Sihite’s Family Literacy Practices
Submitted By keong
1.1 The Background of the Study
In the history of human civilization, the progress of a nation can not only be built by the abundant natural resources or the management of an established state structure, but rather it starts from a book civilization or the sustainable literacy mastery of one generation to the next generation. Literacy is really needed to speed up the development or the progress of a country especially in this era of globalization in which technology advance and rapid economic development requires everyone to be competent and to have good skills. Everyone should be literate and be able to read or write at least.
In line of this, Hussain (2005) said: “Access to quality literacy learning opportunities and the development of literate environments are essential components of strategies for poverty reduction, equality, economic development and environmental protection, and for achieving democracy. Literacy is a fundamental human right and a prerequisite to the empowerment of the individual and development of society”. It is fully essential to social and human development in its ability to transform lives. For individuals, families, and societies alike, it is an instrument of empowerment to improve one’s health, one’s income, and one’s relationship with the world. Literacy education is one of important aspects which should be applied in order to foster an interest and latent talent in order to get that empowerment of the individual and development of society. Through informal or formal education at school, students especially can know how to read and write well. When they know how to read, they are expected to possess good knowledge by reading books or many other medias such as internet.
Literacy is not obtained from school only but it can be obtained from home as what we call it as family literacy practice. Family Literacy practice is an approach to literacy development that builds on family strengths and connections within the context of the communities and the culture in which families live and learn (Centre for Family Literacy, 2002, pg. 1.1.3). Family literacy practice describes how the study of literacy in the family is done and it refers to a set of programs designed to enhance the literacy skills of more than one family member (Britto & Brooks-Gunn, 2001; Handel, 1999; Wasik et al,2000).
Taylor (1997) puts the proposition clearly when she says, ”the seeds of school failure are planted in the home, and we cannot hope to uproot the problem by working only with schools” (Taylor, 1997, p.2). It means that family literacy practice plays an important role to develop literacy. Based on the explanation above, the writer is interested to find out how literacy practice is done in a family. In this study, the writer was only examining the family literacy practices on Sihite’s family.
1.2 The Scope of the Study This study has specific intention to examine the family literacy practices on Sihite’s family in one month. The writer examines the family literacy practices of four categories namely oral and visual practices, numerecy practices, reading and writing practices, and new technology practices according to NALA (2010).
1.3 The Problems of the Study The problems of this study are formulated as the following: 1. What kinds of family literacy practices Sihite’s family do to develop literacy in his family? 2. What kinds of family literacy practices become the most dominant frequently used in Sihite’s family?
1.4 the Objective of the Study The objectives of this study are: 1. To find out or to identify the family literacy practices Sihite’s family do to develop literacy in the family 2. To find out what kinds of family literacy practices become the most dominant frequently used in Sihite’s family
1.5 The Significance of the Study After completing this study, the writer hopes that this mini research would be useful to the readers who are interested in studying family literacy practices. The result is hoped to be useful also to other researchers who want to do more in-depth research to develop literacy practices in family. It is expected that the findings of the study would motivate or encourage the readers to do literacy practice in their families.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Hussain (2005) stated that: “Literacy is a fundamental human right and a prerequisite to the empowerment of the individual and development of society. Literacy is at the heart of learning, the core of Education for all and central to the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals. Access to quality literacy learning opportunities and the development of literate environments are essential components of strategies for peverty reduction, equality, economic development and environmental protection, in general a prerequisite for achieving democracy”.
According to Juliet McCaffery (2007), there are at least four concepts of literacy: 1. Literacy means the ablity – or the skills – to read and write (ofteen called the competency approach) 2. Literacy means engaging in tasks that require the written word and are considered essential for life and work (often called the functional approach) 3. Literacy means a set of social and cultural practices llinked by the use of the written word (often called the social practices approach) 4. Literacy means a tool for critical reflection and action for social change (often called the radical approach)
Literacy in today’s society is more than knowing how to read, write and calculate. Literacy is a skill that starts in infancy and continues to be built upon throughout life. Literacy helps an individual to participate more fully in life and to improve his or her economic and health status. The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) defines literacy as: the ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities, at home, at work and in the community, to achieve one’s goals and to develop one’s knowledge and potential. (Literacy Economy and Society, 1995, pg. 14)
Literacy is crucial to the success of individuals in both their career aspirations and their quality of life. Strong literacy skills are closely linked to the probability of having a good job, decent earnings, and access to training opportunities. Individuals with weak literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed or, if employed, to be in jobs that pay little or that offer poor hours or working conditions.
Families are who you love. Our families all “look” different and it's always been so. A family caregiving unit might consist of a couple; a mother, father and children; a single parent and child; grandparent and grandchildren; a sibling group; a circle of friends; or however that family defines itself.
Families are the foundation of society. It's where we come into the world, are nurtured and given the tools to go out into the world, capable and healthy—or we aren't. While families have the greatest potential for raising healthy individuals, they can also wound their members in places that will never heal. When families break down and fail to provide the healthy nurturing we need, the effects impact not only our own lives, but also our communities.
In other words, we all pay for unhealthy families. If we ignore the suffering, we suffer the consequences, including:
* alienation and fear, as our neighbourhoods turn into places where we no longer feel safe
* violence and crime
* lost productivity
* the costs of medical care for victims, policing, courts and prisons
* the costs of a social support system to deal with the fallout from dysfunctional family relationships.
According to the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the word parent includes all of those individuals who are involved in a child’s education. For example, other adults such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, stepparents, and guardians may carry the primary responsibility for a child’s education and development. All references to parent include any adult who plays an important role in a child’s upbringing and well-being. Exceptional family-involvement programs develop two-way communication between school and home, and involve parents in decision-making, planning, assessment, and curriculum development, and are regarded as partners. Exceptional family-involvement programs develop two-way communication between school and home, and involve parents in decision-making, planning, assessment, and curriculum development, and are regarded as partners.
2.3 Family Literacy Practice
Family Literacy is an approach to literacy development that builds on family strengths and connections within the context of the communities and the culture in which families live and learn. (Centre for Family Literacy, 2002, pg. 1.1.3). Family literacy can be seen as a task-based approach to literacy in that it is linked to the tasks of bringing up children and developing in them an ability and an enthusiasm for reading. As an approach it brings together the skills and aims of those working in adult education with those involved in early childhood development. Programmes are aimed at parents, grandparents, and siblings, some of whom may find it easier to admit their willingness to help other family members than their own literacy difficulties.
Lucia Palacios from USC School of Early Childhood Education stated that Family literacy is the concept of family members enhancing literacy skills with things they do together. Some of the components of a good family literacy program involve the entire family, irrespective of the literacy levels. It also incorporates various mediums (books with words, picture books, art, and dramatic play). Most importantly, family literacy should include story-telling and be inclusive of children of different ages. The term family literacy‟ was introduced as a concept by Taylor (1983) in a study of the development of literacy and language at home in the USA. Since then the term family literacy has been used to describe literacy development work that focuses on how literacy is developed at home, and education courses that support and develop this dimension of literacy development. Taylor (1997) argues that “the accumulated ways of knowing and funds of knowledge of family members – their local literacies – are complexly and intricately woven into their daily lives” (Taylor 1997:p3). In other words the concern should not just be about formal schooling, but about taking into consideration the cultural and language resources of the families who participate in family literacy programmes. These research findings led her to conclude that there was a need for recognition of the importance and diversity of literacy activities in everyday life through daily practices within families and communities. It was the focus on daily activities and learning within families and communities that was new (Taylor, 1997; 1983).
In light of this, this research set out to talk to families about their literacy practices in order to gain an insight into their literacy wealth and the full range of family literacy practices in the home. It provides an overview of the most frequent daily and weekly literacy activities of respondents and their spouses under the following categories of literacy practices: * Oral and visual practices; * Numeracy practices; * Reading and writing practices; * New technology practices 1. Oral and visual practices
Communication involves the use of verbal and non-verbal messages and increasingly we converse through mediums that facilitate greater use of oral and visual messages. Mobile phones, computers, radios and the television all present opportunities to use oral and visual practices on a daily basis. With this in mind we examimed the oral and visual practices of the participants and their spouses. 2. Numeracy practices
Numeracy is very important in today‟s society, particularly when it comes to financial literacy (NALA, 2005). The results show that dealing with family finances is the most frequent family literacy activity using numeracy skills and that there is a significant difference between the levels of activitiy among respondents and their spouses. 68% of respondents and 26% of spouses deal with family finance daily. The increasing complexity of financial products means that people are engaging in this literacy activity more frequently and would indicate that low financial literacy may pose a problem for people with numeracy difficulties. 3. Reading and writing practices a. Reading
Reading is about understanding written text. It is a complex activity that involves both perception and thought. Reading consists of two related process: recognition and comprehension. Word recognition refers to the process of perceiving how written symbols correspond to one’s spoken language. According to (Joseph and Leonard 1988:276) reading is developmental process changing with the ideas, concpts, or operation that increases in depth and scope with the reader’s life experience. William and Fredrica (1988:33) states that there are four purposes or reading, they are: 1. Reading to search for simple information and reading to skim.
Reading to search for simple information is a common reading ability, though some researchers see it as relatively indepent cognitive process. Reading to skim is a common part of many reading tasks and a useful skill in its own right. 2. Reading to learn from texts
Reading to learn typically occurs in academic and professional in which a person needs to learn a considerable amount of information from a text. 3. Reading to integrate information, write and critique text
Reading to integrate information requires additional decisions about the relative importance of complementary, mutually supporting or conflicting information and the likely restructring of a rhetorical frame to accommodate information from multiple sources. Both reading to write and reading to critique texts may be task variants of reading to integrate information. b. Writing
Writing is a form of written speech or more broadly language used in a textual medium through a set of signs or symbols (known as a writing system) Generally, writing-to-learn activities are short, impromptu or otherwise informal writing tasks that help students think through key concepts or ideas presented in a course. Often, these writing tasks are limited to less than five minutes of class time or are assigned as brief, out-of-class assignments. Writing is a powerful tool for learning, one that plays a critical role in our education. It is for this reason that so many professors continue to insist that students write papers or keep journals even in courses that are not traditionally thought of as a writing courses. Students in a class get direct benefits from writing papers, keeping a notebook, or keeping a journal or log. Here are some of the benefits: * Writing helps us discover what we know. Writing about a topic stimulates our thinking on that topic and helps us to probe knowledge and experiences we have stored in our subconscious minds. * Writing generates new ideas. The very act of writing stimulates our minds to make connections, see relationships and draw analogies that would not have occurred to us if we had not started to write. * Writing helps us to organize our ideas and put them in explicit form. Often we can clarify vague or elusive concepts for ourselves by writing about them. * Writing makes our thoughts available for us to look at and evaluate; we can distance ourselves from our ideas and see them more objectively when we write them down. * Writing helps us to absorb and master new information;we understand material better and retain it longer when we write about it. * Writing helps us to solve problems by clarifying their elements and putting them into a visual context where they can be examined. * Writing about a topic makes us active learners rather than passive receivers of information 4. New technology practices
Given the increasing importance of computers and the internet as a means of getting information, their use as literacy practices is becoming more vital for families.
NALA (2004) highlights the importance of this approach in family literacy work as the „wealth‟ model of family literacy which reflects “ the literacy learning that already exists at home and aims to validate, support and develop the work that parents already do” (NALA, 2004, p. 25). This focus of our examination then becomes more valid, as it takes into account both the literacy wealth within families and the social and economic context in which they seek to improve their literacy skills.
This wealth-based approach to understanding families and the strengths that lie therein, offers much for educators and policy makers regarding improving education outcomes and literacy levels for families. The Ministry of Education in New Zealand (2004) highlight that this requires “early childhood, school and adult educators to work together in ways that few have done previously. It requires them to understand each other‟s terminology, ways of working, bureaucratic structures and philosophies” (Ministry of Education in New Zealand, 2004, p. 21).
Family literacy is one area of literacy development work that can improve the literacy wealth of parents and all family members. If we understand that families have literacy resources and can provide the circumstances for building family literacy wealth in a manner similar to the framework laid out in Box 1, then we can begin to support their strategies more effectively.
3.1. Research Design This research is conducted in descriptive qualitative design. Nazir (2003:54) explained that descriptive method used to research the status of a group of people, an object, a set of condition, a system of thought, or an event happened nowadays. The aim of this descriptive research is to give a description systematically, factually, and accurateley on the facts, the characters and inter phenomenon relationship being observed. More over Siliger and Shohamy (1983) explains that descriptive research involves a collection of techniques used to specify, delineate, or describe naturally occurring phenomena. Descriptive research is used to establish the existance of phenomena by explicitly describing them. Bogdan and Tylor in Sudarto (2002:62) defined qualitative method as a research procedure producing descriptive data in the form of written or spoken words taken from the people or behaviours which can be observed. More over Lofland in Mulyana (2003:149) proposed that qualitative research is marked by some kinds of questions such as: what is it? How is the forms of these phenomenon? What variations can we find on these phenomenon? This kind of research is used to find the answer of those questions above. This research is conducted to find out the family literacy practice of Sihite’s family and what category becomes the most dominant.
3.2 Population and Sample
3.2.1 The Population The population of this study was the families in Medan, North Sumatera.
3.2.2 The Sample Due to the limitation of time, the writer took Sihite’s family as the sample of the research. The writer has a very close relationship with that family since the writer becomes a private teacher for Sihite’s children.
3.2 Technique for Collecting the Data Technique for collecting data is conducted by survey and interview. After collecting and grasping the availabe data, the writer analyses them with regard to familiy literacy practices. The focus however is on literacy practices in the home including oral and visual practices, numeracy practices, reading and writing practices, and new technologies practices.
3.3. Technique for Analyzing the Data This study was designed as an initial survey of family literacy practices among the Sihite’s family members followed by some interviews to some of the family member to provide some information. The writer groups the data into four categories in four tables namely oral and visual practices, numeracy practices, reading and writing practices, new technologies practices. After that the writer use the data to find out which one of the categories becomes the most dominant familiy literacy practices and who of the family members perform the family literacy mostly or frequently.
THE DATA AND DATA ANALYSIS
4.1. The Data
This chapter deals with the family literacy practices of Sihite’s family. The data for this study are divided into five categories of family literacy practice, namely: oral and visual practices, numeracy practices, reading and writing practices, new technology practices, leisure activities.
4.1.1 Classifying The Data
220.127.116.11 Oral and Visual Literacy Practices Oral andVisual Literacy Practices | Family Members | Frequency | Listen to the radio | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | 45100 | Listen to MP3 / CD | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | 57200 | Give instructions on how to do something | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 20Around 30Around 10Around 50 | Talk on the phone | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 20Around 10Around 1000 | Tell family stories | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | 0Around 10000 | Watching movie in the cinema | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | 01000 | Watching televison at home | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 50Around 70Around30Around 20Around 10 |
Sihite’s family Oral and Visual Literacy Practices From table 4.1, the writer found that : Oral and Visual Literacy Practices | Family Members | | Father | Mother | Farel | Felix | Filbert | | 5 | 7 | 5 | 2 | 1 |
The Total of Sihite’s family Oral and Visual Literacy Practices Oral and Visual Literacy Practices | Frequency | Listen to the radio | 10 | Listen to MP3 / CD | 14 | Give instructions on how to do something | Around 65 | Talk on the phone | Around 40 | Tell family stories | Around 10 | Watching movie in the cinema | 1 | Watching televison at home | Around 180 | TOTAL | Around 320 |
The Total Frequency of Sihite’s family Oral and Visual Literacy Practices
18.104.22.168 Numeracy Literacy Practices Numeracy practices | Family Members | Frequency | To go shopping | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 10Around 10Around 5Around 72 | Play games / card | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 30Around 5Around 30Around 30Around 30 | Saving money | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 10Around 5Around 4Around 40 | Table 4.2. Sihite’sfamily Numeracy Literacy Practices
From table 4.2, the writer found that : Numeracy Literacy Practices | Family Members | | Father | Mother | Farel | Felix | Filbert | | 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2 |
Table 4.2.a The Total of Sihite’sfamily Numeracy Literacy Practices
Numeracy Literacy Practices | Frequency | To go shopping | Around 34 | Play games / card | Around 125 | Saving money | Around 23 | TOTAL | Around 182 |
Table 4.2.b The Total Frequency of Sihite’sfamily Numeracy Literacy Practices
22.214.171.124 Reading andWrriting Practices Reading and Writing practices | Family Members | Frequency | Reading aloud to the children | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 3Around 10000 | Reading books / magazine / newspaper | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 30Around 15Around 200 | Collecting books / magazine / newspaper | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 20Around 5Around 300 | Helping children with school / homework | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 5Around 30000 | Sending text message by mobile | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 20Around 20Around 1000 | Read a book for pleasure | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 3Around 10Around 8 | | | Around 30 | Make appointment on calendar | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 5Around 10000 | Write letters | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 2Around 3 100 | Going to the bookstore | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert t | 0\Around 5Around 3Around 2Around 2 | Going to the library | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | 00000 |
Table 4.3.Sihite’s family Reading and Writing Literacy Practices
From table 4.3 the writer found that : Reading and Writing practices | Family Members | | Father | Mother | Farel | Felix | Filbert | | 8 | 9 | 6 | 2 | 2 |
The Total of Sihite’s family Reading and Writing Literacy Practices
Reading and Writing practices | \Frequency | Reading aloud to the children | Around 12 | Reading books / magazine / newspaper | Around 47 | Collecting books / magazine / newspaper | Around 27 | Helping children with school / homework | Around 40 | Sending text message by mobile | Around 10 | Read a book for pleasure | 1 | Make appointment on calendar | Around 4 | Write letters | Around 6 | Going to the bookstore | Around 12 | Going to the library | 0 | TOTAL | Around 159 |
The Total Frequency of Sihite’s family Reading and Writing Literacy Practices
126.96.36.199 New Technology Literacy Practices New Technology Practices | Family Members | Frequency | Browsing internet via computer | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 10Around 5Around 500 | Browsing internet via gadget | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 20Around 30Around 300 | Using Short Message Service | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 20Around 20Around 1000 | Playing Playstation | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 100Around 10Around 5Around 3 | Using the computer or laptop other than online | FatherMotherFarelFelixFilbert | Around 30000 |
Table 4.4 Family New Technology Literacy Practices
From table 4.4 the writer found that : New Technology Literacy Practices | Family Members | | Father | Mother | Farel | Felix | Filbert | | 5 | 3 | 4 | 1 | 1 |
The Total of Sihite’s family New Technology Literacy Practices New Technology Literacy Practices | Frequency | Browsing internet via computer | Around 20 | Browsing internet via gadget | Around 53 | Using Short Message Service | Around 50 | Playing Playstation | Around 28 | Using the computer or laptop other than online | Around 3 | TOTAL | Around 154 |
The Total Frequency of Sihite’s family New Technology Literacy Practices
4.2. Research Findings
After analyzing the data of the Sihite’s family literacy practices, the writer found the points below: 1. There are four kinds of literacy practices on Sihite’s family, namely: * Oral and visual literacy practices, * Numeracy literacy practices, * Reading and writing literacy practices, and * New technology literacy practices 2. Oral and visual literacy practices became the most dominant family literacy practices on Sihite’s family.
CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
After analyzing the data of Sihite’s family literacy practices, the writer came to the conclusions, they are: 1. There are four kinds of literacy practices on Sihite’s family literacy practices, namely: * Oral and visual literacy practices, * Numeracy literacy practices, * Reading and writing literacy practices, and * New technology literacy practices 2. Oral and visual literacy practices became the most dominant family literacy practices on Sihite’s family.
5.2. SUGGESTIONS Based on the result of the study, the following suggestions are offered: 1. It is suggested for the readers who are interested in learning family literacy practices to more in depth research. 1. It is suggested for the readers to do family literacy practices in their own family to increase or develop their literacy.