Formation of functional literacy in modern education

Жақсылыкова Жазира Әскербайқызы – магистрант кафедры Теории и практики иностранных языков Евразийского национального университета имени Л.Н.Гумилева.

Калиева Асель Болатовна ­– научный руководитель, кандидат педагогических наук, и.о. доцента кафедры Иностранных языков Евразийского национального университета имени Л.Н.Гумилева.

Аннотация: В настоящее время перед учителями одна задача –- подготовить студентов быть успешными в быстро меняющем мире. Мы видим растущую потребность в совместной работе с людьми со всего мира, в творческом мышлении и решении проблем, в более критическом анализе источников, в эффективном обмене мнениями и в поддержании позитивного мышления во все более сложном мире. До сих пор в основном широко использовался метод прямого обучения, но сегодня акцент делается на формирование функциональной грамотности учащихся через реализацию принципов демократизации и гуманизации обучения, то есть на основе личностно-ориентированного подхода с учетом его пожеланий и способностей. Цель формирования и развития функциональной грамотности состоит в том, чтобы дать возможность каждому ученику развить личностные способности, способности и потребности, которые призваны сделать его готовым к совершению самостоятельно быстро принимать решения в определенных учебных и жизненных ситуациях, искать релевантные данные, касающиеся выполнения домашних заданий или проектов.

Abstract: Teachers have one task is preparing students to be successful in a rapidly changing world. An increasing need to work together with people from all over the world, to think creatively and solve problems, to analyze sources more critically, to exchange opinions effectively and to maintain positive thinking in an increasingly complex world. In the past was used the method of direct learning but today the emphasis is on formation of functional literacy of students through the implementation of principles of democratization and humanization of education, that is based on a student-centered approach fitted to his wishes and abilities. The purpose of forming and developing functional literacy is to enable each student to develop personal abilities, skills and needs that are help them to be ready to make their own decisions quickly in certain educational and life situations such as to search relevant information related to homework or projects.

Ключевые слова: функциональная грамотность, жизненные компетенции, глобальные компетенции.

Keywords: functional literacy, life competencies, global competence.

Functional literacyis a term initially defined for UNESCO by William S. Gray as the training of adults to “meet independently the reading and writing demands placed on them”. Currently, the phrase describes those approaches to literacy which stress the acquisition of appropriate verbal, cognitive and computational skills to accomplish practical ends in culturally specific settings. Although labelled survival literacy and reductionist literacy because of its emphasis on minimal levels of competency and the preparation of workers for jobs, functional literacy defends as a way to help people negotiate successfully in their societies (Oxford University Press).

Competences are defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes, where:

  1. knowledge is composed of the facts and figures, concepts, ideas and theories which are already established and support the understanding of a certain area or subject;
  2. skills are defined as the ability and capacity to carry out processes and use the existing knowledge to achieve results;
  3. attitudes describe the disposition and mind-sets to act or react to ideas, persons or situations.

The University of Cambridge has compiled a framework of life competencies to show different life skills and how they can be developed in the learning process. Life competencies are divided into eight main areas. Creativity includes divergent thinking, imagination, cognitive flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability and intrinsic motivation. Critical thinking and problem solving refers to the higher levels of thinking that students enable them to think effectively and rationally about what they want to do and what they think is the best action. Digital literacy is a set of knowledge and skills that are necessary for using of digital technologies and Internet resources safely and effectively. Learning to learn is continuing to learn new skills and knowledge throughout our lives. Communication is an essential professional and life skill that allows you to exchange information and ideas, as well as express feelings and arguments. Collaboration is effective division of labor, using information from different sources, perspectives, and experience, requires a higher level of creativity and higher quality of solutions. Collaboration allows participants to achieve more than they can do alone. Emotional development is an important foundation for success at any age. It affects our learning and our ability to perform tasks effectively in school or at work. Social responsibility refers to the rights and responsibilities that come with being a citizen of a particular nation or state, as well as a broader global entity.

An illiterate person may not understand written words, may not recognize the letters of the alphabet, and may not be able to write their own name. In contrast, a functionally illiterate person may be able to understand these words and much more, but may be unable to read and understand announcements, adverts, notices, newspaper articles, bank accounts and posters.

Twenty-first century students live in an interconnected, diverse, and rapidly changing world. Emerging economic, digital, cultural, demographic and environmental forces are shaping young people’s lives around the planet and increasing their intercultural encounters on a daily basis. This complex environment presents an opportunity and a challenge. Young people today not only learn to participate in a more interconnected world but also appreciate and benefit from cultural differences. Developing a global and intercultural outlook is a process – a lifelong process – that education can shape (Barrett, 2014).

Global competence is a multidimensional capacity. Globally competent individuals can examine local, global and intercultural issues, understand and appreciate different perspectives and world views, interact successfully and respectfully with others, and take responsible action toward sustainability and collective well-being.

Schools play a crucial role in helping young people to develop global competence. They can provide opportunities for young people to critically examine global developments that are significant to both the world at large and to their own lives. They can teach students how to critically, effectively and responsibly use digital information and social media platforms. Schools can encourage intercultural sensitivity and respect by allowing students to engage in experiences that foster an appreciation for diverse peoples, languages and cultures (Bennett, 1993). Schools are also uniquely positioned to enhance young people’s ability to understand their place in the community and the world and improve their ability to make judgements and take action (Hanvey, 1975).

To thrive in a changing labour market Educating for global competence can boost employability. Effective communication and appropriate behaviour within diverse teams are keys to success in many jobs and will remain so as technology continues to make it easier for people to connect across the globe. Employers increasingly seek to attract learners who easily adapt and are able to apply and transfer their skills and knowledge to new contexts. Work readiness in an interconnected world requires young people to understand the complex dynamics of globalization, be open to people from different cultural backgrounds, build trust in diverse teams and demonstrate respect for others (British Council, 2013).

To support the Sustainable Development Goals Finally, educating for global competence can help form new generations who care about global issues and engage in tackling social, political, economic and environmental challenges. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the critical role of education in reaching sustainability goals, calling on all countries “to ensure, by 2030, that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development” (Education 2030).


  1. Functional literacy. Oxford University Press. URL: 
  2. Barrett, M., M. Byram, I. Lázár, P. Mompoint-Gaillard and S. Philippou (2014), Developing Intercultural Competence through Education, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg.
  3. Bennett, M. (1993), “Towards ethnorelativism: A developmental model of intercultural sensitivity” in M. Paige (ed.), Education for the intercultural experience, Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME, pp. 21-71.
  4. Hanvey, R. G. (1975), An Attainable Global Perspective, Center for War/ Peace Studies, New York.
  5. British Council (2013), Culture at Work : The Value of Intercultural Skills in the Workplace, British Council, United Kingdom.
  6. Education 2030, Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4, p20.

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