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This paper discusses how, throughout his beautiful and well-crafted essay, "Learning to Read and Write," Frederick Douglass incorporates linguistic theories of constructivism, sociolinguistics and the psychology of literacy, with his motivation to attain literacy and rise above his social situation. It also shows how the essay is a wonderful study of history and how it confirms a variety of literacy practices in the modern era.
From the Paper:"Douglass's description of learning to read is riddled with constructivist self-teaching methods. By considering his cultural situation, overhearing the conversations of others, and deciphering the meanings of unfamiliar words through context clues, Douglass was eventually able to construct a simple platform of literacy from which he could jump off into deeper and more complex facets of literacy. The best example of Douglass's use of these constructivist self-teaching methods is his pursuit to learn the meaning of the word "abolitionist." Because of the social climate, Douglass is automatically drawn to the word "abolitionist." The word is "interesting" to him because it was used in "connotations" that piqued his curiosity--a slave running away, killing his master, or doing "anything wrong in the mind of a slaveholder" (Douglass). "
Sample of Sources Used:
- Au, Kathryn H. "Social Constructivism and the School Literacy Learning of Students of Diverse Backgrounds." Journal of Literacy Research.30.2 (1998): 297-329.
- Baynham, Mike. "Ethnographics of Literacy: Introduction." Language and Education. 18.4 (2004): 285-290.
- Cole, Michael and Sylvia Schribner. "The Psychology of Literacy." 1981. Harvard University Press. 7 May 2008 <http://home.eserver.org/danzico/Discourse/colesummary.html>
- Douglass, Frederick. "Learning to Read and Write." n.d. Gibbs Magazine. 7 May 2008 <http://www.gibbsmagazine.com/learning%20to%20read.htm>.
- Maybin, Janet. Language and Literacy in Social Practice. New York: Multilingual matters, 2003.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
"Learning To Read and Write" (2009, February 20) Retrieved May 19, 2013, from http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/learning-to-read-and-write-112330/
""Learning To Read and Write"" 20 February 2009. Web. 19 May. 2013. <http://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/learning-to-read-and-write-112330/>