Literacy in School and Society

Multidisciplinary Perspectives

  • Elisabetta Zuanelli Sonino

Part of the Topics in Language and Linguistics book series (TLLI)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Sociolinguistic Analyses and Perspectives

  3. Psycholinguistic, Linguistic, and Educational Issues and Problems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-133
    2. Marc Spoelders, Lut van Damme
      Pages 135-145
    3. Michel Pagé
      Pages 159-173
    4. Elisabetta Zuanelli Sonino
      Pages 175-198
    5. Willie van Peer
      Pages 221-233
    6. Stephen Parker
      Pages 235-244
    7. Jeanne Martinet
      Pages 245-260
    8. Renzo Titone
      Pages 261-276
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 287-291

About this book


The "function" and "notion" of literacy may be considered the keystone, a "filigree" principle underlying the educational, social, and cultural organiza­ tion of the societies of the twentieth century. It is therefore interesting to try to pinpoint the notion and its implications at the tum of the century by focusing the attention of scholars from various disciplines-sociolinguistics, psychology, psycholinguistics, and pedagogy-on the subject. This is the purpose of this volume, which originated from an inter­ disciplinary meeting on trends in and problems of research on early literacy through mother tongues and/or second languages, held in Venice under the auspices of the University of Venice, and in particular of the Seminario di Linguistica e di Didattica della Lingue and the Centro Linguistico Interfacolta, and the Municipality of Venice, together with UNESCO and AILA. A first far-reaching question touches on the role assigned to or fulfilled by mass "literacy" in modem society. The concept of literacy considered as a social achievement, an essential component in the process of education to be institutionally prompted and controlled, fluctuates between two opposite poles. A polemic-destructive view considers the notion and the educational "prac­ tices" connected with it as a potent instrument of social control, a tool for social reproduction and consensus. On the other side, a plurifunctional con­ structive view considers the acquisition and maintenance of different languages via educational institutions as a concrete possibility for the defense and main­ tenance of cultural pluralism and identity, be it social, ethnic, or religious.


education language acquisition linguistics literacy psycholinguistics

Editors and affiliations

  • Elisabetta Zuanelli Sonino
    • 1
  1. 1.Seminar of Linguistics and Language TeachingUniversity of VeniceVeniceItaly

Bibliographic information