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ERIC Number: EJ779595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 17
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0741-0883
"Talking through Letters": Collaborative Writing in Early Lithuanian Immigrant Life
Markelis, Daiva
Written Communication, v20 n2 p153-169 2003
The emphasis on the individual in Western culture has blinded us to how social relationships affect literacy acquisition and, conversely, how literacy transforms these relationships. This article deals with the literacy practices, specifically, letter writing, of Lithuanian immigrants who arrived in the United States during the end of the 19th century. For these immigrants, reading and writing were collaborative activities, not the individual, solitary acts that we often assume them naturally to be. Individuals often turned to more literate neighbors for assistance in tasks involving reading and writing, an extension of the concept of talka, the Lithuanian tradition of collective assistance. Parents also frequently engaged the help of sons and, especially, daughters in writing letters to relatives in Lithuania. Letter writing thus not only fostered solidarity between immigrant and their relatives in Lithuania but also between Lithuanian immigrant parents and their increasingly literate, Americanized children.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A