chapter  3
20 Pages

What's involved in learning to read? 2 Knowledge about texts

Wh at is a text? We have used the word 'text' several times already and you may not be sure exactly what is meant by it. It's a more useful word than 'book' because it's more wide-ranging. As we discussed in Chapter 1, reading in today's world encompasses a variety of material, some of it very ephemeral (e.g. labels, posters and letters), some screen-based and some in more traditional book form. The material we read is linked directly with the lives we lead. So we can define a text as a complete and coherent passage of written (or spoken) material which comes about because people live in social groups or communities, and language is essential to them in living their lives. Each time someone, or a group of people, sets out with the intention of carrying out a job of work which involves making or sharing verbal meaning in so me way, they are creating a text for someone else to read. (It's quite possible they may be only writing it to be read by themselves, of course.) Written examples might include:

• A postcard sent from a friend at the seaside.