Academic Literacy and the Languages of Change

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This title offers an analysis of student literacy in an academic setting in South Africa, and how this has changed due to political, economic and social factors. This book is an analysis of student literacy in an academic setting, and how this has changed due to political, economic and social factors. The contributors, who are all engaged in academic literacy work at a South African university, use the theoretical tradition of New Literacy Studies as developed by theorists such as James Gee, Brian Street and Gunther Kress, and apply this to a case study of one university in the changing context of South Africa. The context demands an extension of this theory in new directions, as the theoretical assumptions governing Anglophone, 'mainstream' traditions may limit insights into academic literacy settings on the margins of these traditions. The book probes some of these limitations by looking at the complex interactions taking place between students' diverse language and educational histories, their literacy practices, institutional discourses, and the many modes involved in engaging with texts. Language is central to all these interactions, and the book considers how they reflect or potentially change the institution.