Precursors of Functional Literacy

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  • Editors: Ludo Verhoeven1, Carsten Elbro2, and Pieter Reitsma3
  • Format: PDF
  • Publication Year: 2002
  • e-Book ISBN 9789027296108

The purpose of this volume is to present recent research in the field of the acquisition of functional literacy and its precursors. The volume aims to capture the state of the art in this rapidly expanding field. An attempt is made to clarify the vague and often inconsistent definitions of functional literacy from the perspective of development. Cognitive, linguistic, educational, and social factors of literacy development are all taken into account. <br />The volume consists of three subsequent parts. The first part goes into phonological precursors of literacy development. In this part the focus is on the development of early language precursors of of reading and writing. The cultural foundations of these precursors are explored, and their links with reading development are dealt with in detail. Different psycholinguistic approaches are also proposed to explain the occurrence of literacy problems. In the second part, the scope is on the constraints of reading and writing efficiency at the word level and beyond. The acquisition of reading and writing is seen as a result from the interaction between phonological, orthographic, and semantic processes. A crosslinguistic perspective is taken on the role of writing system factors in the acquisition of literacy skills. The final part deals with the role of social and educational factors in literacy acquisition. Starting from a crosscultural perspective, the central issue is how the attainment of functional literacy is dependent on sociocultural variation. The predictors of more advanced levels of literacy development are considered, including foreign language literacy and adult literacy.<br /><br />

Subjects: Language acquisition; Language teaching

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Nijmegen; 2: University of Copenhagen; 3: Free University Amsterdam

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