from the Amish by Andrea R Fishman literacy is defined for the Amish as a way to understand their religious texts and how to take care of themselves with food and shelter but thats is all they see literacy as Compared to Literature Traditions by Shirley Brice Heath which would consider Fishman mainstream literacy where every community or society bases there definition of literacy on how they use it in their everyday lives In Fishmanss essay about the Amish we see through the eyes of a young boy named Eli Jr and show us how his communitys definition of literacy differs from our own For example where most parents would encourage children to be interested in a subject and research about it and read bedtime stories to them to help them enjoy reading Elis parents would never think to do such a thing and would consider it a nuisance for their child to be reading things for fun that have no value to the community When reading the essay you realize that the community revolves around the Amish religion and way of life but if it doesnt have anything to do with how they live they do not concern themselves with it The Dairy a newsletter called Dairy World published by the Independent Buyers Association Fishman 238 is read by Eli Jr to the rest of the family This newsletter allows the community to know how to make its own food
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