Literacy In University Students

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Literacy in university students


This work is intended to indicate disinterest in academic literacy;Especially in engineering, where the writing, understanding of texts and everything that literacy entails is undervalued, boasting that this is not important for engineering, as well as the main causes for which university students are not interested in academic literacy.

Keywords: academic literacy, education, university students, engineering, understanding, writing.

Academic literacy is that teaching process that favors students access to different written cultures of disciplines. On the other hand, academic literacy is also considered a movement to encourage writing and reading in higher level students.


The importance of academic literacy according to Carlino lies in fulfilling two objectives that are essential;Educate students to participate in the genres of a field of knowledge and teach the appropriate practices to learn in it. However, it is necessary to emphasize that, at present, university students show some unconcern for academic literacy and everything that this entails;Therefore, the disinterest shown by university students, (and even more in the engineering branches) towards academic literacy leads to a lack of knowledge about this same.

It should be noted that since we are children, one of the main objectives in a matter of education has been to teach us to read and write, that is, at that academic level, academic literacy is reduced to only that, it is not a secret that in primary we are educated to copyProfessor’s dictates, summaries where the only purpose is to copy almost the whole book, or memorize texts or dates for an exam, at that level the teacher does not show some concern because the student understands what he does or what he reads and this in the long termIt brings us consequences, in the field of academic literacy.

From there they become the main problems that arise in higher education, since for almost our entire life we have been educated in a system of competencies, leaving aside compression and the ability to issue criticism;Consequently, this university students are not interested in academic literacy, thus generating a big problem especially because education in university life is constantly changing.

Carlino, considers the people who enter the university as “passive in the face of the texts that are indicated in each subject, devoid of their own goals in the face of that activity, and without knowledge about the contents that these texts carry."It is necessary that people entering the university are aware of the characteristics they must have, as well as the new responsibilities that are assumed, a university student should know that writing, reading and thinking are severely connected.

The relevance of writing is known, especially in university life, since it is part of one of the fundamental tools, according to Böhm-Carrer and Lucero it is important to visualize all the aspects involved for a student when he facesan academic text, either to produce it or to read it.

We maintain that engineering students are those who show greater disinterest in academic literacy, because they belittle this discipline, boasting that it is not relevant to them or help;In engineering, subjects such as text understanding or academic writing are undervalued and even called filling matters.

Consequently, these university students are the least prepared to carry out high gado work at the University, such as: thesis or research that are the end of degree work, this because the elaboration of texts written in the university requires that the studentBuild an epistemic speech that allows you to transform knowledge, therefore university students cannot just incorporate ideas taken from a reading, without adding a critical judgment or assessment.

From the point of view of Guzmán and Garcia, the students who have developed literary habits in a favored context develop an academic literacy closer to university demands, instead according to Reynoso and Venavides, an engineering student considers “silly andUnnecessary ”Reading, these students indicate that reading and writing are irrelevant for an engineer.

The problem of engineering students is that there is a high percentage of students who do not properly practice reading, that is, putting them in contact with any type of text, familiar or not with the career, they have too many stumbling blocks with words, notThey read fluently and at the end of reading it turns out that they have not understood anything, they do not understand what the text tries to transmit;although they are able to memorize statements to the letter without having captured their meaning. 

A clear example of the above is that in engineering, in particular, when the student decidesComprehensive reading does not have the ability to do work that are highly requested for university students such as: essays, summaries, among others, the problem is mainly when arguing, since they do not know how to do it, because they do not have themost important tool that is that of understanding.

As Torres expresses, a person is literate when he manages the written language autonomy, reads what he reads and is able to clearly convey their own ideas, so that other people can understand them. However, most students have stayed with a concept of being "literate" wrong, believing that for this you only need to write and read, thus leaving aside understanding, hence students do not have the skills for skills forTo be able to issue value judgments, or express their ideas and that these are clear.

Citing Reynoso and Venavides;The main challenge of teachers regardless of discipline must consist of training competent readers and capable of assessing, interpreting, examining and arguing the significance of discourse. For the above and according to Vázquez, (2005);It is very clear that the literacy that we initially received at levels such as primary and secondary. We must acquire the new literacy, which is academic literacy, to which students must appropriate in this new university training journey.

It is worth mentioning that not all the fault falls only on students, in fact in most cases the fault is distributed between teachers and students, this because there are few teachers who really teach us to be critical, byAt least at the basic level, a clear example of this is that teachers give you a source with steps to follow, where the only purpose is to obtain a high rating, in these signs there is no room for creativity or critical capacity;So when we enter a university our abilities of understanding and critical reading leave much to be desired.

Therefore and according to Rogolf, there are five conditions that characterize the teaching situation, in which there is a guided participation process with the teacher’s intervention;However, as Caldera and Bermúdez point out, the most important thing is not that students have a great repertoire of strategies but that they know how to use them;Therefore, university teachers must design activities facilitating the student’s understanding that encourage the use of student cognitive and metacognitive strategies.

It is more than obvious that academic literacy is of great relevance in the lives of all university students, regardless of the doctrine that each one carries, it is important to strengthen critical readings, in order to understand, as well as learn to write, since havingDirect contact with readings of the field, helps us, to familiarize ourselves with academic language to later be able to make use of this, in order to perform the work that is requested at the University.

It is important to make students see that everything that academic literacy entails has great value, not only in academic life but also in staff, and professional. It is very significant to take advantage of all the time we spend in college, enjoy all the readings, each of the texts we write, and to have this complete joy it is necessary to understand.

The disinterest shown by the university students (especially in the engineering branches) towards academic literacy, for obvious reasons and reasons already exposed in this work, lead to a lack of knowledge of it;That is why we have to eradicate this problem, starting from engineering teachers and motivating them to include in their classes, subjects related to literacy, and continuing with students, showing them the utility and all the benefits that read and writefor pleasure and not for obligation.


Concluding that we have to share the taste for communication, for reading and writing, and everything that entails this, in order to be trained graduates to understand, issue judgments, defend ideals and be able to develop fully in any field, regardless of being an engineer or license.


  • Bohm, f. Lucero, a. (2018). University literacy and contact with information sources, keys to university learning. Educare, vol. 22.
  • Caldera, r. Bermúdez, a. (2007). Academic literacy: understanding and production of texts. EDUCER, 11 (37), 247-255. 
  • Guzmán, s.F. Garcia, e. (2015). Academic literacy at university. A predictive study. Relief, 21 (1). 
  • Reynozo, m. Benavidez, s. (2011). Reading: tools for academic literacy of engineering students. EDUCER 15 (51), 369-378. 
  • Vázquez, a. (2005). Literacy at the University? Collection of update booklets to think about university education.                          

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