Discourse of (il)literacy
Recollections of Israeli literacy teachers
The concepts of literacy and illiteracy are fluid; their meanings vary according to sociocultural-political trends and language ideologies. Reflections of literacy workers about their involvement in national literacy campaigns are a source of data for such fluctuations. This paper analyzes the recollections of Israeli former soldier-teachers from the time of the campaign, and additional data collected decades later in personal interviews. Close attention to discourse strategies used in both sets of data demonstrates how changes in the structure of society, and the public discourse of identity, affect the cluster of meanings along the continuum of literacy-illiteracy.
Keywords: Literacy, Narratives, Israel, Hebrew, Discourse strategies, Language ideologies
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 4.0 license.
Published online: 01 September 2011
Ahearn, Laura M.
(2004) Literacy, power and agency: Love letters and development in Nepal. Language and Education 18: 305-316. BoP
Arnove, Robert F., and Harvey J. Graff
(1986) Story, Performance and Event. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. BoP
Blommaert, Jan, Lies Creve, and Evita Willaert
(2006) On being declared illiterate: Language-ideological disqualification in Dutch classes for immigrants in Belgium. Language and Communication 26: 34-54. BoP
Collins, James, and Richard K. Blot
(2003) Literacy and Literacies: Texts, Power, and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. BoP
(1981) Forms of Talk. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. BoP
Goldberg, Harvey E.
Goldberg, Harvey E., and Chen Bram
(1993) Language in Time of Revolution. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press. BoP
Heath, Shirley B., and Brian V. Street
(1986) Talking Straight: Dugri Speech in Israeli Sabra Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. BoP
Kroskrity, Paul V.
(2000) Regimenting languages: Language ideological perspectives. In P. Kroskrity (ed.), Regimes of Language: Ideologies, Polities, and Identities. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, pp. 1-34. BoP
Liebes, Tamar, Zohar Kampf, and Shoshana Blum-Kulka
(2008) Saddam on CBS and Arafat on IBA: Addressing the enemy on television. Political Communication 25.3: 311-329. BoP
Philipsen, Gerry, and Lisa M. Coutu
Prins, Esther, Blaire Wilson Toso, and Kai A. Schafft
Ribeiro, Branca T.
(2009) Defining success, defending failure: Functions of reported speech. Research on Language and Social Interaction 42: 191-209. BoP
Shafir, Gershon, and Yoav Peled
Shohamy, Elana, and Tzahi Kanza
(2003) Rupture and return: Zionist discourse and the study of Arab-Jews. Social Text 75: 49-74. BoP
Spolsky, Bernard, and Elana Shohamy
(1999) The Languages of Israel: Policy, Ideology and Practice. Clevedon, Buffalo, Toronto, Sydney: Multilingual Matters Ltd. BoP
Tollefson, James W.
Wagner, Ina, and Ruth Wodak
(2006) Performing success: Identifying strategies of self-presentation in women’s autobiographical narratives. Discourse and Society 3: 385-411. BoP
Wortham, Stanton, and Vivian Gadsden
, Director (1966) Biur Haba'arut. Fifteen-minute documentary on "Operation Eradicate Ignorance." Israel Government Information Office (Hebrew with French subtitles). Research Internet site: http://adultliteracy.huji.ac.il (Hebrew).