Today’s world necessitates new literacies–including new ways of reading for transfer.

Today “reading” requires more than “the ability to process visual words found on a fixed page.” Reading also requires abilities to process images, sounds, and words encountered in a complex,  dynamic, and media-rich landscape where numerous voices and narratives collide and conflict.

Educators can help readers learn how “to read the world” through transfer of print text skills to the dynamic multi-media world. With these reading-for-transfer skills, readers can view the world as text–and can consider such things as: language use; narrative elements; arguments; tools of rhetoric, including tools of persuasion and even propaganda; and genre (how it determines and structures information conveyed), including social media as genre.

The reader can then bring reading-as-transfer skills to other literacy acts, including writing and speaking for varied audiences and purposes.

The transfer of reading skills is essential not just to readers themselves but also to democracy, which relies on participants who use effective reading skills to participate as informed voters and citizens. More largely, a global society requires humans to exercise capacities to understand the world so that they can act within it.