...Literacy In An Ever-ChangingWorld Being literate, as defined in Webster's New World Dictionary, is "the ability to read and write" or "to be educated". By my own definition, literacy is the ability to read, write, and verbally communicate, while also comprehending those writings, verses, or phrases. However, literacy is not only reading and writing. In order for one to be considered literate in today's society, that person must possess the skill of remembering and understanding what was just said or read. Our American culture demands literacy everyday, from being able to read street signs and signals, to understanding contracts and important forms. One is no longer considered literate in American culture if they are only able to read and write what applies to their personal life. We must now be educated in cultural literacy, computer and technology literacy, and academic literacy. To function and be successful in today's ever-changing society, the average person must rise above the basic meaning of literacy and advance in their understanding of new technology, language, and speech. Most would agree that the skill of becoming literate begins at a very young age, from repeating the Alphabet after a teacher, to learning and remembering the names of animals, to simple word pronunciation. Even in Fishman's essay "Becoming Literate: A Lesson From the Amish", it is evident that children very young were...
READING THE TEXTChanging World Lasting Values
Andre Maurois(andrey morwa)You hear many tales nowadays — that the world is absurd, thateverything has changed, that old moral values have died. Thisis all non-sense, for if you look for reality beneath the clutter of words which hide it, you will rediscover the eternal man. Truevalues were not invented for the pleasure of senile moralists.They exist because without them, neither society nor happinesscould survive. Here, then, are a few rules as old as civilizationitself which remain true despite the advances of science andtechnology.The first is that man must live for something other thanhimself. The man who meditates ceaselessly about himself finds a thousand reasons to be unhappy. He has notaccomplished everything he wanted to or should have done; hehas not gotten everything he thought he deserved; he has not been loved as he dreamed of being loved- But if he lives for ideals outside of himself — for his faith or his country, for hisfriends, his wife and family, he miraculously forgets all his petty worries. In trying to make others happy, he also makeshimself happy. "The veritable inner world is the veritable outer world."The second rule is that man must act. "The joy of the soul is inaction." Instead of lamenting the absurdity of the world, let ustry to transform our own little corner. It is not impossible. Wecannot change the whole universe, but who hopes to do that?Our objective is much more simple: to do our job and do itwell, to become a master at it. Each one works in his own field.I write books, the carpenter assembles my bookshelves, the policeman directs traffic, the engineer, constructs, the minister governs. All of them, kept busy at work which they know howto do well, are happy. This is so true that when people haveleisure time, they keep busy with apparently useless activitiessuch as games and sports. As for useful action, we know fromexperience that it is effective: an active mayor makes a city prosperous; an active priest brings vitality to a parish. "Happyare those in whose eyes men look for order."The third rule is that one must believe in the power of the will.It is not true that the future is predetermined- A great man canchange the course of history. Any man who has the courage andthe will can change his own future. Naturally, none of us is all- powerful. Each man's freedom has its limits. Freedom lies between the border of the possible and the will. It is beyond my power to prevent war, but I can perform an act which,multiplied by millions, will be effective. It is not possible for me to win a battle, but it is up to me to be a courageous soldier.Since this limitation of the will is dependent on what one dares,one must not worry about his limitation; but do the best he can.Finally, the fourth, and most precious of all values, isfaithfulness, Faithfulness to promises, contracts, to others, andto oneself. One must be among those who can be counted upon.Faithfulness is not an easy virtue. Thousand of temptations arethrown across our paths. "Faithfulness in marriage," saidBernard Shaw, is no more natural to man than the cage to thetiger." Undoubtedly, faithfulness is "natural." It is born of avoluntary decision, constantly renewed, which helps us to riseabove our natures. But it gives us the lasting joy of being at peace with ourselves. I may forego an immediate pleasure toassure myself the great joy in the future of looking at my pastwithout shame, but with pride.Every society in which citizens live for naught but fleeting pleasures, where men no longer trust each other, and whosemembers let themselves go is doomed. When Rome let go andceased to set store by the values which made her great, she perished. When France clung to eternal values she was saved.Modern technology may change one's modes of action, butthey change neither its values, the reasons for it, nor the duty of faithfulness. Thus it was in the beginning and so it will always be.
Comprehending the Text
Choose the word or word-group that best completes eachsentence. Write the answer on the blanks.1. The essay tells us that in spite of the changes in our world brought about by science and technology ______.a. our lifestyle does not change' b. fundamental values do not changec. our standard of living remains the samed. our economic status remains the same2. To be truly happy, we must live for ______.a. ourselvesb. our goalsc. famed. others3. Maurois says that nobody can change the whole world, butwe can do our ______.a. jobb. writingc. thinkingd. reading4. Maurois believes that the most important value is ______.a. selflessnessb. actionc. couraged. faithfulness5. The essay is ______.a. humorousb. formalc. informald. sarcastic6. "Old moral values have died." The author ______.a. agrees to this idea b. does not believe itc. is doubtful about itd. thinks it is true7. "Without them, neither society nor happiness could survive."Them refers to ______.a. true values b. senile moralistsc. science and technologyd. many tales8. "Without them, neither society nor happiness could survive."This statement means that without values ______.a. happiness could survive b. society could survive, not happinessc. both society and happiness could not survived, both society and happiness could survive9. To impress upon the reader that some values are vital or essential, the author states them in the form of _______.a. stories that give lessons b. jokes that make people laughc. problems that must be solvedd. rules that must be followed10. The main purpose of the writer is to _______.a. draw conclusions b. give advicec. give informationd. pass judgmentsDiscuss the following:1. What is the main idea of the essay? How should the title beread?2. Do you agree that without true values society could notsurvive?3. What four values does Maurois consider important?4. Why does Maurois refer to the four values as rules?5. Which value do you consider most important? Why?