ERIC Number: ED270745
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Meaning of Literacy in a Culture of Writing and Reading.
Comprone, Joseph John
A more flexible definition of literacy combines oral literacy, which focuses on the concrete, with written literacy, which is abstract. For W. Ong, F. DeAngelo, A. R. Luria, and others who have done research on oral and written cultures, their central concern is one of defining and describing the kind and form of consciousness that is represented by the media that dominate the culture. Literacy, therefore, is more than the mechanical ability to read and write; it is the ability to understand what is read and to write what is understood. M. L. Pratt argues that literary theorists must come to recognize the institutional context within which the acts of reading and writing operate. S. Fish further develops this idea of literacy as social contract by adding to it the idea of interpretive communities. Practical application of this theory suggests that composition classes should create basic interpretive communities, that students need to recognize and use both oral and written skills, and finally that students must be helped to understand the academic community's concept of literacy while they are simultaneously encouraged to translate their own oral forms of literacy into this new community's systems of reading and writing. (SRT).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (37th, New Orleans, LA, March 13-15, 1986).