Read Paulo Freire's act of reading.
He emphasizes on meaning. He focuses on the act of knowing the world through the word. And the journey of knowing can't be mechanized. It's true that language progresses life. If we do not learn the word, we will have a tough time learning the world.
Excerpt from the article:
It was precisely my parents who introduced me to reading the word at a certain moment in this rich experience of understanding my immediate world. Deciphering the word flowed naturally from reading my particular world, it was not something superimposed on it. I learned to read and write on the ground of the back yard of my house, in the shade of the mango trees, with words from my world rather than from the wider world of my parents. The earth was my blackboard; sticks, my chalk.
When I arrived at Eunice Vasconcellos's private school, I was already literate. Here I would like to pay heartfelt tribute to Eunice, whose recent passing away profoundly grieved me. Eunice continued and deepened my parents' work. With her, reading the word, the phrase, the sentence never entailed a break with reading the world. With her, reading the word meant reading the word-world.