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Land, language and literacy

Date: 24 October 2006 Time: 1.00 pm

Literacy Research Discussion Group Seminar Series, Meeting Room 2, Institute for Advanced Studies

Title: Land, language and literacy: the working/learning lives of agricultural students in North WalesSpeakers: Marilyn Martin-Jones and Buddug Griffith, University of BirminghamThis paper is based on ethnographic research on literacy currently in progress with young people in two rural settings in North Wales. The work is being carried out as part of a wider research project entitled: Bilingual literacies for learning in Further Education. Our main focus is on forty young Welsh speakers (in the 16 to 19 age range), on the ways in which they draw on literacies in different languages in their everyday lives, at home, at college and at work, and on the social identities and cultural values associated with these literacies. We are documenting a broad range of literacy practices, including reading, writing, the use and/or production of texts in different media and the use of different technologies. In this paper, we present case studies of students who are enrolled in a bilingual, Level 3 course leading to a BTEC National Diploma in Agriculture. The course is offered at a Further Education (FE) college which is the leading post-16 provider of bilingual and Welsh-medium education in Wales. While pursuing their studies at this FE college, the students are also running their own small agricultural businesses and see their futures as being tied up with local land-based industries. We provide an account of the specific ways in which literacies are embedded in the working/learning lives of these young people and we examine the nature and scope of the reading and writing that they do at work and at college.

The third co-author of this paper is Anwen Williams, Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor.

This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), through its 'Teaching and Learning Research Programme', over a two year period from May 2005 to August 2007.

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Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Literacy Research Centre


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
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