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Literacy Narrative

In all the stages of my educational life, I was focused on attaining an exemplary performance in every task assigned. My dedication to always do a comprehensive research and adhere to the writing rules resulted in the higher scores that I obtained in most of the subjects. I do not remember getting a below average performance in the assignments except the sociology task I did and presented in my 8th grade in high school. The improper reading of the assignment brief affected my ability to interpret and write the responses correctly. The consequence was not only a below-average performance but also made my reading skills questionable. Even though the outcome of the paper was demoralizing, it shaped my view and understanding of the concept of missing-letter effect and its overall influence on reading and writing ability.

The outcome of my assignment presentation done on 6th June 2003, had a drastic impact on my literacy. It all began when the sociology teacher wrote down an assignment to be undertaken and presented by every student in the class. The focus of the paper was on the role of the president in managing insecurity. While the task looked simple and easily manageable, I did not pay much attention to properly read and comprehend the assignment brief. My understanding of the question was to discuss the contribution of residents in the management of insecurity. I missed the letter “p” in my reading and presented an assignment that was out of context which did not meet the requirements set. Since everyone was expected to read and present the findings in class, I was not only embarrassed in front of other students, but I also lost marks for the work. Since then, I embarked on a journey to improve my reading skills to avoid such mistakes in future.

The issue of missing letters or words when reading began at the elementary school in my 5th grade. In several cases, I would either skip a letter or a word when reading out a sentence or a paragraph in class. The teachers would either ignore the mistakes or make correction accordingly to make the information more relevant. As a result, I did not pay much attention to the reading challenge that later on affected my performance. The simple mistake only becomes an issue when it caused me serious humiliation and loss of marks. Also, the teacher in charge in the latter case emphasized the drastic effects of the mistake and advised that I read more on missing-letter effect and its influence on reading and writing ability. I strongly believed that the failure of my previous teachers to point out the mistake escalated the reading problem. It would have been easier to correct the error and its onset, however, I am always great full for the later moment since apart from its adverse effects on my school performance, it enhanced my zeal to improve my reading and writing ability.

Constant practice in the reading of different books and articles assisted me to manage the issue of a letter and word skipping. A word-skipping is a common occurrence amongst learners that is mostly attributed to eye movement or familiarity with certain words (Keith et al. 514) Most readers are likely to miss a letter or a word from a sentence based on their familiarity with the certain words. As such, they are likely to comprehend and read the words in their minds contrary to the actual written term may be slightly different from what they comprehend. This was my major problem and I had to work towards addressing it. By constantly reading of different books, articles, blog posts, I managed to improve my attention and speed when reading. I would also read some content loudly to friends, an endeavor that has seen me enhance my ability to keep track of every word written in a sentence. Further practices were also done to improve my vocabulary and text conventions, that consequently improved my ability to understand what I read. My relentless reading was thus effective in ensuring that I improved my reading skills.

Today, I have not only managed to correct the reading mistake, but I have equally enhanced my writing ability. The embarrassing class presentation moment affected me emotionally and I vowed never to have such an experience. According to Erika the good or bad experiences that a student undergoes shape their actions in the future that are mostly geared towards an improvement of a given situation (194). In my case, the bad experience acted as a motivational factor to ensure that I engage in activities that will correct the mistake to avoid failing in future assignments. I however managed to obtain more than I had anticipated. Currently, I do not only read or write for purposes of passing an assignment, but I do it as a hobby. My passion in reading books, novel, articles, and magazines has grown so much that have consequently improved my reading and comprehension skills. I may not be the best writer in the school but I sure know that I have significantly improved my reading and writing ability.

A significant number of students are facing the same predicament of missing a letter or a word when reading. Even though the mistake mostly goes unnoticed, it is important that students work towards improving their reading fluency and working memory. Proper reading does not only assure correct understanding and interpretation of the text but also improves one’s passion to read. Also, performance in any subject is directly linked to a higher level of literacy. Constant reading and writing are thus recommended for such students to improve their reading and writing ability, as well as overall educational performance.

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