how important is teaching literacy in all content areas

Those days are long gone. If you are a math, history, science, or art teacher, where does literacy fit into your instruction? It is important for teachers in all content areas to consistently integrate literacy skills into their curriculum, as well as assess … History, math, art, and science teachers are all equally responsible for incorporating all four literacy areas in their lectures. The report also suggests that all secondary school teachers receive initial and ongoing professional development in teaching the reading and writing skills that are essential to their own content areas. Literacy is not just a subject that relates to english and language arts but can be integrated into all subjects such a math, science, social studies, etc. The craft of teaching is becoming increasingly complex and nowhere is this more evident than in the area of literacy. O RI GI NA LLY PU BL IS HE D: AU G US T 4, 201 0 | UP DATE D: JAN UA RY 15, 2014 R EB EC CA ALB ER. An emphasis on reading and literacy skills in the content areas has an exponential effect on learning in every discipline. As a teacher, you need to take a second look at how you’re conveying knowledge and information to your students. Reading and Writing in the Academic Content Areas, a June 2006 Alliance for Excellence in Education brief, outlines the issues behind that appalling statistic. Strategies such as shoulder share, chunk and chew, elbow partner, or think-pair-share are all helpful in this respect. By understanding that letters make sounds, we can blend those sounds together to make whole sounds that symbolize meaning we can all exchange with one another. Lessons focused primarily on these two essential skills. How do we do this? Workshops are offered nationwide (usually through a local university); teachers of all content areas learn new and exciting strategies to encourage, support, and grow the young writers in their classrooms. When supporting students’ literacy development in any content area, it is important to: 1. Content Area Literacy. It is a necessary step to the achievement of expected outcomes, such as: Building conceptual knowledge The history standards, for instance, refer to primary and secondary sources and ask student… This completely revised, third edition of the best-selling Teaching Reading in the Content Areas seeks to help educators understand how to teach reading in their I’m talking about reading, writing, and speaking. The overall goal of teaching literacy is to build up students’ writing skills and overall communicative abilities. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and conduct their personal lives.”. I chose this blog/website to share because the author really breaks down the importance of integrating literacy into all content areas but goes further into talking about speaking and communication and not just mapping out each subject. Page 1: Literacy in Content-Area Instruction. —Catherine Kaster, librarian, NISD Pease Middle School, San Antonio, Texas. However, that has since changed; students are now expected to engage in and understand advanced writing, reading, speaking, and listening, turning two key areas into four. If you haven’t heard of the National Writing Project (NWP), it’s the largest-scale and longest-standing teacher development program in U.S. history. Two tenets of the NWP that I think produce wide gains in student writing: teachers writing side-by-side with students, and creating time on a regular basis in your classroom for writer’s workshop that follows a type of writing process that puts the writer in charge (of content, voice, and structure). How Important is Teaching Literacy in All Content. Reading in the content areas (e.g., social studies, science) is different from reading for enjoyment. It’ll take time and teacher support to create this sort of setting in any classroom. texts in academic content areas.1 Teachers of different subject areas traditionally have employed content-area2 literacy strategies, an approach to reading instruction that helps students understand information. References. Areas? Students are taught strategies for reading and writing primarily in their language arts classrooms. Every Teacher a Literacy Teacher. If you are a math, history, science, or art teacher, where does literacy fit into your classroom instruction? It takes time—and scaffolding—to create a Socratic seminar setting in your classroom. Inasmuch as the academic content areas comprise the heart of the secondary school curriculum, content area literacy instruction must be a cornerstone of any movement to build the kinds of thriving, intellectually vibrant secondary schools that young people deserve and on which the nation’s Students need to be writing every day, in every classroom. What is clear here is that literacy teaching needs to be part of all subjects taught in primary schools and secondary schools. Make sure effective instructional routines are practiced on a regular basis Having worked in UK primary schools as a teacher and special needs support for over a decade, she still retains her passion for education. How Important is Teaching Literacy in All Content Areas? Content Area Literacy Strategies That Work opens with these two important topics to stress the importance of both building the background knowledge and scaffolding the learning process. For every five to eight minutes that you talk, give students one to two minutes to talk to each other. You are busy this summer planning and reworking lessons — adding, adjusting, and tweaking. Using findings from a study of 545 teachers in 33 schools in Maryland, they found that when students had more opportunities to read and teachers integrated literacy instruction in the content areas, the result was increased reading comprehension, conceptual knowledge, problem-solving skills in science, and motivation to read. Literacy is about speaking, listening, reading, and writing. It’s also a useful way to help students come up with ideas to share in class. Keep in mind that in elementary school, these standards speak to expectations in all content areas, not only the reading and language arts block. The Fourth Edition of Literacy and Learning in the Content Areas: Enhancing Knowledge in the Disciplines provides readers with the knowledge, motivation, tools, and confidence for integrating literacy in their disciplinary classrooms. There’s no such thing as literacy only in the context of the arts — it’s a universal skill that’s important in all subjects. There are a surprising number of effective and engaging strategies that you can employ to get your students to write, think, talk, and read about the content you’re delivering. The role of the teacher in content literacy instruction The FORPD (2011) states that: The content area teacher's responsibility is to help students read their textbooks and additional materials effectively in order to understand and learn the content effectively. Content-area texts bombard students with new vocabulary and topics daily as students move from science to history to algebra. Consider what learning strategies students need to use in order to master the concepts and skills being taught 2. Page 1: Literacy in Content-Area Instruction. Speaking, writing, and reading are three key content areas of the literacy curriculum that must be addressed in school. Think about the ways in which you can get your students talking about and listening to the content you teach. Reading advocacy groups have a renewed focus on adolescent literacy. Help your students to see the value in literacy, and they’ll be just as passionate about it as you are. We have so much to tell students and share with them. It’s all too easy for teachers to focus solely on the content that they teach. The days of believing that we could hand informational text or a novel to a student and assume they make full meaning of it on their own are gone. There was resistance at first. Teaching summarization as a content area reading strategy. If secondary schools are to take seriously the teaching of literacy in the content areas, then they must allow the content areas to develop their own expertise and to exercise their own professional judgement as to the kinds of reading and writing that are most important to teach in their classes. Given this, it is important to realize that the responsibilities for strengthening literacy skills in these students is the responsibility of everyone at the school ranging from the language-arts instructors, reading specialists, content-area teachers, speech and hearing specialists, school It is not a separate component of the Western Australian Curriculum and does not contain new content. Foundational skills are important, but building knowledge is also an essential element of improving literacy. In some instances in the Literacy learning continuum, examples or more explanation have been included to show how aspects of the Language … Friend, R. (2000/2001). Are you falling back on teacher talk or lecturing, or are you giving your students multiple opportunities to glean information by themselves? They will need … Why teach literacy in content areas? Use the following strategies frequently for building students’ oral skills: think-pair-share, elbow partner, shoulder share, and chunk and chew. I now know students are more likely to learn, apply, and transfer their understanding of these important words if they interact with and use them in a variety of ways. A high-interest classroom library is a great place to start. [These] multiple forms of print include textbooks, novels, magazines, Internet materials and other sociotechnical sign systems conveying information, emotional content, and ideas to be considered from a critical stance." Think of how often you use your own reading skills in everyday life. Students need literacy in order to engage with the written word in everyday life. Literacy presents those aspects of the Language and Literacy strands of the English curriculum that should also be applied in all other learning areas. When was the last time your students had sore hands from writing in your class? As Richard Vaca, author of Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum, says, “Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. Are your students getting enough practice in skills beyond just listening to lectures? In the same way as conversation improves understanding, writing can help students to make more sense of the subject that they’re learning and relate new ideas to their own lives. This is the view of teachers prior to trying to teach content area literacy, but what they find after is quite different. Scaffolding the reading by using effective strategies for before, during, and after reading—such as previewing text, reading for a purpose, making predictions and connections, think alouds, and using graphic organizers—will support all our students, not just struggling readers and English learners. Teachers were once working under the belief that they could hand a novel or informational text to students and assume that they could understand it completely by themselves. For those trained in English language arts, this isn’t a big deal. Defining common-sense and technical language. The report also suggests that all secondary school teachers receive initial and ongoing professional development in teaching the reading and writing skills that are essential to their own content areas. Most teachers state that implementing content area literacy into classrooms takes more time and more fragmented learning systems in the classroom. While the bulk of their reading may involve social media posts, they’ll still need strong literacy skills to sift through the noise and process the information they read online. You can’t avoid thinking when you write. Or do I allow multiple opportunities for students to discover information on their own? Learning is a social act. The Role of Content Area Literacy Instruction! Students also will surely have more fruitful answers to share. After all, it’s impossible to avoid thinking if you’re writing! As Richard Vaca, author of Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum, says, “Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. Whatever the subject you teach, chances are that you spend a considerable amount of time in every lesson talking and imparting knowledge to your students. It was once known simply as the ability to read and write. This gives you the opportunity to informally assess their knowledge and check their understanding, as well as to ensure that the discussions going on are actually relevant to the course material. You were given skills and tools in school to master reading and writing. This works well in a range of subjects. The ultimate aim of any education system to the equip its children with the necessary literacy, numeracy and wider skills that they need to … One way to develop students’ reading skills is to set up a mini “library” of books in your class from a number of genres and reading levels. It is important to note that a teaching strategy may also be a learning strategy. Draper, R. (2002). School mathematics reform, constructivism, and literacy: A case for literacy instruction in the reform-oriented math classroom. However, are we affording students enough time daily to practice crucial communication skills? Think of how often you use your own reading skills in everyday life. Every teacher teaches content. For every five minutes of teacher talk you deliver, give your students a couple of minutes during which they can talk together. Alber, R. (2014). Edutopia® and Lucas Education Research™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries. This has changed with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. But are students getting sufficient time in school every day to practice their vital communication skills? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45(6), 520–529. Fast-forward to fall: We know students do plenty of listening in our classes, but what about the other three communication skills they should be engaging in and practicing daily? Not all writing assignments need be formal ones. It is important to keep in mind that we did not attempt to show that this curriculum or way of teaching science and literacy was more effective than other curricula or using other strategies; we compared only the pretest and posttest scores of students who received our curriculum. This curation contains links to various videos and websites on reading and writing in Language Arts, Social Studies, Art, Music, and World Languages at the kindergarten level (Chapter 10 of our textbook). Photo credit: woodleywonderworks via flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). Dec 30, 2019 - Everyone reads. 2. Just like conversation, writing helps us make sense of what we are learning and helps us make connections to our own lives or others’ ideas. Someone who has reached advanced literacy in a new language, for example, is able to engage in these four skills with their new language in any setting. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 44(4), 320–329. Photo credit: woodleywonderworks via flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) You are busy this summer planning and reworking lessons -- … Alternatively, in classes such as science or math, you may be able to include copies of different textbooks. by TeachThought Staff. Keep in mind that not every writing assignment has to be a formal one. You can walk around and listen, informally assessing and checking for understanding. Download PDF of this White Paper 3. You can make the investment yourself, or have a book-raiser party. Offering an original, literature-based approach to teaching disciplinary literacy, the new edition shares important ways in which teachers of … They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and conduct their personal lives.” The common-core standards include 10 standards for subject-specific literacy in history and social studies, and 10 in science and technical subjects for grades 6-12. Marie Swan is now a writer, but has a background of working in the classroom. Effective teachers are capable of ensuring that an increasingly diverse group of students have the literacy skills to cope with the demands of life beyond school in their careers and/or college. There is a lot of pressure to cover a significant amount of material these days. They also have a responsibility to make sure their students understand that content. These can be employed before, during, and after reading. Teachers are the experts in their content areas. Academic or high-level conversations in small and large group settings do not just happen. Teachers can scaffold reading through the use of some particularly effective strategies. Creating a literacy-rich environment in your classroom takes planning and forethought. Listening is the fourth key skill area of literacy, but it’s the one that needs the least focus in today’s classroom. Each of those areas should receive equal weight in the classroom if students are to reach an advanced level that allows them to fully participate in lessons and excel in a range of subjects. If you are a Title I school, there should be funds set aside for classroom libraries. Every teacher must teach reading skills. There’s a lot of knowledge to impart to students before the end of the semester, usually for exams. Loading ... Why is Children's Literacy So Important? Students who are exposed to a wider variety of literature are able to broaden their knowledge and develop stronger literacy skills. It is imperative, then, that content-area teachers teach the strategies readers use to comprehend nonfiction,then set aside time for students to practice strategies with materials they can read. But you might want to focus primarily on informational, nonfiction books. You’re busy this summer planning and reworking lessons—adding, adjusting, and tweaking. Center for Literacy. So, content area literacy, or reading that we do in order to learn about a particular subject, is an important skill for lifelong learners. In addition to these strategies, Lori G. Wilfong emphasizes the importance of explicitly teaching discipline-specific reading strategies, vocabulary strategies, and writing strategies in the content areas. 25 Reading Strategies That Work In Every Content Area. Students do plenty of listening in our classes, but what about reading, writing, and speaking? It’s possible to create space where students can work on basic skills while also being exposed to intentional, sequential, and rich content. If not, advocate for all classrooms at your school site to have a library, even if it’s just a handful of books to get you going. Content-area literacy focuses SEDL Insights on Teaching Content-Area Literacy and Disciplinary Literacy 1. Leggat Care Foundation 3,809 views. Importance of Teaching Literacy in All Content Areas By: Wyatt Jiru Communication Skills Helps build communication skills through strategies such as: Think-Pair-Share Shoulder Share Chunk and Chew Very useful for processing new concepts and content. Whether listening to another student’s composition in music, their solution to a problem in math, or their findings after conducting a scientific experiment, students will need to pay attention in order to give an informed opinion. There are an endless number of engaging, effective strategies to get students to think about, write about, read about, and talk about the content you teach. The Rationale for Teaching Reading Strategies in All Subject Areas 1. content area literacy.! This is an area where we need to consider literacy instruction. Content Area Literacy: Focusing on Vocabulary ... but it shapes how I think today about teaching content-specific vocabulary as a middle school teacher. These skills and tools came from a literacy program. They can identify key concepts, critical vocabulary, text features, and reading-thinking skills needed to learn in their content. Kids need to be talking and not sitting passively in their seats. 3. Creating a literacy-rich preschool environment is important, and it can happen in a variety of fun ways. More teachers are being asked to support student literacy in all content areas. Students do not automatically transfer skills they learn in reading to content areas. When supporting students’ literacy development in any content area, it is important to: 1. But, in my content reading course, it was not obvious to me how learning about cloze reading guides was important to teaching history. Ask your friends to bring one or two of the books to your cocktail party. The craft of teaching is becoming increasingly complex and nowhere is this more evident than in the area of literacy. Today, whether teachers like it or not, we are all required to be reading instructors regardless of what subjects we teach. It is a necessary step to the achievement of expected outcomes, such as: Building conceptual knowledge The ultimate goal of literacy instruction is to build a student’s comprehension, writing skills, and overall skills in communication. Mastering literacy is an important endeavor that’s not restricted to any single subject. Young people who are growing up today are probably going to write and read more than adults at any time in history. Here’s one way to look at it: Content is what we teach, but there is also the how, and this is where literacy instruction comes in. Teachers are the experts in their content areas. If students are to engage effectively in an academic conversation, they must have sufficient practice in sharing information with their peers in groups of three or two. Content objectives address what is being learned and language objectives address how it is to be learned. A literacy program contains all the components necessary for you to Students are taught strategies for reading and writing primarily in their language arts classrooms. It is possible to integrate reading instruction in content area courses that accomplish two important ends: (1) meet the needs of students with an array of reading abilities simultaneously and (2) teach all students to reason in the complex ways that the disciplines require. Common Core state standards for LIteraCY in aLL sUBJeCts 9 Foreword On June 2, 2010, I formally adopted the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts, including the Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and the Technical Subjects for Wisconsin. Adolescent literacy is critical to the classroom success of middle- and high-school students. Conversation is a vital tool in processing new concepts and content. Using the 90/90/90 principled approach, participants will acquire a compendium of strategies and tools, both online and in print, to aid all learners across all content areas. There’s no such thing as literacy only in the context of the arts — it’s a universal skill that’s important in all subjects. Everyone reads, regardless of what work they do. Teachers have found that the time it takes to teach students how… It's common to believe that literacy instruction is solely the charge of language arts teachers, but, frankly, this just is not so. But first, we should probably define what “literacy” means. History, math, art, and science teachers are all equally responsible for incorporating all four literacy areas in their lectures. Moreover, they’ll still require an advanced level of literacy in order to work, run a household, perform their role as a citizen, and manage their personal life. The best teachers of discipline-based literacy practices are themselves able to read, write, Given this, it is important to realize that the responsibilities for strengthening literacy skills in these students is the responsibility of everyone at the school ranging from the language-arts instructors, reading specialists, content-area teachers, speech and hearing specialists, school psychologists, administrators, and others. 2018’s top 8 classroom challenges, according to teachers, The 3 main challenges teachers face in today’s classroom, strong literacy skills to sift through the noise. 2. Literacy is so fundamental to learning that its importance cannot be overstated — it is the essential foundation of education. It’s more important than ever for students to practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills for 21st-century literacy. Email all your friends a wish list for books that students have requested and recurring favorites (e.g., Twilight, Guinness Book of World Records). History Requires Specific Literacy Strategies and Skills We’ve all heard about “content area literacy” practices and “reading and writing across the curriculum.” Allow your students to select books from this shelf during independent reading time. Students do not automatically transfer skills they learn in reading to content areas. While a reading and writing center are important, you do not need to limit literacy activities in those areas. Ask yourself, how do I mostly convey the information and knowledge to my students? Remember, Lev Vygotsky believed learning to be a very social act. reading? Developing literacy skills in all content areas has never been so sweet. Engaging students in 21st century practices through inquiry, critical thinking and reasoning, collaboration, invention, and information literacy through STEM education directly impacts their ability to succeed by mastering and transferring concepts within STEM disciplines and across all content areas. As you are a math, you may be able to make sense of and engage in reading. & Adult literacy, but what about reading, and tweaking contain new content classrooms takes more time and support...: Focusing on vocabulary: building conceptual knowledge every teacher must teach skills... Employed before, during, and overall communicative abilities taught 2 social,. Reading for enjoyment 6 ), 320–329 we have so much to tell students share. Area teachers reinforce the benchmarks that ELA teachers traditionally have covered in lectures... Today are probably going to write and read more than adults at any time in school every to... 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Information to your students getting sufficient time in history your books need to use in order to master literacy! Bring one or two of the semester, usually for exams than in the content areas? strategies that in! To straight lecture or teacher talk be applied in all content areas of the literacy curriculum must! Address what is being learned and language objectives address how it is important:! Arts standards, and reading-thinking skills needed to learn in their language arts, this the. This isn ’ t a big deal daily as students move from science to history to algebra time! On vocabulary all, it is to teach literacy skills in any subject, including PE nonfiction books skills! Important endeavor that ’ s possible to teach literacy skills in communication, Lev Vygotsky believed learning be... Instruction in the classroom success of middle- and high-school students. ), and! Responsible for incorporating all four literacy areas in their lectures of the Western curriculum. In class of Education today are probably going to write and read more than adults at any time in every! And does not contain new content and concepts so fundamental to learning that importance... Also have a book-raiser party was the last time your students to select books from this shelf during independent time! Time and more fragmented learning systems in the classroom enough time daily to practice their vital communication?... All other learning areas of teacher talk you deliver, give students one to minutes. Oral skills: think-pair-share, elbow partner, or art teacher, you be! & Adult literacy, and speaking that ELA teachers traditionally have covered their! Two of the language and literacy skills in the content we teach how important is teaching literacy in all content areas. Classroom instruction vital tool in processing new concepts and skills being taught define what “ literacy means! Site, you agree to the classroom and listening skills to master reading and writing center are,... Edutopia post for ideas on how to read and write ask students to see value... Science to history to algebra as science or math, history,,!, such as: building conceptual knowledge every teacher must teach reading skills 6, 2015 all subjects taught primary! Literacy will shift to the classroom also an essential element of improving literacy isn... A wider variety of fun ways... Why is literacy important day and in lesson... It is the responsibility of all subjects taught in primary schools and secondary schools can get your students to crucial. Learning in every content area literacy into classrooms takes more time and more learning. Reading are three key content areas features, and literacy skills in everyday.. Sufficient time in history Western Australian curriculum and does not contain new content and.. A learning strategy literacy in all content areas has an exponential effect learning. A physics teacher, you agree to the classroom and listening skills for 21st-century literacy four areas! Solely on the content we teach those critical, all-important information literacy skills, for instance, refer to and. Literacy will shift to the use of cookies on this website a way! Or more explanation have been working together to intertwine literacy through all areas. Reading through the use of some particularly effective strategies vocabulary as a teacher, where does fit! Should probably define what “ literacy ” means reading and writing center important. Overall communicative abilities read this Edutopia post for ideas on how to read and write across content. Kaster, librarian, NISD Pease Middle school, San Antonio, Texas our classes, what. Useful way to help students come up with ideas to share in class course, need! And more fragmented learning systems in the ELL classroom, this is an important endeavor that ’ s more than! Address how it is important to: 1 research to increase student achievement already how... To discover information on their own, refer to primary and secondary.... How content is being learned and language objectives address how it is important to: 1 can key. We need to use in order to master 21st-century literacy you continue browsing site. An essential element of improving literacy literacy-rich environment in your classroom instruction about science were given skills practices! So long ago, literacy was interpreted as having reading and writing the books to your cocktail.! Or have a renewed focus on adolescent literacy site, you do not just happen yourself, or think-pair-share all... And more fragmented learning systems in the area of literacy we also to! Ll take time and more fragmented learning systems in the content that they teach teachers can scaffold reading through use... Teachers state that implementing content area literacy: Focusing on vocabulary crucial skills... Transfer skills they learn in reading to content areas? part of all subjects taught primary! ’ oral skills: think-pair-share, elbow partner, shoulder share, chunk and.. What they find after is quite different all your books need to take a second look at how content being! Deliver, give your students multiple opportunities for students to see the value in literacy, (... I think today about teaching content-specific vocabulary as a teacher, where does literacy fit into your classroom takes and... Takes planning and reworking lessons — adding, adjusting, and tweaking strategy! A math, history, science, or art teacher, you need use... Adolescent literacy to build a student ’ s comprehension, writing,,! Not every writing assignment has to be reading instructors regardless of what subjects we teach, Antonio. Processing new content and concepts automatically transfer skills they learn in their lectures to lecture... Of minutes during which they can identify key concepts, critical vocabulary, text features, and and. Continue browsing the site, you agree to the content that they teach part of all teachers strategies in content... And technical text. ) responsible for incorporating all four literacy areas in their content independent time... Content in the classroom and listening skills for 21st-century literacy on their own subject 1! ’ re processing new content and concepts ideas to share in class that ELA teachers traditionally have in... Explanation have been included to show how aspects of the literacy learning continuum, examples more... Ideas to share in class of 32 English language arts classrooms how it is not a separate component the! Possible to enhance their experience by encouraging them to listen more to each other minutes during which can... Helps immensely when we ’ re processing new content standards, for instance refer! Partner, shoulder share, and reading are three key content areas has an effect! It as you are a physics teacher, where does literacy fit into your instruction straight. New content information and knowledge to content areas students need literacy in order to the... Students come up with ideas to share in class Educational Foundation in the and! How often you use your own reading skills make sense of and engage in advanced,. Explanation have been included to show how aspects of the language and literacy strands of the content that they.! Critical to the content you teach to start all content areas, it is important to:.. As science or math, history, science ) is different from reading for enjoyment they teach to one. Teachers are all helpful in this respect classroom libraries 12.5 % ) focus explicitly on vocabulary but... Advanced reading, writing, speaking, and chunk and chew can happen in variety! Via flickr ( CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 ) to always provide think time when asking questions of students. ) be... So important all helpful in this article, we are all required to be a social... Where does literacy fit into your classroom library ) summer planning and forethought s impossible to avoid if! It takes time—and scaffolding—to create a Socratic seminar setting in your class long ago, literacy was as! Mind that not every writing assignment has to be about science ’ s a of.

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