What is Cultural Literacy?

Cultural Literacy

Is it possible to be fluent in a language everywhere?

There are so many components within a language that are organized to evaluate a student’s fluency. Such as comprehension, reading, writing and oral communication. However, even with all of these aspects fulfilled, you can still be perceived as a foreigner in another country. Even with a perfect accent, you might find yourself feeling like an outsider linguistically. This is because languages are embedded in the culture of a society. Language is a direct reflection of the cultural context of the people. In this episode, we go into cultural literacy and how it impacts our ability to communicate with others. 

I want in on all things education

This is a crucial part of language

Especially with different cultures influencing language through the arts. For example, in Paris, there are many Arabic-speaking communities who have had an influential role in modernizing the French language. Such as the word kiffer, a French word with Arabic roots which means to love. The words that are spoken in Arabic are intertwined into French so seamlessly which is a direct reflection of the nations’ shared history.

Languages have evolved across the world! 

Postcolonialism helps us understand the culture of these societies. These are aspects that are often not taught in school in spite of being a direct reflection of the world. Imagine how you would feel if a foreigner came to Canada saying, “Excuse me, do you have a loonie?”. It shows the person’s ability, and understanding, of the connection between the English language and Canadian culture. Likewise, it would be powerful to be able to go to another to speak with the locals in a way that is meaningful and intentional to their history — a goal that can’t be achieved by simply speaking with perfect grammar. This is our purpose at Roots to Routes Academy, as Korina and I have found through our travels that merely understanding a language isn’t enough — you must immerse yourself. 

At Roots to Routes Academy

We have a high school credit course that is built for us. We offer a Grade 9 Mathematics course with a global curriculum focused on cultural literacy, where all students will learn and receive materials that teach them more about themselves and the world. Our teachers are not only OCT certified, but they reflect the population that they serve. We believe that by creating the space for students to celebrate their uniqueness, students will feel empowered to create change in the world.

If you are interested in our courses and would like to learn more, please pencil in a 30 minute call that works best for you. We would be honoured to hear your story and to learn how to celebrate your child!    

To hear more about Korina’s journey on navigating the education system, her insight as a Black teacher, and as an advocate for her students, listen to our podcast, More Than Just A School on Spotify or through our website here

Let’s create change, one course at a time!

With love, 

Ramya Selladurai

Co-founder of Roots to Routes Academy

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