Thursday, May 1, 2014

Letters - Photo challenge

Once you learn to read, you cannot "not-read".

When your eyes see a written stimulus somewhere, your brain will do it's best to interpret it.

Even if it's written in a different language.

There are popular Facebook pictures where the letters are mixed up or replaced by numbers or both.

You are buttered up by telling you how hard it is for the brain to read the text.
And how only the intelligent people are able to read it.

And then you are asked to share the picture.

Reading is a complex mental process.

While writing is a medium of communication that represents language through the inscription of signs and symbols,

Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning.

Reading is not just remembering your letters.
It is very far away from an automat function, and actually activates high number of places in our brain.

It is true, if you are able to read a text, you are intelligent.

And if you are able to read of text with jumbled up letters and numbers, it means that your brain has been trained to the maximum in this highly complex skill.

But reading isn’t just putting letters in order in your head.

It is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information.
Reading is part of human language, and like all language, it is a complex interaction between the text and the reader.

This interaction is shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and language community which is culturally and socially situated.

Reading is not a passive activity.

In fact, the reading process requires continuous practice, development and refinement.

Reading also requires creativity and critical analysis.

Our brain is a wonderful thing.

It is amazing that we are able to interpret mere inscripted signs and symbols and draw a meaning from them.

And although writing relies on many of the same structures of speech, such as vocabulary, grammar and semantics,

Writing is not a language but a form of technology.

Our reading and writing skills has been instrumental in keeping history, dissemination of knowledge and the formation of legal systems.

It may seem such a little thing, a letter or a number, but in reality, it is the keeper of vast cultural knowledge.

Keeper of our history and identity.

And being able to interpret is not just reading, riting and rithmatics.

It is decoding and interpreting a complex system of signs and symbols.

Something that human brain isn’t really ready to do before its sixth birthday. 


  1. Reading and Writing is my bread and butter! it is also something that I enjoy the most! it keeps my brain ticking over and it keeps me sane!
    I love how you write your blog posts Joanna they flow really easily and not a chore!
    Keep up the good work!
    - PD

  2. High Quality photos such a great view. And uhm Reading and writing is very essential for kids. They would make the world a better place. <<<--- not the song just my opinion :D

  3. Reading and writing is difficult at first, but they are obviously extremely important so they can make it in the world.

  4. I love reading and try to pass the love for reading on to my daughter too. Thanks for sharing interesting facts about reading! Love the photos!

  5. This is such an inspiring post, Joanna. I especially love what you said at the beginning and that is, "Once you learn how to read, you cannot not read". Not only does reading take you places, but it also is a good mental exercise.

  6. Can't imagine what life would be like without literacy.

  7. This is such an inspirational post. Love this one.

  8. What a fascinating place to live. I've always been drawn to it. Thanks for bumping it up on my travel list!

  9. As always, amazing pictoral reflection of life in Ecuador. So true how pictures and words combine as well

  10. Reading and writing are really important for everyone.. you must have heard, pen is mightier than sword and indeed it is very true

  11. This post is Boonie-approved! I love language and literacy and lifelong learning. It makes my brain super happy to read your post about your fascination with these things as well! Reading is empowering, and it is a gift for the ages. We can learn to share our own stories with the language that has been given to us, and the language that we will seek to describe ourselves to others.

    1. Thank you, Boonie. Reading is very important for me.The theory of reading, and especially learning to read, is something I have been pondering for years.

  12. The brain is so amazing. I love doing puzzles to keep it active - I really hope to learn another language one day.

  13. I believe in everything that you said here. I noticed that with my son, he's starting to read and it's amazing that when he learned reading three letter word, it keeps on improving with other words. Inspirational post you got there :)

    1. Thank you, Kath. It is amazing to see someone learn to read, especially if it's your child, because it is such a wonder when they get it. These meaningsless scribbles transform into messages and stories, amazing.

  14. This was very interesting especially considering my son is learning to read now. It's fascinating what our brains are capable of. I always enjoy your pictures, too.

    1. Thank you, Michelle. The brain is fascinating and what makes it even more fascinating is how individual it is. Everyone is so different and learns differently and interprets in a different way. Good luck to your son, and hope he learns to love reading.

  15. You're a beautiful writer. Never actually thought of reading as needing creativity. But you're absolutely right. We may not all interpret what we read exactly the way you, the writer, meant it to be :)

    1. Thank you, Lexie. And yes, that is the risk of reading because everyone interprets the text from their point of view, history and experience. It's like life in general, you can never be really understood by the other person, only do your best to explain yourself clearly. But on the other hand, it makes writing even more interesting, especially if you leave space for the interpretation because the reader builds the story in their head and makes it their own.