Literacy as a Tool for Language and Communication Proficiency
L. C. Ogenyi
The Use UfEngli’sh Unit, School of General Studies, University ofNige/‘ia, Nsukka
“Literacy is a tool. To be useful, it has to be used, and using it involves
reading books”.
Kaungamno & Iloma


Language and communication are complementary human features; both have literacy as their raw material. Literacy itself has assumed more than the traditional meaning of the ability to read and write. However, the new forms of literacy cannot be used effectively where the ability to read and write is lacking. Proficiency in language entails that the users of the language must be knowledgeable in the four language skills. Such knowledge will expose the users to the unique characteristics of each skill, which in turn will enhance their application enabling humans to effectively relate to themselves, to one another, to their community, and to the world. It is widely believed that the primary function of language is communication — the process of sharing ideas, information and messages with others in a particular time and place. This paper believes that literacy is a panacea for language proficiency; it also holds that proficiency in language presupposes proficiency in communication.

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