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. Academic Literacy and
the Languages of Change will be of interest to postgraduates and academics
researching sociolinguistics, or language and education.