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ERIC Number: EJ1008170
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-1559-9035
Language, Literacy, and Culture: Aha! Moments in Personal and Sociopolitical Understanding
Nieto, Sonia
Journal of Language and Literacy Education, v9 n1 p8-20 Spr 2013
This article focuses on the intersections among language, literacy, and culture, and what these intersections have meant for the author personally, and what they can mean for students who have been marginalized, neglected, or made invisible by traditional understandings of the role of education. Although not linked conceptually in the past, the more recent tendency to connect language, literacy, and culture gives a richer picture of learning, especially for students whose identities are related to language, race, ethnicity, and immigrant status have traditionally had a low status in many societies. One result of this reconceptualization is that more education programs are reflecting and promoting a sociocultural perspective in language and literacy. Such a perspective is firmly rooted in an anthropological and sociological understanding of culture, a view of learning as socially constructed, and an understanding of how students from diverse segments of society experience schooling, due to differential access to literacy specifically, and to education more broadly. The context the author discusses in this article is grounded in her own experience as a Puerto Rican second-generation immigrant--also called "Nuyorican" or, more recently, "Diasporican"--in the United States, although the implications for teaching and learning go beyond her own limited experience. She is aware that multiple and conflicting ideas exist about these theoretical perspectives, but some basic tenets of sociocultural theory can serve as a platform for this article. Here, the author explores a number of these tenets, illustrating them with examples from her own experiences to demonstrate why a sociocultural perspective is invaluable in uncovering some of the tensions and dilemmas of schooling and diversity.
Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. 315 Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602. Tel: 706-542-7866; Fax: 706-542-3817; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Puerto Rico; United States