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Language As Social Practice. Academic Essay Plan Student Number: 11304038. Introduction. In this essay I will be discussing the statement that ‘we learn to ‘do’ literacy as we learn how to behave in our families and communities’ (Breen et al. 1994) in relation to the following concepts:

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Language As Social Practice

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Language as social practice l.jpg

Language As Social Practice

Academic Essay Plan

Student Number: 11304038


Introduction l.jpg

Introduction

  • In this essay I will be discussing the statement that ‘we learn to ‘do’ literacy as we learn how to behave in our families and communities’ (Breen et al. 1994) in relation to the following concepts:

    • Discourse communities

    • Socio- cultural approaches to language and learning

    • How these concepts can be applied to language development and learning in the concept of schooling


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Discourse communities

In this essay I will be answering the following questions:

  • What are Discourse communities? Examples

  • How do we become members?

  • What does this have to do with language?


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What are Discourse communities?

  • Gee (1991) defines literacy as:

    a socially accepted association among ways of using language, and of acting that can be used to identify oneself as a member of a socially meaningful group or “social network”

  • There are two types of Discourse communities that an individual can belong to:

    • Primary Discourse- Discourse that you are born in to (family)

    • Secondary Discourse- all Discourses outside the primary Discourse e.g. surfers, police officers, friendship groups, church groups


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How do we become members of Discourse Communities?

  • We become members through two processes:

    • Acquisition- occurs subconsciously through trial and error and modelling, without a need for formal teaching. It happens in a natural setting that is meaningful to the Discourse being acquired.

    • Learning- . Learning occurs consciously through knowledge gained by teaching. This teacher does not have to be a formally trained teacher; they may be a dominant figure in the discourse community. Secondary discourses build on and extend the uses of language we acquired as apart of our primary discourse.


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What Does This Have to Do With Language?

  • Learning and mastering the use of language and literacy involves becoming apart of a discourse community. An individual’s initial exposure to language, and as result literacy is acquired through their primary discourse. Language and literacy skills are gained through the social interactions that take place in discourse communities.

  • In the essay will be a more detailed discussion of the concept of Discourse communities


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Socio- Cultural Approaches to Language and Learning

  • There are many socio- cultural factors that affect language. These include:

    • Socio- economic status

    • Gender

    • Ethnic background

    • Age

      The above factors will be discussed in futher detail in the essay.


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Language Development and learning in the context of schooling

  • The concepts of Discourse communities and the socio- cultural approaches to language and learning can be applied to language development and learning by the following means:

    • Scaffolding and the zone of proximal development

    • Modeling

    • Teaching/ Learning cycle

      The above concepts are discussed in more detail in the essay.


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Reference list

  • All references for this PowerPoint presentation can be found in the reference list included with the essay.


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