Reading the way oral learners do it

Even people who are not literate in the use of an alphabetic writing system are constantly reading meaning in other types of symbolic systems as well as in events, relationships and the natural world. Interactively learning how this process of natural reading works, and ways to work in concert with it, gives revolutionary new insights into developing more effective strategies for the study and application of Scripture.  This training enables pastors and other Christian leaders to gain understanding and skills which can result in a whole new level of Scripture engagement in their congregations as well as for many aspects of their ministry.

The New Life Literacy participatory workshop (approximately 30 class hours) is based on the concept of Oraliteracy which is defined as the integration of oral and literate forms, styles and strategies in order to strengthen and enhance communication.

 In the context of Scripture engagement, Oraliteracy is about discovering and using diverse communication strategies in integrated ways to help people understand and apply what God has communicated to us through Scripture and to connect with Him and His people at a deeper level.

This approach is especially beneficial to oral learners whose traditional learning styles and forms of literacy have often been undervalued  or even ignored.

To ensure that God’s Word is truly “a lamp to peoples’ feet and a light to their path” (Psalm 119:105), the New Life Literacy workshops serve to:

  • Broaden the participants’ understanding of literacy based on a more multi-cultural understanding of the process of reading which values and incorporates indigenous communication forms (art, music, storytelling, poetry, etc.) and emphasizes comprehension and response to the text more than mere decodification of symbols.
  • Demonstrate how literacy can be intentionally integrated with other communication media (multichannels) in ways that will look different in different cultural contexts.  
  • Help participants to understand and maximize the strengths of oral learners. 
  • Identify and develop culturally relevant strategies that will support the integration of orality and other forms of communication with literacy to enhance comprehension and response to Scripture. 
  • Create and practice implementing creative, relevant and meaningful ways to actively interact with the text of Scripture.

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