The term literacy is commonly defined as the ability to read, write, and understand print language. In reality, literacy is more encompassing than such a simple definition. The International Literacy Association (n.d., n.p.) views literacy as “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, compute, and communicate using visual, audible, and digital materials across disciplines and in any context.” Literacy is a complex, multifaceted process that requires a wide variety of skills and approaches. This entry first discusses the evolution in how literacy is viewed and the different aspects of literacy and then describes effective literary instruction and the stages of literacy development.

Although there is no single definition of literacy, it is commonly acknowledged that literacy changes as society and technology evolve. In the 1950s, a ...

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