What is literacy?
What is literacy?
What is literacy?
What is literacy?
What is literacy?
Language capacity is the root
of all student performance.
The success of a classroom
learning experience rests on
student language capacity.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs
The need to read, write,
speak, and listen effectively is
fundamental to every subject,
in every grade, and in every
class these learners will ever
Heidi Hayes Jacobs
What is literacy?
If you are an eighth grade
math teacher, then you are a
speech teacher. If Johnny
cannot describe in
conversation with you what
confuses him in computing
an algebraic equation, then
he will be a frustrated learner.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs
What is literacy?
If you are a [social studies]
teacher, then you clearly are a
writing teacher. Maria needs
your help. She is trying to
convey her point of view…
She needs an academic
inventory of words that will
help her think in the language
of social studies.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs
What is literacy?
If you are a [science] teacher
and you rely on lab reports,
you must teach your students
how to employ an empirical
style of writing… perhaps you
need to help them with
Heidi Hayes Jacobs
What is literacy?
You are a physical education
teacher… and their ability to
listen carefully will affect their
actual safety. If Rachel
doesn't understand your
words but just smiles at you,
she cannot progress.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs
What is literacy?
NYS Learning Standards Review
Principles: Embed literacy into all
of the content areas
NYSED Report on Standards Review, 11.14.08
Exposure to new words can differ
dramatically among the families of
different socioeconomic classes.
From “Promoting Vocabulary Development”
It has been shown, for example,
that young children of parents with
jobs classified as “professional”
can be exposed to 50% more
words than are children of parents
classified as “working class.”
From “Promoting Vocabulary Development”
The hardest part about
reading is remembering what
I’ve read.
Jessica, ninth grader
If a 5th-grade student reads
for an hour each day, five
days a week… the student
will encounter 2,250,000
words in the course of
reading in a school year.
Texas Reading Initiative
If 2 to 5 percent of the words
the student encounters are
unknown words, he or she
will encounter from 45,000 to
112,5000 such words.
Texas Reading Initiative
We know that students learn
between 5 and 10 percent of
previously unknown words
from a single reading.
Texas Reading Initiative
It really isn’t hard to avoid
reading – you just ask
someone what it means, or
wait for the teacher to explain
Lisa, high school senior
What is literacy?

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