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Once these skills are acquired, the reader can attain full language literacy, which includes the abilities to apply to printed material critical analysis, inference and synthesis; to write with accuracy and coherence; and to use information and insights from text as the basis for informed decisions and creative thought.The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.
Baruch ben Neriah, Jeremiah's scribe, used this alphabet to create the later scripts of the Old Testament.But Goody contests, "The importance of Greek culture of the subsequent history of Western Europe has led to an over-emphasis, by classicists and others, on the addition of specific vowel signs to the set of consonantal ones that had been developed earlier in Western Asia".Thus, many scholars argue that the ancient Semitic-speaking peoples of northern Canaan (modern-day Syria) invented the consonantal alphabet as early as 1500 BCE.Proto-cuneiform texts exhibit not only numerical signs, but also ideograms depicting objects being counted.Egyptian hieroglyphs emerged from 3300-3100 BCE and depicted royal iconography that emphasized power amongst other elites.The Early Hebrew alphabet was prominent in the Mediterranean region until Chaldean Babylonian rulers exiled the Jews to Babylon in the sixth century BCE.
It was then that the new language ("Square Hebrew") emerged and the older language rapidly died out.
During the Late Bronze Age, successor alphabets appeared throughout the Mediterranean region and sub-developed into three languages: Phoenician, Hebrew and Aramaic.
According to Goody, these cuneiform scripts may have influenced the development of the Greek alphabet several centuries later.
Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society".
Literacy is thought to have first emerged with the development of numeracy and computational devices as early as 8,000 BCE.
During this era, literacy was "a largely functional matter, propelled by the need to manage the new quantities of information and the new type of governance created by trade and large scale production".