Thursday, June 30, 2011

Critical Literacy

Reference: Mkandaŵile Sitwe Benson (2010) Branches and Levels of Literacy Analysis – Extracted from the Paper presented at the Linguistics Association of Southern African Universities (LASU) in Zambia, hosted by the University of Zambia.

Critical Literacy is a branch and level of literacy analysis that look at the teaching of critical consciences skills relating to an individual’s ability to perceive social, political, and economic oppression and to take action against the oppressive elements of society, (Freire, 1970). The concept of critical consciousness (conscientization) was developed by Paulo Freire primarily in his books: Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Education for Critical Consciousness, Kirkendall (2004). The emphasis here is in an individual’s ability to use reading, writing, and thinking, listening, speaking, and evaluating skills in order to effectively interact, construct meaning, and communicate for real-life situations. An active literate person is constantly thinking, learning, reflecting, and is assuming the responsibility for continued growth in their own literacy development. Critical literacy involves the analysis and critique of the relationships among texts, language, power, social groups and social practices. It shows us ways of looking at written, visual, spoken, multimedia and performance texts to question and challenge the attitudes, values and beliefs that lie beneath the surface, Mkandaŵile, (2011).

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