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Amanda Ramjohn

Vignette Opportunity-What is Literacy?


Ms. Knudson
UWRT 1102-01
Literacy is Culture
They say language is the most important form of communication. Language comes in
many shapes and forms, not only is it spoken. Literacy is made up of all the different ways we
use our languages. According to chapter one in the textbook Everythings a Text, it is stated that
literacy is associated with the term multiple; and I completely agree. The world is changing
and developing rapidly with so much diversity and new ways of communication, including the
use of what some of the greatest, past writers had non-existing to them (technology!). Literacy
ties into just about every subject that is associated with life. For example, as we look at literacy
from an anthropological stance, it is known that we should be able to step out of our own
linguistic boundaries and explore all the diversity there is when it comes to writing. I believe
that in order for someone to completely understand literacy, they need to look beyond the
standard, traditional things.
Speaking of diversity, literacy is also associated with culture. My culture
plays a big role in my literacy and where I am today. My parents and whole family, except for
my generation, were born on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. It is an island located in the
Caribbean, off the coast of the country Venezuela, South America. People that originate from
islands of the Caribbean treat and call each other neighbors. (Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Cruzans,
etc.). The languages spoken in these islands are of English; but the English is slang and each

island carries their own accent. Growing and learning to distinguish the difference between the
way my parents say things and the way Americans say things, makes me strive to do well when
it came to English essays and assignments because it could be so easy for me to say something
that they say. I have to always make sure I was arranging my sentences in the most
grammatically correct way I thought possible.
Examples of a Trinidadian accent based on my mother (some favorites):
*most things are said backwards or just would not make any sense in America.
Standard English: I am going to take my friend home.
Trini Accent: I goin to drop he/she home.
Standard English: Turn the light off.
Trini Accent: Take off de light
Standard English: That person just ran a stop sign
Trini Accent: They break de sign
Standard English: Cat
Trini Accent: Cyat
Standard English: Three(as in the number)
Trini Accent: Tree the th sound does not exist in any word that begins with it