George Blue - Developing Academic Literacy: Introduction 1
George Blue Developing Academic Literacy: Introduction Introduction Literacy has always been an important theme in education, but in recent years it has been the focus of a great deal of attention. Traditionally, lit- eracy has been seen as uniting the skills of reading and writing (two of the three Rs). In mother tongue teaching in schools it is also seen as involving speaking and listening, which feed into and complement skills in handling the written word, especially in the early years. One of the important goals of primary education is to help pupils to read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding. This obviously goes beyond the word level and involves dealing with a variety of different text types with different patterns of organisation and different purposes. Where appropriate, literacy teaching may be linked to work in other cur- riculum areas, e.g. retrieving information from texts used in science, study- ing stories linked to a topic in history. Thus, in some ways literacy goes beyond developing skills in reading and writing, although there is always a focus on these skills. When we come to consider academic literacy, we might expect to find a similar major (but not exclusive) focus on reading and writing. Reading of course normally takes place silently, and we would not expect to find the focus on reading aloud that is common in the early years curriculum. Writing will need to be accurate, coherent, well structured, in the correct register, with appropriate vocabulary, etc. According to Hyland...
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