CSI Literacy NZ

Why literacy is so important

Why literacy is so important

First things first, what is literacy?

Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that allows you communicate effectively.

While reading and writing is a huge part of being literate, it’s more than that.

Literacy is how well a person can use words to connect to, understand, and take meaning from the complex world around them.


So literacy is a big deal?

A very big deal.

Here’s something you probably don’t know: 758 million people worldwide are illiterate. That’s one in ten people who can’t read or write. 

And while you might think you don’t know anyone illiterate, think again – at least a quarter of the population in even developed countries is considered ‘functionally illiterate’.


Ok, but why is it so important for people to be literate?

Well, think of it this way: when someone is illiterate, it’s not just books or newspapers they struggle to read. It’s medicine bottles, road signs, their children’s homework. It affects just about every part of their daily life.

Illiteracy plays a huge part in poverty, crime, and social and economic hardship – and each year it’s estimated to cost the global economy $1.19 trillion dollars.


Wow, that's a lot! What can we do about it?

Whatever you can. (And we know you already do heaps.)

Having been teachers ourselves (and having done a lot of research), here's what we know: the middle years of a child’s education are crucial. If they haven't learned to read proficiently by end of grade 3, they're going to struggle through the rest of their schooling and into adulthood.

But here's the good news: they can be brought to competency if the pedagogy is rich, the teaching explicit, and the tasks and texts engaging. You can read a bit more about that here.


This why we created CSI Literacy – to help you transform your students' learning with reading resources that work. Because if we can change their learning, we can change their lives.

Take a look at our range, or get in touch to find out how our resources can help your students.


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