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Once these skills are acquired, the reader can attain full language literacy, which includes the abilities to apply to printed material critical analysis, inference and synthesis; to write with accuracy and coherence; and to use information and insights from text as the basis for informed decisions and creative thought.The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.The Early Hebrew alphabet was prominent in the Mediterranean region until Chaldean Babylonian rulers exiled the Jews to Babylon in the sixth century BCE.It was then that the new language ("Square Hebrew") emerged and the older language rapidly died out.But Goody contests, "The importance of Greek culture of the subsequent history of Western Europe has led to an over-emphasis, by classicists and others, on the addition of specific vowel signs to the set of consonantal ones that had been developed earlier in Western Asia".Thus, many scholars argue that the ancient Semitic-speaking peoples of northern Canaan (modern-day Syria) invented the consonantal alphabet as early as 1500 BCE.This included a series of inscriptions from Ugarit, discovered in 1929 by French archaeologist Claude F. Another significant discovery was made in 1953 when three arrowheads were uncovered, each containing identical Canaanite inscriptions from twelfth century BCE.
Baruch ben Neriah, Jeremiah's scribe, used this alphabet to create the later scripts of the Old Testament.
The key to literacy is reading development, a progression of skills that begins with the ability to understand spoken words and decode written words, and culminates in the deep understanding of text.
Reading development involves a range of complex language underpinnings including awareness of speech sounds (phonology), spelling patterns (orthography), word meaning (semantics), grammar (syntax) and patterns of word formation (morphology), all of which provide a necessary platform for reading fluency and comprehension.
Many classical scholars, such as historian Ignace Gelb, credit the Ancient Greeks for creating the first alphabetic system (c.
750 BCE) that used distinctive signs for consonants and vowels.
Much of this theory's development is credited to English archeologist Flinders Petrie, who, in 1905, came across a series of Canaanite inscriptions located in the turquoise mines of Serabit el-Khadem.