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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

“In a nutshell: Literacy empowers.”

[#quoteoftheday] “In a nutshell: Literacy empowers.” - Kassam (1994). #thinkwithme: The first time I lived in China, in 2007, I could not read a word of Chinese. The overwhelming feeling I had that first stint of living and teaching there was of struggle and hunger. Struggle to understand my surroundings and communicate with my learners. Hunger, because I couldn’t read the menus to order food in most restaurants.

The second time I visited, I’d learned a couple of hundred characters off the back of my first year at SOAS, doing a degree in Chinese. And the difference was incredible. My classroom management skills were on point (it was more conducive to good crowd control to occasionally give instructions in Chinese), and I could order food easily. The overwhelming feeling that year was: empowered.

All these memories, unlocked by a few words in this quote, which I came across via Esra Osman’s recent post on Literacy. 🙏🏼

What has your experience of literacy been like, whether teaching it or learning it?

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