The City as Literacy: New questions and options for the field of #literacies research

The field of literacy has always valued out-of-school spaces as sites for research and learning. The city, as a non-human space, continues to attract attention in relation to how we can make sense of literacy practices (both human and non-human). Over the past three years, the Literacies in Second Languages Project (this month’s hosts) have explored this specific issue in their hometown of Medellín, Colombia. As languages in the cities become a more ubiquitous event, it is important to revisit our relationship to these spaces from research and pedagogical perspectives. Join our hosts from LSLP and other literacy researchers and scholars from around the world this coming Thursday, June 2 at 9:00 pm Eastern (8:00 pm Central/Colombia) for another session of the #literacies chat!

#literacies chat june 2-01

The City as Literacy: New questions and options for the field of literacies research

With LSLP Chair Raúl Alberto Mora (@lslp_colombia) and LSLP Researchers Tatiana Chiquito (@tatianachiquito), Maryori Giraldo (@maryorigiraldo), Sara Uribe (@SaraUri1792), and Tatiana Salazar Patiño (@Tatiana_Sala)

Guiding Questions:

  1. What does it mean to think about the “city as literacy” in today’s language ecologies, in terms of languages present in the city, semiotic resources, and the like?
  2. What kind of literacies can we find upon exploring the physical spaces of our streets and neighborhoods (e.g. malls, shops, restaurants, libraries, etc.)? What languages beyond the native tongue of the area are emerging? What semiotic resources are prevalent?
  3. How are people in the cities engaging with literacies in our cities as we look, for example, at language manifestations in tattoos, graffiti, or fashion? In what languages? What semiotic resources are they relying upon?
  4. What levels of advocacy must we engage in to help our urban and rural communities validate the kinds of literacies that are surfacing in different spaces of the cities?
  5. What pedagogical options can we envision from a renewed approach toward the city as a site of literacy practices?
  6. How can we engage young learners (particularly second-language learners) in observing and questioning the different literacies present in the city?
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