My Literacy History: How I have Developed and Continued to Grow my Love for the English Language


Since I was born and raised in the Philippines, my first language is not English, but Filipino. I learnt how to read and write basic Filipino first and I remember in my early years, I was taught how to read by introducing to me the use of the vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and that each vowel is pronounced separately with a glottal stop in between. These vowels, which are used on its own or are paired with a consonant, indicate the syllabic unit in a Filipino word. I will not elaborate this further, but I just want to give a background on how I gained and developed my literacy in my second language, that is, English.

Because I was taught a different method of learning how to read in my first language, I experienced difficulty in learning English. I found that this language was so complex, that I had to learn how to pronounce each letter or had to be aware of the sound differences (the phonograms), especially if the word consists of two consecutive vowels or two consecutive consonants. That I found really confusing, but nonetheless, 'crucial to learning to read written language' (Sousa, 2005, p.33).​

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In my primary school years, the teacher would assign twenty (20) vocabulary words on Mondays each week. Our homework was to find the dictionary meaning of each word and to use them in a sentence. I took initiative on studying the language on my own, learnt how to use the dictionary not only for the purpose of finding the definition of a word, but also learning its correct pronunciation. This actually helped me build my English vocabulary - words and their meanings make up the building blocks of my literacy development in English. The Australian Curriculum (ACARA, n.d.) states that

"literacy is developed through the specific study of the English language in all its spoken, written and visual forms, enabling students to become confident readers and meaning-makers as they learn about the creative and communicative potential of a wide range of subjects and everyday texts."

That being said, I realised that I was beginning to find reading as pleasurable and fun, and I became a confident reader when I started to comprehend what I was reading.

My love for learning the English language gave me the motivation to take up Bachelor Degree in Secondary Education. It was my first choice when I enrolled in the university, since I have always wanted to become a teacher. I decided to take English as my major, because I wanted to teach English as a second language to my future Filipino students. My university professors helped me appreciate different literary genres and understand the written texts on a deeper level.

Table: Two Generations of Learners according to Kalantzis, et al. (2012)

Kalantzis, et al (2012) differentiated two generations of learners. Based on the examples listed in Table above, I am both an earlier generation learner and a Generation 'P' learner. We did not use to have the new technology that we have now during my early schooling history from primary to high school. I used to submit written or manually typewritten projects and homework accomplished through research in the library. I did not have the convenience of personal computers and digital technology to help me with my assignments, instead, I used encyclopaedias and other reference materials. I received much of my learning within the formal context of schooling. After high school, I had gap years, and when I enrolled in university for my Bachelor Degree in Education, I observed that things had changed dramatically. Computer and internet became very important tools for my studies. From university years until present, I consider myself a 'Generation P' learner. I take responsibility for my own learning and continue to learn beyond the classroom by reading more books, articles, journals, and many more, and also, by using social media, for example, Facebook (and Facebook groups), Wordpress, Steemit, etc. to continue my reading, writing, and learning of current trends.

Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (n.d.). General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum: English. Retrieved from:

Kalantzis, M., et al (2012). The work of learning and teaching literacies. Retrieved from:

Sousa, D. (2005). How the brain learns to read. In Chapter 2, Learning to Read (pp. 31-62). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin Press

Thank you for reading! Upvote and comment if you have any feedback!

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Wonderful post. Thank you so much for the credits and appreciation Leisha :-)


An absolute pleasure. This is my way of giving back to our community. I will promote SteemBulls on all my future posts.

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@evlachsblog Thank you for your kind words, we really appreciate it.


You're welcome @bunnychum. It is the least thing I could do for what our community has done to help my posts get recognized or read at least.

This post has received a 0.21 % upvote from @drotto thanks to: @banjo.

Thank you so much for sharing, now I understand why you have an amazing choice of words. Starting tomorrow I will encourage my kids to learn at least 2 words from the dictionary. :)


Thank you and you're welcome, @dangerousangel.

When I used to read any book when I was younger, I would always have a dictionary next to me. I would also write those difficult words and their meanings in my notepad. Also, ever since I was a child, I have always had the love for books. I loved reading Filipino legends and biographies of our national heroes, then I shifted to reading them in English. The love for reading was not forced upon me, since I have always looked up to my father for his collection of books, among other reasons. He was my inspiration, too, and he was full of wisdom and knowledge. He said to read the Bible in English and it would help me learn the language even more effectively.


Anazing inputs, would definitely try that! I have a cousin who was asked by her mom to read a page from encyclopedias a day and that makes her very knowledgeble.


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I love this quote by Dr. Seuss. When a child has great passion for reading, he/she gains more knowledge and understanding of the world around him/her.

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