Volume 2   Number 1      Fall 2007

Reading, Writing, and the Transformation of Self: The Accomplishment of Literacy
Through the Lens of Dialogism
Judith Lysaker
Butler University, USA
pp. 325-336   (pdf)
ABSTRACT. Learning to read and write is often cast as a process whereby children master a particular set of cognitive and linguistic tasks.  Yet when children emerge into literacy we see there is much more to it. In this paper, I use the lens of dialogism to account for the transformative experience of learning to read and write. Illustrated with a case example of an adolescent boy learning to read for the first time I offer an analysis of how both the dialogical construction of the intertextual self and dialogical action of the intertextual self may lead to self transformation.  In particular I suggest that differences between oral and written language and the act of self representation in literacy events set up new dialogic relationships within the self that may explain how and why transformation occurs. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.