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ERIC Number: EJ906413
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1934-2322
Negotiating Literacy Identity in the Face of Perceived Illiteracy: What Counts as Being Literate as an Adult and Who Decides?
Benson, Sheila
Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, v4 n3 p131-139 Fall 2010
This article examines the case of an adult reader who has developed literacy practices that represent a wide range of authentic, personally and professionally motivated purposes for reading and writing. Despite this wide range of literacy practices, however, and despite the opportunities they have opened for him, Joseph (his chosen pseudonym) continues to represent himself as illiterate because he struggled with reading comprehension when he was a student. I use this case study as a lens for exploring how defining literacy in terms of formal school-based literacy practices limits how adults can see themselves in terms of competency. We can better take account of the critical thinking and problem-solving that adults regularly engage in by recognizing lifespan literacy practices.
Commission on Adult Basic Education and ProLiteracy America. 1320 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210. Tel: 315-422-9121; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah