Class Notes: Literacies, Academic Discourse, & Conventions of Appropriateness

Class Notes on Group Facilitation: 10/16


Literacies, Academic Discourse, Conventions of Appropriateness


  • School:

Appropriate-casually formal, respectful, focused

Inappropriate-using profanity, talking about drugs/alcohol, improper grammar in emails


  • Professional:

Appropriate-serious, proper grammar, respectful, straight to the point

Inappropriate-hoodrat, sloppy, emotional


  • Family:

Appropriate-open communication, comfortable, school, sports, loving, asking favors, politely asking for money

Inappropriate-stealing money, cursing (depends), disrespect, “bad stuff,”


  • Friends:

Appropriate-anything goes, sarcasm

Inappropriate-gossip about them, hurting their feelings, pushing their buttons


There is appropriate and inappropriate behavior and language to use in certain situations.


Literacies & Academic Discourses: 


Science: Steps, informative, data


History: Important figures or people, factual, important dates and events,


English: Analytical, themes, focusing on grammar and mechanisms


For different academic discourses, when a person writes, it becomes more personalized towards that discourse.


Reading Response 4: Literacy Is More Than Reading and Writing

As the semester has progressed, I believe that my perspective on a few things has changed, mostly due to class discussions and class interaction. One of our first class discussions was about the Elements of Literacy article we read. Up until this point, I automatically thought of reading and writing when I heard words like literacy, literate, and literature. However, this class has helped me have a better understanding of the term and that it actually has many different meanings. In class, we talked about how literacy is based on certain time periods and all grammar is a set of rules, recognized by a certain group of people. I also found it really interesting when we learned that we all have a “saving face,” or damage control, meaning that we want to keep a certain image of ourselves at certain times. We are constantly trying to construct how we want to be seen by others. I had never put too much thought into this, probably do to the fact that I do this subconsciously, like many other people. But my sociology professor has also put a lot of emphasis on the fact that our behavior changes due to social behaviors and people act differently when surrounded by different groups of people. It has been easy for me to grasp this concept because it is relevant in two of my classes. This helped better my understanding of discourses as well. We have discussed numerous times that it’s not only important how you say something, but who you are and what you are doing when you say it. With this in mind, I feel like my writing has already improved because of this class and I am beginning to acknowledge that whenever I write, speak, or act, who I am and what I am doing should be obvious to the reader or listener. I have even found myself thinking about literacy and discourses outside of my English class, which is super neat because we are learning about things that relate to the things around us. We are all multiple people at different times. It’s fascinating that we all create our own discourses by adapting to the ones around us and accepting them.  Our discourses are defined by literacy, technology, place, actions, writing, language, beliefs, and values, and we can choose to keep those components a part of us or choose others that will set us apart. I have really enjoyed expanding my knowledge of grammar, language, and literacy, and the things we have read and discussed have changed my personal definition of literacy. Literacy is much more than just reading and writing. Literacy impacts who we are and what we are doing.

Group Facilitation 1: 9/16

Group 1: Class Notes 9/16/13


Stereotypical High School groups:


  • Jocks-cocky, popular, athletic, attractive

-”Yo, what’s up bro?”


  • Potheads-chill, hungry, creative, high, smell “earthy” or like essential oils, open-minded, lazy

-”You trynna smoke? I got some loud.”


  • Nerds-smart, geeky, studious, glasses, socially awkward, “tidy”

-”According to my calculations…”


  • Fashionistas-always put together, snobby, well dressed, confident or self-conscious, creative, trendy, thrifty

-”OMG that is so fab!”


  • Preps-opinionated, rich, “monogram everything,” Lilly Pulitzer, chevron, “Polo’s”

-”Lilly sale!”


  • Hippies-no shoes, long skirts, tie-dye, colorful, chill/mellow, carefree, nature loving

-”Yeaaaaaaa man, just chill out.”


  • Scene/Emo/Gothic-obnoxious, dark clothes, dark make-up, intimidating, over dramatic, emotional, normally introverts, expressive, seem depressed, somewhat artsy, loud music



  • Band Geeks-instruments, obnoxious, dedicated, friendly, artsy, typically smart

-”Music theory, scales, notes.”


  • Troublemakers/Rebels-mischievous, manipulative, opinionated, defying the rules, argue, rude, testy, push your buttons, careless, liberal, extreme

-”The man trying to keep ya down!” (Shouting)



Gossip Girl vs. Walking Dead vs. Boy Meets World

  • Literacy, Technology, Place, Actions, Writing, Language, Beliefs, Values
  • How do these stereotypes all come into play?
    • Society changes, skills evolve


  • Why do people adapt to other discourses?
    • To fit in, feel accepted
    • Helps you survive
    • We need other people, we have multiple roles in our lives
    • People deviate from their discourse in the Walking Dead because there is more of a need for survival
    • Position of authority vs. the new guy


  • Once the labels are eliminated, how do we determine who’s on top?


-Speech Acts: verbs that do things


Lauren: “When we are younger, we are more acceptive of things, but as we grow and mature, we begin to label things to help us process, accept, reject, organize, and memorize things.”


Reading Response 1: Elements of Literacy

What does literacy mean? According to, ( literacy is the quality or state of being literate, especially the ability to read and write. Literacy and knowledge are gained through studying a particular subject or field. Unfortunately for some people, being illiterate can imply that they are worthless in society and unfit to be productive citizens in their communities. Some people are not given an equal opportunity at earning a proper education and learning how to read and write which can cause them to struggle their entire lives. I believe that literacy is acquired through education with a large amount of practice along the way. I also believe that achieving literacy is a constant process and there is always room to learn and grow.

During elementary, middle, and high school, my outlook on literacy has obviously changed over the years. I vividly remember being in the first grade and my goal, like many other six year olds, was to “be a big girl” and learn how to read and write. Once I got the hang of these skills, my next goal was to master and perfect them. As my literacy skills improved, I realized that I was not reaching the potential I was capable of. Especially now as a college freshman, I feel like my literacy skills could use a great deal of improvement. Schooled literacy has taught me to read and write in an average way, but I do believe I have not been able to accomplish the standards that are expected of me.

I believe that the reference in the article to Deborah Brandt and her analysis of 21st-century America, describes how literacy affects the way we see ourselves and others in an excellent way. She states that, “literacy is not ‘neutral,’ but rather carries the social value of our time.” This is so true and proves that people tend to find their value in their knowledge and literacy skills. She proceeds to state that “Good children get ahead in school and in life. Good parents read to children…” This portrays the “true” definition of literacy and that “its real value lies in its relationship to productivity and economic well-being.” (The Elements of Literacy).




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