Reading, writing, resonating: striking chords across the contexts of students’ everyday and college lives

Greg Mannion, Kate Miller, Ian Gibb, Ronnie Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper draws on data from an Economic and Social Research Council‐funded research project on literacies in the context of further education in the UK. Taking a social view of reading and writing moves us away from seeing literacy (singular) as a universal set of transferable skills towards seeing literacies (plural) as emergent practices found in social settings. Taking a situated, socio‐cultural approach also leads us to notice how contexts and practice co‐emerge. The research project we document sought to inquire into the interface between literacies in students’ everyday lives and their formal college coursework. Findings indicate that if contexts and their associated literacies are co‐emergent and co‐determined by each other, then literacy skills do not simply ‘transfer’ between contexts but are better seen as resonant across contexts through the manner in which discrete aspects of literacy practices relate. We conclude by delineating some strategies for enacting a critical, situated‐yet‐polycontextual literacy pedagogy that pays respect to students’ everyday literacies as a valuable resource base in formal coursework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-339
Number of pages17
JournalPedagogy, Culture Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Literacy
  • New literacy studies
  • Further Education
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Critical pedagogy

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