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Friday, August 28, 2009

The Greeks Have a Word for it: 'New' Literacy

We've heard it so often in the last few years: kids can't write any more. It may have been true. I remember seeing the most appalling writing from high school students. However, social networking, beginning with text mail, may have changed that.

According to a Wired story, researchers at Stanford University, led by Professor Andrea Lunsford, examined more than 14,000 samples of writing of college students, including academic writing, blogging, email and other forms of immediate communication and found that literacy had take a giant leap not seen ' since Greek civilization'. That's a weighty statement. The researchers attribute this to the large increase in the volume of writing now done by young people, primarily social networking. Prior to immediate forms of writing, people wrote infrequently. Another change is that this writing tends to be of the persuasive type, so the quality of the writing rises as the writers struggle to persuade their peers.

Here is the full article on the recent surge in literacy.

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