The linked glossaries reflect the multidimensional nature of literacy learning, which is reflected in the diagram to the right. On one hand, literacy has a linguistic dimension, since the first step of literacy development lies in the development of oral language skills. After all, according to a simple view of literacy, the written word is merely language in print. On another hand, literacy is also an illustration of the vast capacity of human cognition. The fact that the human mind can derive sense from the abstract symbolism of the phonetic code is quite a feat of neural and executive coordination. The reader is able to develop schemas, visualise, problem solve and synthesise in ways that are more complex than we realise. That said, language and literacy do not take place in a mental vacuum; they are part of our socio-cultural practices through which we come to know and conceptualise about the world. We learn these skills amongst other in communities of practice that are located in cultures with rich histories and stories.
As the diagram suggests, any act of literacy (or literacy event) demands that individuals coordinate linguistic, cognitive, socio-cultural and developmental elements if communication and comprehension are to be successful. Therefore, we present glossaries in the following categories: on literacy, on language, on perception, on (cultural) practices, and on knowledge.
Welcome. We truly adhere to the opening quote, “concepts lead us to make investigations; are the expression of our interest, and direct our interest.” Or as Vygotksy stated, "learning to direct one's own mental processes with the aid of words or signs is an integral part of the process of [new] concept formation." Hopefully, the glossaries present terms that can capture key ideas which lay out a framework of interpreting literacy learning and literacy practice. Please explore and enjoy.