Orality as cultural action
Contributions to literacy
Keywords:twenty-first-century literacies, authentic writing, communities of practice, disciplinary literacies, talk
Literacy education, especially writing in US secondary schools, suffers for its detachment from the breadth of social purposes for which literacy is required and in which literacy is developed. Complex forms of cultural communication are best learned in conjunction with creative, productive, action sanctioned through authentic social connections. Orality offers clues to the development of practice-oriented literacy education that can help contextualize emerging interest in disciplinary literacy within broader cultural worlds that give us practical reasons and rules. This paper presents four cases of practice-oriented communication, which encompass a broad set of communities of practice. They offer multiple avenues for thinking about the role of practice and oral communication in teaching writing as a twenty-first-century literacy. Discussion of the cases suggests opportunities for instruction in situated, contingent, and emergent twenty-first-century literacies.
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