Understanding Literacy: A concept paper

Fransman, Jude (2006). Understanding Literacy: A concept paper. UNESCO, Paris, France.

URL: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000145986


This background paper (prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2006: Literacy for Life) aims to provide a summary of the major understandings of literacy, as they have evolved since the 1950s. In doing so, it seeks to unearth some of the implications that these different understandings have for monitoring literacy. Drawing largely from a background paper prepared for the GMR 2006 by Brian Street (2004) it charts fourkey components of literacy which define the evolution of the dominant (and largely Anglophone) discourse; literacy as a set of skills, literacy as applied and socially situated, literacy as a learning process, and literacy as text. Finally, a tentativeframework which combines these dimensions as a heuristic device for understanding literacy is proposed.

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