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Making Literacy Real

Making Literacy Real
Theories and Practices for Learning and Teaching

First Edition

208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Making Literacy Real is the essential reference text for primary education students at undergraduate and graduate levels who want to understand literacy theory and successfully apply it in the classroom. Doctoral students will find this a useful resource in understanding the relationship of theory to practice.

The authors explore the breadth of this complex and important field, orientating literacy as a social practice, grounded in social, cultural, historical and political contexts of use. They also present a detailed and accessible discussion of the theory and its application in the primary classroom.

The book covers:

  • Defining literacy: multimodalities and new literacies
  • Digital literacies
  • New literacy studies
  • Critical literacy
  • Sociocultural-historical theory
  • Connecting theoretical frameworks
  • Implications for teacher education and literacy research

Each chapter examines a theoretical model, accompanied by a discussion of case study material with a leading proponent of the field, including Barbara Comber, Michele Knobel, Colin Lankshear, Barbara Rogoff, and Brian Street.

Orienting Perspectives
New Literacy Studies
Critical Literacy
Literacy and New Technologies
Sociocultural-Historical Theory
Understanding How the Frameworks Work Together
Implications for Teacher Education and Literacy Research

`Joanne Larson and Jackie Marsh's Literacy Learning is easily the most theoretically sophisticated and practically useful discussion of sociocultural and critical approaches to literacy learning that has appeared to date' - James Paul Gee, Tashia Morgidge Professor of Reading, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Taking the position that literacy is grounded in social, cultural, and historical practices, researchers Larson and March present four alternative theoretical frameworks that offer teachers and teacher-researchers the opportunity to expand the relationship of theory to classroom practice. . . . The novelty of this book is linked to the multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks by way of case studies approach. . . .This book is highly recommended for researchers, practitioners, and graduate students in teacher education.


Great book, really like it for my literacy module.

Mrs Jan Gourd
Faculty of Education, Univ. of St Mark & St John
July 4, 2014

A useful addition to our Y3 English module enhancing the students' understanding of creative approaches to teaching Primary English.

Mrs Christine Smith
Primary Education, Liverpool John Moores University
April 18, 2011

This book gives real examples of how to incorporate literacy in the learning environment using realia. I feel that this book gives a grounding in the topic for learners to relate theory to practice

Miss Brenda Campbell
teacher Education, The manchester College
September 27, 2009

Joanne Larson

Joanne Larson is Michael W. Scandling Professor of Education and Chair of the Teaching and Curriculum program at the University of Rochester’s Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, USA. She received her PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1995. Larson’s ethnographic research examines how language and literacy practices mediate social and power relations in literacy events in schools and communities. She is currently collaborating with Rochester community residents on a participatory action research project examining changes associated with transforming a local corner store into a cornerstone of healthy... More About Author

Jackie Marsh

Jackie Marsh is Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield, UK, where she conducts research on young children's play and digital literacy practices in homes, communities and early years settings and primary schools. Her most recent publications include Changing Play: Play, Media and Commercial Culture from the 1950s to the Present Day (with Bishop, 2014) and Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy (edited with Larson, 2013). Jackie is an editor of the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. More About Author

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