What I Learned from Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics, The Joy of Reading, Writing Superman and Me, and Learning to Reading

Categories: Joy Of Reading Books

After reading all three books: Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics, The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me, and Learning to Reading I’ve captured 3 divergent, powerful stories. Sherman Alexie and Malcolm X encountered different ways of learning how to read and write in their lives while James Paul Gee talks about literacy, grammar, and discusses the different types of discourses.

In the reading “Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics” James Paul Gee says that language and grammar don’t go together even though they’re basically the same thing, but he says so otherwise.

He also states that “it’s not what you say, but it’s how you say it” also “a person could be able to use a language perfectly and still not make sense” (paragraph 2) and with that being said he gave a description between two welfare mothers seeking a job but first had to have a middle-class interview. The first lady was using the wrong grammar in her interview because she wasn’t being detailed enough or explaining how she showed initiative in her previous job and even though her grammar was good, the interviewer wasn’t flattered by what she was saying.

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The second lady didn’t have a problem with her grammar she just didn’t explain how she was being initiative either but instead she explains what she did at her job and that wasn’t what the interviewer was asking for.

James Paul Gee describes Discourse as ways of talking, acting, thinking, valuing, and writing.

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He also says that “Discourses are not mastered by overt instructions but by enculturation and apprenticeship into social practices and supported interaction with people who have already mastered a Discourse.” (paragraph 7) In paragraph 9 Gee explains what a Primary Discourse is which is focused at home around families, or peers and what a Secondary Discourse is which is focused in places such as stores, schools, churches, community groups, etc. basically things that doesn’t deal with family. My Primary Discourse would be my mom because she’s the one who taught me how to pronounce words, read, and write before I got into school and my Secondary Discourses would be school and bible study. Both of these places taught me different things that will forever be with me in life. School furthered my education and taught me things that my mom had already taught me except school improved my reading and writing skills, bible school gave me knowledge about spiritual things that school or my mother couldn’t teach me.

Let’s go back to paragraph 2 when Gee said “Discourses are not mastered by overt instructions but by enculturation and apprenticeship into social practices and supported interaction with people who have already mastered a Discourse.” I would say that Sherman and Malcolm mastered a Primary Discourse by their selves and they didn’t encounter any type of social practices or interaction with people who already mastered a Discourse. Sherman Alexie taught himself how to read and Malcolm X taught himself how to read and write. As a young toddler Sherman became fascinated with books and although he couldn’t actually read or understand the words in the books he focused on the pictures and dialogues to help him understand what the books were about. Before Malcolm X went into prison he didn’t know to read or write. When Malcolm got incarcerated he occupied his time by finding a dictionary so he could study and learn words. He also wanted to improve on his handwriting skills. He first started by writing all the A words down then the B words down and after that he eventually wrote the whole dictionary.

Although Sherman taught himself how to read a book at a young age by looking at a Superman comic book the comic book could be his primary discourse but then again his father introduced him to books by bringing a lot of books around him plus his father loved to read books so it can be argued that his father was his primary discourse as well. I would say that Sherman’s secondary discourse were books, newspapers, cereal boxes, etc. anything that basically had words on them because as he read those things his understanding for reading progressed. Even though Elijah Muhammad helped Malcolm X, Elijah wasn’t physically with him so he wasn’t a Primary Discourse. I would say that Malcolm’s Primary Discourse was the dictionary because the dictionary taught him words he didn’t know existed and his Secondary Discourse would be prison in my opinion because that gave him access to different books he could read so he could learn to improve in reading and writing.

Work Cited Page

  1. Gee. James P. “Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics: Introduction. “Journal of Education 171.1
  2. WAW- The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me by Sherman Alexie: page 128-131
  3. WAW – Learning to Read by Malcolm X Page 119-127

Cite this page

What I Learned from Literacy, Discourse, and Linguistics, The Joy of Reading, Writing Superman and Me, and Learning to Reading. (2022, Feb 12). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/what-i-learned-from-literacy-discourse-and-linguistics-the-joy-of-reading-writing-superman-and-me-and-learning-to-reading-essay

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