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The proposed course will seek to address the most important aspect of language learning and acquisition and will lay the foundation for a better understanding of orality and literacy and their place in language.
Module objectives: (a) to understand the meaning of literacy and orality in language and linguistics; (b) to be able to explain the basic elements of the orality-literacy divide; (c) to understand the meaning of literacy as of metalinguistic activity; and (d) to evaluate and analyze literacy from a different perspective (Olson & Torrance, 1991).
Learning outcomes: (a) students provide their own interpretation of literacy and orality; (b) students provide at least three different characteristic of the orality-literacy divide; (c) students know and explain conditions necessary for literacy development; (d) recognize literacy as a metalinguistic activity; and (e) present arguments for literacy as a form of oppression (Olson & Torrance, 1991).
The first module is designed in ways that provide comprehensive and unique information about literacy and orality. Few students at the beginning of their language courses possess knowledge and skills necessary to distinguish between orality and literacy and to explain conditions necessary for literacy to develop and sustain. Obviously, “whenever human beings exist they have a language, and in every instance a language that exists basically as spoken and heard, in the world of sound” (Ong, 2002), but even the richness of gesture cannot disrupt the link between literacy and oral speech language – even sign languages used by the deaf heavily rely on orality. For this reason, students should not only realize the close interdependence of orality and literacy and their place in the system of linguistic tools, but they should also be able to provide the basic characteristics of the orality-literacy divide and, more importantly, to reconsider the topic of orality and literacy from a new, unexpected angle.
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