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LRDG seminar: The Romani approach to literacy

Date: 19 February 2008 Time: 1.00-2.00 pm

Literacy Research Centre Seminar Series

'The Romani approach to literacy'

Paola Toninato

This paper discusses Roma's diversified approach to literacy anddemonstrates that, contrary to widely-held views, the Roma have a deepunderstanding of alphabetic literacy. It consists of three parts: firstit gives an overview of the problematic situation of Roma and Sintieducation in Europe, underlining the close link between an official lowliteracy rate among the Roma and the assimilative features of Westernschool education. In a second part it portrays the highly diversifiedwriting practices of the Roma - both alphabetic and non-alphabetic. Thepaper argues that these practices are closely connected to theirspecific socio-economic system and typical of a culture that reliesmostly on oral modes of communication. In a final part it analyses therecent rise of a written literature among the Roma, identifying its mainthemes and functions, as well as the textual strategies used by Romanipoets to express and negotiate their cultural identity through thewritten medium.

Everyone welcome.

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Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Literacies, Literacy


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
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