This is the first book to focus exclusively on an examination of early 21st-century adult reading aloud. The dominant contemporary image of reading in much of the world is that of a silent, solitary activity. This book challenges this dominant discourse, acknowledging the diversity of reading practices that adults perform or experience in different communities, languages, contexts and phases of our lives, outlining potential educational implications and next steps for literacy teaching and research.
By documenting and analysing the diversity of oral reading practices that adults take part in (on- and offline), this book explores contemporary reading aloud as hugely varied, often invisible and yet quietly ubiquitous. Duncan discusses questions such as: What, where, how and why do adults read aloud, or listen to others reading? How do couples, families and groups use oral reading as a way of being together? When and why do adults read aloud at work? And why do some people read aloud in languages they may not speak or understand?
This book is key reading for advanced students, researchers and scholars of literacy practices and literacy education within education, applied linguistics and related areas.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 The Reading Aloud in Britain Today (RABiT) project
Chapter 3 The questionnaire: Surveying contemporary reading aloud
Chapter 4 Mass Observation
Chapter 5 The interviews and recordings
Chapter 6 Family, friends and lovers: Community, domesticity, intimacy and mediation
Chapter 7 Working life
Chapter 8 Religion
Chapter 9 Literary life: Production, performance, experience and the Wordhord
Chapter 10 Solitude: Aloud alone
Chapter 11 Oral reading and education
Chapter 12 Conclusion
Sam Duncan is an adult literacy researcher and teacher educator at the UCL Institute of Education. She has a background in adult literacy and community education and teaches on a range of education, literacy and research-related modules. Sam is the author of Reading Circles, Novels and Adult Reading Development (Bloomsbury, 2012) and Reading for Pleasure and Reading Circles for Adult Emergent Readers (NIACE, 2014). She has just completed an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellowship to research contemporary adult reading aloud practices across Britain.
'Oral Literacies is a rich exploration of the complex nature of reading and writing as mobile, embodied and multimodal. Duncan provides both detailed documentation and nuanced analysis of the wide range of social practices involved in reading aloud that are too often overlooked in literacy research. She complicates the seeming paradox of the concepts in the title to demonstrate the interanimating relationships of speech and text across daily life.'
Bronwyn T. Williams, University of Louisville, USA