ERIC Number: ED215346
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Reading, Writing Cultural Literacy.
Hirsch, E. D., Jr.
A study of reader response to stylistically poor prose indicated that the negative effects were greater if the topic was familiar to the readers. The readers were not measuring the stylistic quality of the text, but rather, the texts were measuring the cultural information of the readers. It is not possible to separate reading skills from the particular cultural information that the reader possesses. Teachers cannot teach reading and writing well if they neglect, by concentrating on technique, the particular cultural knowledge they should be teaching. Assuming that there exists a body of cultural content that defines true literacy, teachers should participate in an effort to define cultural literacy and encourage a more balanced union of form and content by resisting the drift toward making composition a separate area of expertise. Illiteracy is a deficiency in cultural information as well as reading and writing skills and can best be repaired by a combination of literature and rhetoric, of linguistic form and cultural content. This is not the task of English teachers alone, but of teachers all across the curriculum. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Reader Response; Reader Text Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association of America (96th, New York, NY, December 27-30, 1981).