Literacy

  • Christine BARRÉ-DE MINIAC (IUFM Grenoble)
    Learning to read and to write in a given society
    2003, Vol. VIII-1, pp. 107-120

    This paper deals with how cognitive, social and cultural aspects of the learning of writing cannot be separated from writing practices. First, the complex and changing nature of writing is examined in light of an increase in mass teaching , new requirements for employment and new developments in IT. Three research approaches are then presented. They converge towards a wider definition of reading/writing which emphasizes the cultural roots of language practices. These research perspectives are illustrated by empirical data related to reading and writing representations.


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  • Régine PIERRE (Montréal, Canada)
    Between alphabetisation and literacy: didactic challenges
    2003, Vol. VIII-1, pp. 121-136

    The concept of literacy has only recently been recognized in French though it was introduced twenty years ago. Opponents argued that it was redundant with the concept of alphabetisation which was traditionally used as the translation of literacy. Paradoxically, this position was sustained by promotors of the Whole-Language Approach though it is founded on the opposition to the traditional methods which were grounded on the concept of alphabetisation. Now that the Whole-Language Approach is contested, should we agree with them and return to more traditional methods? As we will try to demonstrate in this paper, this would reveal misunderstanding of the epistemological foundations of the debate and ignore the lessons from history.


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  • Jean-Philippe RIVIÈRE (IUFM de Bretagne)
    Reading skills of French youngsters: new ways of large-scale assessing of cognitive performance
    2010, Vol. XV-1, pp. 121-144

    Every year, reading performance of about 700.000 young people is assessed in the framework of a day (JAPD, Journée d'Appel de Préparation à la Défense) organised by the French Ministry of Defense. These tests changed recently due to some constraints of test administration and the taking into account of the results of the previous version of the test. Based on the results collected over the years 2004-2008, this paper presents the methodological design of this large span evaluation of reading. This study is an occasion to moderate the binary oppositions between literate and illiterate, and to show that various more or less efficient ways of reading, characterize this activity. For some young people, the switch from schooling to active professional life implies a new relation with written language. The school, which is the main location of reading and writing solicitation, will be replaced by economical activities. For some young people, the relation with writing will be definitively distended.


  • Sylvia TOPOUZKHANIAN (Lyon)
    Biliteracy and the genesis of writing skills
    2003, Vol. VIII-1, pp. 91-105

    This article deals with the simultaneous acquisition of two scripts, French and Western Armenian, the latter being a diasporic language. The purpose is to define the cognitive behaviour of young beginning reader- writers facing two different alphabetical codes. The study focuses on 15 subjects attending a private Armenian school in France. A comparative analysis of the samples gathered (transverse and longitudinal) from upper kindergarten level to second grade enabled the study of the various aspects of this access to reading and writing in this bilingual context. This reflection allows to make progress in the knowledge of the strategies of the child exposed to biliteracy.


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