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The "Academic Literacies" Model: Theory and Applications

Mary R. Lea and Brian V. Street
Theory Into Practice
Vol. 45, No. 4, Literacies of and for a Diverse Society (Fall, 2006), pp. 368-377
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40071622
Page Count: 10
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The "Academic Literacies" Model: Theory and Applications
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Abstract

Although the term academic literacies was originally developed with regard to the study of literacies in higher education and the university, the concept also applies to K-12 education. An academic literacies perspective treats reading and writing as social practices that vary with context, culture, and genre (Barton & Hamilton, 1998; Street, 1984, 1995). The literacy practices of academic disciplines can be viewed as varied social practices associated with different communities. In addition, an academic literacies perspective also takes account of literacies not directly associated with subjects and disciplines , but with broader institutional discourses and genres. From the student point of view, a dominant feature of academic literacy practices is the requirement to switch their writing styles and genres between one setting and another, to deploy a repertoire of literacy practices appropriate to each setting, and to handle the social meanings and identities that each evokes.

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