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Lecture 8 - mike

Lecture 8 - mike - Literacy Guest Lecture Communication 100...

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Literacy Guest Lecture : Communication 100 October 20, 2010 In the Beginning Oral (signed) Language – Origins lost in mists of history… a constituent of human culture, perhaps as old a culture itself. In the beginning was the word and the word was with God. Written Language – Origins are, in a way, the start of ( recorded ) history. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. Literacy OED: 1) knowledge of letters; esp. ability to read and write. AND 2)Deep knowledge about a topic Both definitions come together in the ordinary notion of an educated person. Both definitions pre-suppose that they are discussing print literacy. (We will discuss the historical evolution of literacy after we review the historical flow) Effects of Literacy: Common Views U. S. Govt Official: Illiteracy causes poverty. In the information economy, illiteracy leads to poverty much more readily than it did in the industrial economy. Literacy allows a person to rise above the poverty class status to which s/he may be born. Illiteracy in the information economy will cause poverty for any individual, class or race of people much more readily than in the agricultural or industrial economy. We are fast becoming a nation divided between those who can read and those who cannot.
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Illiteracy: An International Problem? There are 905 million illiterate adults worldwide. Despite all efforts, they may still number as many as 869.4 million by the end of the century. Seventy per cent of all illiterate people live in only nine countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan. While there is an overall decline in the illiteracy rate, several countries have registered a rise in the number of illiterate adults because of population growth. Implication (?): Make people literate so they can develop? From Oral to Written Language The origins of oral language coincide with the origins of the species. Uncertainty about when it arose: evidence indicates that it was enabled by anatomical changes about 150,000 years ago in hominid line, but no hard evidence. Advantage: ability to coordinate in space without visual contact and facility of learning from experience of others. In the beginning was the word-- Genesis Written Language: Inscriptions Before there is evidence of written language there is evidence of inscriptions: symbolic representations of several kinds. Picture art on caves Forms of time marking (notched ivory, sun dials ) The word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. No indication that these inscriptions represented oral language, but they were important tools/ mediators of human activity. New ability to interact in time and space. Origins of Writing – Middle East and Europe Coincident with the origins of agriculture and sedentary life pattern, small clay tokens are found.
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