Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 1977 Issue »

    An Interactionist Approach to Advancing Literacy

    Nan Elsasser, Vera P. John-Steiner
    In this paper Nan Elsasser and Vera John-Steiner raise the question of how writing and composition skills, often neglected aspects of literacy programs, can best be developed. The authors suggest that instruction in writing must be directed at more than rules of grammar. They maintain that "poor writing" is connected to certain cognitive states and social conditions. Drawing on the work of Paulo Freire and Lev Vygotsky, the authors specify the nature of those states and conditions, the interrelationships between them, and the transformations that must occur if fluent writing is to be achieved. Using examples from a variety of countries, the authors demonstrate the close connection among educational, political, social, and cognitive factors. In the final section the authors illustrate their instructional principles and strategies in a description of an experimental university composition course.

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    Fall 1977 Issue


    Eugene Radwin, Maryanne Wolf-Ward
    Helen Popp
    From Utterance to Text
    The Bias of Language in Speech and Writing
    David R. Olson
    Two Functions of Language
    Carol Fleisher Feldman
    Trends in Second-Language-Acquisition Research
    Kenji Hakuta, Herlinda Cancino
    Learning about Psycholinguistic Processes by Analyzing Oral Reading
    Kenneth S. Goodman, Yetta M. Goodman
    Alternative Conceptualizations of Dyslexia
    Evidence in Support of a Verbal-Deficit Hypothesis
    Frank R. Vellutino
    An Interactionist Approach to Advancing Literacy
    Nan Elsasser, Vera P. John-Steiner
    The Nature of Literacy
    An Historical Exploration
    Daniel P. Resnick, Lauren B. Resnick
    Making Sense of Reading—And of Reading Instruction
    Frank Smith
    Varieties of Deficiency in the Reading Processes
    Magdalen D. Vernon
    Reading Reconsidered
    Thomas Wolf
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