Overview

If asked to identify which children rank lowest in relation to national educational norms, have higher school dropout and absence rates, and more commonly experience learning problems, few of us would know the answer: white, urban Appalachian children. These are the children and grandchildren of Appalachian families who migrated to northern cities in the 1950s to look for work. They make up this largely "invisible" urban group, a minority that represents a significant portion of the urban poor. Literacy ...
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OTHER PEOPLE'S WORDS

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Overview

If asked to identify which children rank lowest in relation to national educational norms, have higher school dropout and absence rates, and more commonly experience learning problems, few of us would know the answer: white, urban Appalachian children. These are the children and grandchildren of Appalachian families who migrated to northern cities in the 1950s to look for work. They make up this largely "invisible" urban group, a minority that represents a significant portion of the urban poor. Literacy researchers have rarely studied urban Appalachians, yet, as Victoria Purcell-Gates demonstrates in Other People's Words, their often severe literacy problems provide a unique perspective on literacy and the relationship between print and culture. A compelling case study details the author's work with one such family.
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Editorial Reviews

Readings

A powerful depiction of the literacy learning process.
— Doris Bergen

Readings - Doris Bergen
A powerful depiction of the literacy learning process.
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy

An engaging book that makes a unique contribution to literacy research by offering answers to the 'why's' of low literacy...[It] graphically portrays the ways in which the mainstream society and the educational system effectively exclude [the illiterate]...Other People's Words is a highly readable and richly layered exploration of literacy learning. As qualitative research, it accomplishes what no empirical study can—it transcends the subjects of the study, making vast connections to the functions and effects of literacy practice in lives of adults, children, families, schools, and communities.
— Lynn Sampson

National Literacy Trust's 1997 Bibliography
This two-year case study of the author's work with one family is situated within a more general concern for families whom the educational system seems to be failing...Replacing a predominant deficit view of low socio-economic status minority populations, the author adopts a sociocultural view of learning and an emergent literacy perspective in this detailed account of the acquisition of literacy and the relationship between print and culture. Engagingly written and widely referenced, this is a useful book for anyone considering the nature of family literacy and the interface of literacy learning and cultural experiences, including teachers, students and parents.
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy - Lynn Sampson
An engaging book that makes a unique contribution to literacy research by offering answers to the 'why's' of low literacy...[It] graphically portrays the ways in which the mainstream society and the educational system effectively exclude [the illiterate]...Other People's Words is a highly readable and richly layered exploration of literacy learning. As qualitative research, it accomplishes what no empirical study can--it transcends the subjects of the study, making vast connections to the functions and effects of literacy practice in lives of adults, children, families, schools, and communities.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674072145
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 8/3/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 613,774
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Victoria Purcell-Gates is Canada Research Chair in Early Childhood Literacy at the University of British Columbia.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Literacy, Schools, and Society

1. Nonliterate in an American City

2. Jenny and Donny's World

3. A World without Print

4. Becoming Literate: Donny

5. In Her Own Words: Jenny

6. Print Enters the World of Donny and Jenny

7. Who Reads and Writes in My World?

8. Exclusion and Access

9. The Complexities of Culture, Language, Literacy, and Cognition

Appendix: Research Procedures and Stances

Notes

References

Index

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