Students' interim literacies as a dynamic resource for teaching and transformation

  • Moragh Paxton Centre for Higher Education Development, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa


This article explores the notion of ‘interim literacies'by drawing on data from a research project which used linguistic and intertextual analysis of first year student writing in economics to investigate the intersection of academic discourse and student voice. This research has provided a rich set of data to illustrate the ways in which first year student texts are built from arange of past and present discourses, discourse strategies and genres. Students make meaning byreworking past discourses, appropriating and adapting new discourses to make them their own. The article goes on to develop the notion of interim literacies by refining criteria for deciding what interim literacies are and what they are not. The notion of interim literacies is used to move away from a ‘deficit'view of English second language writers in the university and it is argued that ananalysis and understanding of interim literacies can contribute to teaching and to transformation. The article concludes by providing evidence of the ways in which this research project has impacted on teaching and curricula in the university course where the project was undertaken.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2007, 25(1): 45–55

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614