Sat. Mar 6th, 2021


The term literacy is multifaceted and it is difficult to define. Many people use the term without being able to define it. This accounts for the difficulty in defining what it is and in teaching it effectively. This lack of consensus about its definition also makes it impossible to determine who a literate person is, for as Venesky, Wagner and Ciliberti (1990) have rightly opined. who is literate depends upon how we define literacy » whether it is minimal ability evidenced by oral pronunciation of few lines from a primer or a more advanced numeracy, writing and reading together (ix). Literacy has been defined in various ways at different times in the development of the world. In the middle ages, it was defined as the ability to read and write in Greek and Latin. By the 18th and 19th centuries, missionaries who visited Africa extended the definition of literacy to the ability to read and write in one’s own mother tongue. In Nigeria, literacy in foreign tongues such as English is preferred to literacy in other tongues.