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close this bookUsing Literacy: A New Approach to Post-literacy Materials - Education Research Paper No. 10 (DFID, 1994, 57 p.)
close this folderChapter 3: Developing new approaches to post-literacy
View the documentThe traditional view:
View the documentDeveloping new approaches
View the documentA re-definition of 'post-literacy'
View the documentMaterials for 'post-literacy'
View the documentLGM:
View the documentPost-literacy and initial literacy programmes
View the documentPost-literacy service:
Open this folder and view contentsCost-effectiveness
View the documentCost benefit
View the documentConclusion
View the documentSummary of possible courses of action

A re-definition of 'post-literacy'

Instead of post-literacy being seen as a stage following on from adult literacy classes, a more appropriate definition might be the provision of support to all those who feel that they have difficulty in the practice of literacy in real situations. Post-literacy is the promotion of more effective literacy practices in the community by all those who have limited literacy experience and confidence in given contexts. Such support, to be most effective, will need to be provided more frequently at the point of use rather than in special classes and by other helpers as well as by literacy practitioners.

One implication of this is that the promotion of more effective literacy practices in the community will be achieved not so much through specially designed post-literacy materials as through a range of activities using real or ordinary materials in real situations. It is therefore appropriate to talk about 'post-literacy activities' rather than 'post-literacy materials'. Materials will be needed for these activities, but the materials used will be real materials arising from real literacy situations rather than contrived learning materials.

Participants in post-literacy: And it follows that 'post-literacy' provision will extend not simply to the members of initial literacy classes but to others who need help in developing further their literacy competencies in different contexts. The need for some form of continuing assistance for people in both rural and urban communities to encourage and help them to practise literacy in real situations has been demonstrated in almost every country, both developing and industrialised. There are growing numbers of adults in every society who have attended part or all of primary school or adult literacy programme and who therefore possess a limited range of basic skills, but who are now outside the formal and non-formal systems of education. All of these are increasingly being called upon to practise literacy for real, and they will often need assistance with this activity. The literacy situations which face them are many and are socio-culturally dependent, even group dependent. Thus the help provided will need to be context-dependent. General adult post-literacy classes may not be the most appropriate form and certainly should not be the only form of post-literacy provision to meet the needs of all these persons. Provision of facilities such as 'drop-in centres' offering immediate advice and assistance would seem to be more effective and more lasting in certain cases than further adult post-literacy classes and similar activities.