School Literacies Vernacular Literacies of Ghanaian Rural Communities


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




The project focuses on how differently rural and urban communities transmit literacy to the young, and the extent to which school systems use the literacies of the local communities they serve. It involves data collection from two rural and two urban communities in the Cape Coast area, in two phases: the first characterised by the use of the ethnographic methodology, and the second by interactional sociolinguistic procedures. The data is categorised using ATLAS-ti5 to allow patterns of learning practices isolated at one stage to be configured with patterns isolated later in the research. Elements of social literacies theory (Street 1984) and social capital (Bourdieu 1989) are brought to bear on the analysis and used to interpret the data. This study generates frameworks for integrating vernacular literacies with school literacies, for the purpose of facilitating more robust transmission of the literacy practices obtained in school and mainstream global life.