Literacy: An Introduction to the Ecology of Written Language

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John Wiley & Sons, 2017 M11 1 - 264 pages
This introduction to the expanding field of literacy studies has been fully revised for the second edition. It explores recent developments and new research that has contributed to our understanding of literacy practices, reflecting on the interdisciplinary growth of the study of reading and writing over the past decade.

  • An introductory textbook on the growing field of literacy studies, fully updated for the new edition

  • Includes new sections detailing recent completed studies of literacy practices, and the use of new technologies

  • Distinguishes between the competing definitions of literacy in contemporary society, and examines the language and learning theories which underpin new views of literacy

  • Now features additional material on cross-cultural perspectives, US-based examples, and information detailing current educational policy.


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An integrated approach to literacy
Talking about literacy
The social basis of literacy
Researching literacy practices
Literacy embedded in language
Configurations of language
Writing systems and other notations
Points in history
The roots of literacy
Emergent literacy
Public definitions of literacy
School practices
Adults and world literacy
Some implications of an ecological view
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About the author (2017)

David Barton is Professor of Language and Literacy and Director of the Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University. His publications include Beyond Communities of Practice (co-edited with Karin Tusting, 2005), Letter Writing as a Social Practice (co-edited with Nigel Hall, 2000), and Local Literacies: Reading and Writing in One Community (with Mary Hamilton, 1998).

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