ERIC Number: ED280034
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Re-defining Literacy: The Multi-Layered Grammars of Computers.
Selfe, Cynthia L.
To provide students with the literacy strategies necessary to function successfully in a technologically supported society, teachers must realize how the multilayered grammars of computers continue to affect their definition of literacy. Computer-supported writing centers are an excellent site for teachers to share ideas about this changing definition. The arrangement, structural, formal, and physical conventions of computer screens are quite different from those of the printed page. These conventions affect the way individuals "see" text and construct meaning from written texts. Computers add several new grammars to what individuals must learn to become literate and affect those making the transition from page to screen text as follows: (1) politically, in the issue of equal opportunity and education; (2) economically, with respect to academic progress and career success; and (3) culturally, as they force individuals to become literate consumers and producers of both page and screen text. Commercial word processing packages with translation aids are now available to help individuals make this transition. However, preliminary research findings suggest that many people will never achieve equal fluency in both grammars. For example, results have shown that individuals read screen text more slowly and less accurately than they do printed text. These findings have strong implications for how teachers view layers of literacy instruction and how they identify and teach effective literacy strategies. (Figures and a bibliography are included.) (JD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (38th, Atlanta, GA, March 19-21, 1987).