ENGL 1301-016 Fall 2008 Literacy Autobiography Assignment

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Tell the story of how you became part of a “literacy community.”

For the purposes of this paper, literacy is defined broadly as the ability to understand and make meaning through language. In this context, language can be taken to mean any symbol system used for communication within groups. It is not unusual to feel you have no literacy stories worth telling, when in fact, you may be thoroughly literate in visual or digital media, in sports, in music, in other areas of interest. Or you may have very interesting stories to tell about your struggles with literacy. Although you may ultimately choose to focus on school literacy (e.g. learning to read and write or do math), you are encouraged to think of literacy broadly and to imagine yourself and others as capable of multiple literacies.

Literacy communities are like clubs in that they tend to have insiders and outsiders. Knowing how to dress determines who is “in” and who is “out” of style for a specific group. In the same way, there are keys to membership in a literacy community, namely the knowledge and proficiencies that support the values of the group. Your literacy autobiography will tell the story of how you tried and perhaps succeeded at becoming a full-fledged member of a group. This membership could be official as in the case of a sports team or unofficial in the case of becoming an accomplished musician or lover of literature.

For this assignment, you must:

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