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Practice and Research in Literacy: Research in Applied Linguistics (Vol. 5)

Aditi Mukherjee (Editor) Duggirala Vasanta (Editor)
Synopsis After more than half a century of independence, the adult literacy rate in India still hovers around a very inadequate 60 per cent. This is despite the existence of numerous Campaigns for mass literacy and education. Against this background, the contributors to this volume critically examine the literacy programmes initiated since about 1980 and the theoretical assumptions underpinning them. Bringing together both theoreticians and practitioners, an unusual feature of this important volume is that it gives voice to both the dominant discourse and the alternative viewpoint. These two, often conflicting, approaches can be described as: The dominant disourse views literacy as a neutral and purely skill based enterprise. In this paradigm it is believed that once basic literacy skills are successfully imparted to the learner’s they will automatically be equipped to overcome their social and economic disadvantages. It is also assumed that the methods used to raise literacy, levels in one region can be successfully duplicated as a ‘model’ in other areas. The alternative approach maintains that teaching people to merely decode the letters of the alphabet, without taking into account their social and economic background and the constructive uses they would like to put literacy to, is meaningless; that while mass-literacy programmes are important for any society, their content, methodology, and objectives must be open to scrutiny and modification; and that unless the curriculum is negotiated interactively, ‘literacy instruction’ will not cause the neo-literates to take positive action to ameliorate their living conditions. The discussion of these issues is supported by individual case studies of mass-literacy Campaigns in Kerala, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh, and of the anti-liquor agitation by rural women in Andhra Pradesh. Overall this volume provides valuable insights into crucial issues involved in the promotion of literacy and the impact it can and should have on the lives of the rural poor. Besides student’s and teachers of education, sociology, development studies, and mass communication, this book will be of interest to activists and NGOs in the fields of education, literacy, and social action.
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Bibliographic information

Title Practice and Research in Literacy: Research in Applied Linguistics (Vol. 5)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st Ed.
Language: English
isbn 8178291231
length 263p.