Chinese Literacy Campaign

This story was told by my high school teacher in class.

When China was founded in 1949, China has 500 million people, and there were 80% illiteracy and only 20% school-age children. China soon reformed the old education system and teaching organization. The government has reclaimed the right to education and renovated more than 300,000 primary and secondary schools across the country. After that, the general public can finally send their children to elementary school. Literacy efforts aimed at changing the status of more than 400 million illiterates among the 600 million people were launched at the same time.

a woman teaches at home

In 1952, the “Literacy Campaign” began in China. After the Fourth Literacy Campaign, the illiteracy rate of people over the age of 15 dropped from 80% at the initial stage to 52%. In 1977, the system of nationally unified college entrance examination was resumed. This system has played an extremely effective role in selecting talents for the country. Promoted the circulation of social classes at the time.

My high school teacher said, if without the four literacy campaigns, the entrance exam will not be re-started. China’s development will not be that fast now.

At present, education in China can sum up “what to test, what to teach and what to learn” in 3 questions. In fact, this is generally the case abroad such like United State. Teaching around the exam, and the test standard is the fundamental obstacle to teaching reform, the basic foreign test standards by the ETS, ACT development. Examination of the proposition of a dedicated staff, you can systematically study how to assess the ability of students of different ages.

The fundamental education is for the foundation of a country’s strength and prosperity in the future. With the change of times, we have bid farewell to the civilization of thousands of years ago. It is particularly important that modern education is very important, even to the future of a country or even of mankind. My feeling is that a country wants a strong, literacy skills are essential. In China there is such a sentence. Knowledge alters your fate.

Write Place

If I can choose one of the most wanted places to learn, I will not hesitate to choose the library. But I did not expect that universities in the United States, libraries have such a surprising place, that is Write Place.

Write Place at UD

UD official website is introduced Write Place in this way: In order to help students improve their writing, consultants:

  • Address global concerns before sentence-level concerns.
  • Do not proofread papers.
  • Help students understand their writing assignments.
  • Engage the student in a conversation about his or her writing.
  • Discover the strengths and weaknesses of the student’s writing.

Staffed by exceptionally talented students from a variety of disciplines, the Write Place can assist with a wide range of writing challenges such as:

  • First-year student’s English 100 assignments.
  • International student’s mastery of English idioms.
  • Upper-level student’s research papers.
  • Student’s applications to graduate schools.

I’m excited because I included First-year student’s English 100 assignments and
International student’s mastery of English idioms. As we all know, although the international students have the English foundation, the words and sentences are not localized. It is usually happened for locals not to understand the English spoken by international students. I think Write Place will be my perfect sponsor. Write place can help my English writing and literacy more American.

This semester I have two classes with the help of Write Place. One is ENG100, one is UDI. Normally, my ENG100 needs a write place to provide pre-writing guidance and post-completion syntax changes. I thought the grammar changes would be more suitable for me, because my grammar is not local. I can not check the grammar details during writing. However, after a part of time, I found writing guidelines more useful for me. My English writing in the China is completely different from writing in the United States. They have different formats and different requirements. Write place helped me a lot during this semester. As my UDI professor Ya said, is there a question about literacy? Go to write place!

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About Math

I still remember that I was full of confidence in mathematics at the beginning of this semester. At the beginning, we were still learning a simple equation calculation, and the equation has no difficulty for me. At that time, I thought I was Will in “Good Will Hunting” and I will solved the problem easily.

However, we have gradually learned about matrices and linear algebra, something I have never learned. It was a dark period for me, and I wanted to drop this lesson every day. I want to get help from sponsors, just as Will got the help of Professor Sean and Professor Lambeau.

Fortunately, I quickly met my math sponsor. I called her Liu, who is really good at math. She is one of my Chinese friend and she is senior student in mathematics.

The biggest difficulty I have in mathematics is that I can not understand the meaning of some professional terms, which often makes me unable to understand even the subject. When I first heard the linear matrix, I was scared. I can understand linearity and matrices, but when they merge together, they become something I do not understand. I never thought that I would solve a math problem as a reading.

In order to solve the problem that I can not understand literacy, Liu found a lot of math reading to me. My goal is to correctly analyze the meaning of each math problem.

For example:

Kane Manufacturing has a division that produces two models of hibachis, model A and model B. To produce each model A hibachi requires 6 lb of cast iron and 12 min of labor. To produce each model B hibachi requires 7 lb of cast iron and 6 min of labor. The profit for each model A hibachi is $7, and the profit for each model B hibachi is $6.50. If 2200 lb of cast iron and 40 labor-hours are available for the production of hibachis each week, how many hibachis of each model should the division produce each week to maximize Kane’s profit?

model A    ?  hibachis

model B    ?  hibachis

What is the largest profit the company can realize?

I need to analyze which ones are A’s and which ones’s B’s, and put them together. Although literacy limited my math from the very beginning, the process of overcoming it was fun.

Reflect Read and Write

Reflect on how you have developed as a reader and/or writer. Be specific in your explanation.



In this semester, I read “the Writing on the Wall”, “Mother Tongue”, “The Sponsors of Literacy”, “learning to read” and “How to Tame a Wild Tough”. All of these article are talk about the read and write. Based on these article, I learned the different way to study read and write for different people. And by reading these articles, my literacy skills have improved.At the beginning, I spent a lot of time reading the first article “the write and read.” I have a lot of unclear words and sentence structures. The language differences make it hard for me to understand correctly what the author wants to express. But when I read more, I found out that my speed got faster. I can quickly find the article’s focus by marking important words and sentences. I learned to take notes such as key point and summary in the margin. These way improve my reading speed and quality.


Before take Eng100 class, I wrote the essay is write down what I think immediately. Usually my article will look messy, and I will also write something that does not fit this article. By study the form of essay, I can follow the form to avoid problems. They say/I say help me a lot. I know hook, thesis, argument article structure. I will clearly distinguish the introduction, conclusion and three body paragraph. Of course, a lot of reading also made me writing progress. I sometimes refer to the articles I read, using the sentence structure in the article in my own article. But I use the sentence structure more often in the book, they are simple and rarely go wrong. I feel my writing still can improve a lot. I will also continue to improve my writing and reading skills in next semester.

The Shawshank Redemption

In this movie, there is a shot I always remember. Andy insisted on writing to the governor. He wants to establish a prison library. For me, when I first saw that Andy insisted on building a library, I could not understand it. As a sponsor, Andy can use a simply way to literacy practiced for prison inmates rather than choosing the most difficult way–build a library. Andy success to build a prison library and taught non-commissioned prison inmates that read books and helped them get a high school diploma. Then I found that in the following picture, the library always had a lot of prisoners who read the book quietly. They are very quiet in the library and concentrate on reading.

The Shawshank Redemption

This passage reminds me of a TED TALK we’ve seen. The speaker is Laura Boushnak, she talk about in some parts of the world, half of the women lack basic reading and writing skills. The reasons vary, but in many cases, literacy isn’t valued by fathers, husbands, even mothers. But there are still many women who have changed their lives through education.

woman fight for education

By comparing these two things, I found that reading is an important way to change the fate, whether in prison or in backward areas.  Perhaps just give them a reading opportunity, their change will be shocking.

the Writing on the Wall

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In the article “the writing on the wall,” The author says many different things about his subject. First, he made a few questions about graffiti and answer it though his own experience. Then he makes the point that introduction graffiti in his own experience. In addition, he uses an example which is he and his wife went to Mexico to learn about the fusion of graffiti art with Mexican history. Before he went to Mexico, he had always believed that Mexico was not as peaceful and violent as he often saw from the news. However, when he went to Mexico, he found that Mexico was not what he imagined.


“As we wandered around the city we noticed slogans scrawled and spray-painted on the walls and sidewalks, and saw more elaborate stenciled graffiti and artwork painted and plastered on the walls of stores, restaurants, and historic monuments and buildings.” I was surprised because according to the author’s previous description, Mexico was not very peaceful at that time, but why Mexico’s graffiti was unaffected.

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This article is really hard to read for me because I can’t understand some words about graffiti.  When author talk about his experience in the Mexico, I must guess what he talks about. Perhaps it’s because I do not understand Mexico. Moreover, the author changed his opinion of Mexico after going to Mexico. I am deeply touched by this. Before I came to the United States, I thought the United States was full of danger. Because I can always see social software in various terrorist attacks and shootings in the United States. But when I came to the United States, I noticed that terrorist attacks and shootings were not what I expected. The United States is, to some extent, even more secure than my own country.

After reading this article, I found that we can not define something we do not understand. It is like literacy. No one can correctly explain what he does not know. Therefore, we should make our own opinions after fully understanding.


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Frederick Douglass “Learning to read and write”



Frederick Douglass, ca. 1879.

Frederick Douglass shared how he learned to read and write in this article. He was a slave in Master Hugh’s and his mistress had kindly taught him at the beginning. However, she stopped to teach FD no later, but also against FD to accept the teachings of others. So, Frederick Douglass plan to ask the white children on the street and successfully learned to read. When Frederick Douglass was 12 years old, he read a book called ‘the Columbian Orator’ which was made he wanted to be freedom at first time. Frederick Douglass decided to learn to write after the escape, and he succeeded to learn write through plans.

“I often have made regret of my own existence, and wishing myself dead; and but for the hope of being free, I have no doubt but that I should have killed myself, or done something for which I should have been killed.” Frederick Douglass wants to be free, and he has started working on it. For Frederick Douglass, freedom is the driving force of his life. In order to be free, he used all he could do to learn to read and write. Frederick Douglass changed his fate by learning. The author gave us his own experience, and for me it was a challenge to discover the author’s thoughts exchange from these experiences.  I can’t understand the meaning of some words. And I find I am hard to understand the way FD learns. In my study life, my parents taught me to read and write at beginning, and then I had read teacher and write teacher in school. Learning to read and write  is something that happens at any time to me. And I do not need to deliberately to remember it. Even in such a difficult time, Frederick Douglass did not give up reading and writing. I was shocked by the spirit of learning and writing when I first read this article. After I read this article, I think we should work harder in this environment of free learning.


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Critical Reading

A good reflective reader looks like:

  • They ask questions.
  • They are willing to accept new ideas.
  • They are skeptical of everything read.
  • They closely examine the author’s point of view and respond to the author.
  • They associate the author’s perspective on his own experience and knowledge.


How does a critical reader find meaning:

  • Reflective readers believe that the meaning of a text can not be found in the text on the page. In order to understand the text, they use their own knowledge and experience to influence their understanding of the text on the page. They will take notes, ask themselves questions and so on. For reflective readers, reading is an interactive process.

Magnifying Glass - Questions

Asking questions: 

  • Asking questions helps better compare our thoughts to the author’s ideas. And helps us better to understand what the author wants to express.
  • Asking question during read:
    Who is the author?
    What possible biases might have influenced her work?
    What are my beliefs about the issue addressed in the reading?
    How open am I to new ideas on this topic?
    What audience does the author seem to be trying to reach?
    What was the author’s purpose? Did she achieve her goals?
    What are the author’s major assertions or findings?
  • Questions that help readers “interact” with the text:
    What is my thoughts on the topics and questions in this reading?
    What is the article I can accept the idea, what is I can not accept?
    What is convincing? What is unclear?
    What are the ideas in this article is not the same with my understanding of this topic?


Take notes and marks:

  • Easy to read, the focus on the article become more clearer. Also, take notes and marks to help us to pause and think about we are reading.
  • Marks thesis, primary assertions, supporting evidence, key paragraph, quotes and  important words.
  • Take notes for personal thinking, unclear words, and so on.


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