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Literacy, language and migration: taking a discourse ethnographic approach to exploring adult literacies in Pakistan and the UK

Capstick, T. (2018) Literacy, language and migration: taking a discourse ethnographic approach to exploring adult literacies in Pakistan and the UK. International Journal of Lifelong Education. ISSN 1464-519X (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

The framework for this paper takes its central orientation from the New Literacy Studies (NLS) body of research which focuses on the analysis of texts and practices rather than the skillsoriented perspective of large-scale quantitative studies. In my study, these are the texts of everyday life as an adult Mirpuri migrant prepares his visa applications for the UK. Barton and Hamilton (2000) claim that practices are neither accidental nor random but are given their structure by institutions. This includes social institutions, such as the family, education and religion, and includes those institutions which are formally structured through rules and procedures, such as schools. My paper looks at the ways in which institutions, with the power to shape literacy, sponsor dominant literacy practices as a way of exploring the availability of literacy in resource-low environments such as poor parts of Pakistan. The contribution of this paper to the field of adult literacy is the multi-disciplinary methodological framework it presents for analysing the socio-political influences which shape the accessibility of literacy, accessibility which is taken for granted in large scale surveys which measure literacy skills. To do this, I combine work using the Discourse Historical Approach in Critical Discourse Studies (Wodak 2011) with the literacy practices approach set out above to explore how one Mirpuri family accesses literacy across the boundaries of home and school in Pakistan.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:79845
Publisher:Taylor and Francis

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