Title

Redefining adolescent literacy instruction

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Literacy for a new century

Volume

3

Editor

B.J. Guzzetti

Publisher

Praeger

Publication Date

2007

First Page

3

Last Page

20

Abstract

Adolescents today live in a world characterized by a vast array of media available at their fingertips and by unprecedented migration between places and peoples, qualities of the modernage made possible by advances in technology. Consequently, an adolescent may speak a heritagelanguage at home, converse in English with friends, receive text messages on a cellular phone,write an analytical essay in school, and peruse multimodal websites, all in the same day. Thefield of New Literacy Studies (Gee, 1990; Street, 1995) provides researchers and teachers with atheoretical framework to discuss these diverse communicative practices. Rather than viewingliteracy as a set of cognitive skills that reside largely within people’s heads, proponents of the New Literacy Studies (NLS) assert that reading, writing, speaking, and various other modes of meaning making are always inextricably situated within social practices. Accordingly,adolescents’ ways of communicating vary from context to context—and rightfully so— depending upon the social practices and groupings that comprise the different parts of their lives.

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