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ERIC Number: ED199699
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Writing Redux.
Baron, Naomi S.
The recent concern for basic writing abilities presumes that writing is the primary context in which one learns to "think," and that such thinking can be generalized to all other academic disciplines. Linguists may ask whether literacy has any effect on mental functioning. If literacy is defined as the ability to record what can be spoken, decode what is written, and evaluate what is written, the third criterion separates basic literacy from higher literacy. The phylogenetic hypothesis on the effects of literacy asks what civilizing effects literacy has on people in general, and the ontogenetic approach asks how an individual's cognitive functions alter upon becoming literate. Some studies indicate that schooled literacy has a positive effect on thinking abilities, but tests with literate people with no schooling indicate that metalinguistic skills may not spontaneously emerge from learning to write. Where college English is concerned, teachers assume that because literacy in principle allows higher skills of language evaluation, it automatically entails such skills. Until teachers can distinguish those cognitive skills literacy may make possible from those which it necessarily entails, they cannot determine how much of higher education is bound up in learning to write, and how much involves skills of a different sort. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A