Everyone has a view of literacy : learners' perceptions of literacy and their practices at home and at school

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This is an ethnographic study of how learners write about, speak about, depict and value their literacy activities at home and how this links with their performance at school. It also examines the shift in learners' perceptions of literacy through their involvement in the research project. The theoretical framework for the research is drawn from the New Literacy Studies with its emphasis on the autonomous and ideological models ofliteracy (as formulated by Street) and on literacy as situated practice. The data is a series of literacy activities, of seven learner profiles made up of their writing, literacy inventories, photographic depictions, focus group discussions, semi structured interviews, and tasks assessed in the formal academic domain. Critical Discourse Analysis is used as a tool for the analysis of some of the data and traces the similarities and differences in the kinds of literacy activities that learners engage in, ranging from homework to hobbies, cell phones, conversations, computer games and so forth. Interpretation of the data also draws on Gee's theory of primary and secondary Discourses.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 90-93).