From the abstract of Lea & Street’s (2006) article:
“Although the term academic literacies was originally developed with regard to the study of literacies in higher education and the university, the concept also applies to K–12 education. An academic literacies perspective treats reading and writing as social practices that vary with context, culture, and genre (Barton & Hamilton, 1998; Street, 1984, 1995). The literacy practices of academic disciplines can be viewed as varied social practices associated with different communities. In addition, an academic literacies perspective also takes account of literacies not directly associated with subjects and disciplines, but with broader institutional discourses and genres. From the student point of view, a dominant feature of academic literacy practices is the requirement to switch their writing styles and genres between one setting and another, to deploy a repertoire of literacy practices appropriate to each setting, and to handle the social meanings and identities that each evokes” (Lea & Street, 2006, p. 368).
My understanding of academic literacies:
I think the notion of “academic literacies” (Jones et. al, 1999; Lea & Street, 1998; Lillis, 2003), which have been developed from the area of ‘new literacy studies’ (Gee, 1996; Street, 1995), will help to fight against the monologic nature of academic writing, and allow space for a design that signals the need for students to imagine new possibilities for meaning making in academic writing. In addition, academic literacies will help to see the issues of power, identity, and agency embedded in writing (Jones et. al, 1999; Lea & Stierer, 2000; Lea & Street, 1998, 2006). As teachers value students’ perspectives on the issues of education, students understand the importance of dialogue. Language becomes the part of a chain of communication. In this way, classroom becomes an important site of dialogue emerging from student-writers’ perspectives. Students raise consciousness in relation to language use and style (Clark& Ivanic, 1999). The practices approach to literacy takes account of the cultural and contextual component of writing and reading practices. The task of the teacher is to induct students into a new culture, that of the academy.
1. What is the role of multimodal practices for realizing the notion of “Academic Literacies” in K-12 classrooms?
2. Which tools of multiliteracies can we employ into our instruction for writing to achieve the goals of academic literacies?
Clark, R. and Ivanic, R. (eds) (1999). Critical language awareness. Language Awareness, 8(2), (special issue).
Jones, C., Turner, J. & Street, B. (Eds) (1999) Students writing in the university: cultural and epistemological issues. Amsterdam, John Benjamins.
Lea, M. and Street, B. (1998). Student writing in higher education: An academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education, 23(2), 157–172
Lea, M. & Stierer, B. (Eds) (2000). Student writing in higher education: New contexts. Buckingham: Open University Press/Society or Research in Higher Education
Lea, M. R., & Street, B. V. (2006). The “Academic Literacies” Model: Theory and applications. Theory Into Practice, 45(4), 368-377.