What Do We Mean by Literacy? Implications for Literacy Education

  • Cheu-Jey Lee


Literacy education has been of continuous interest to educators and researchers for decades. This paper is concerned with a critical examination of two interrelated aspects of literacy education: (a) the meaning of literacy and (b) its implications for literacy education. It begins with a discussion of the meaning of literacy by reviewing the research literature. It shows that literacy is not singular but multiple and is closely tied to social practices. Then the discussion switches to how literacy as multiple social practices relates to literacy education. This paper ends with a call for a topsy-turvy look at the purpose of literacy education and with a challenge to literacy educators to reflect on their practices accordingly.