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  • Literacy is the ability to read and write. Literacy encompasses a complex set of abilities to understand and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture. In a technological society, the concept of literacy is expanding to include the media and electronic text, in addition to the usual alphabetic and number systems. These abilities vary in different social and cultural contexts according to need, demand, availability, and education. The primary sense of literacy still represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from a critical interpretation of written or printed text. The key to all literacy is reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep understanding of text. Reading development involves a range of complex language underpinnings including awareness of speech sounds, spelling patterns, word meaning, grammar and patterns of word formation, all of which provide a necessary platform for reading fluency and comprehension.

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