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By Daniel A. Wagner

Literacy is assumed to be one of many fundamental cultural transmitters of knowledge and ideology inside of any society the place it exists. but, while regarded as a social phenomenon, literacy is remarkably tricky to outline, simply because its capabilities, meanings, and strategies of studying fluctuate from one cultural crew to the subsequent. This ebook compares and contrasts our knowing of literacy and its acquisition and retention. It addresses significant debates in schooling coverage this present day, akin to the significance of "mother-tongue" literacy courses, the idea of literacy "relapse," and the concept that of academic poverty. the writer makes a speciality of Moroccan youngsters whose mom and dad are unschooled, whose language is usually diversified from that utilized in the study room, and whose first guide frequently consists of rote spiritual guide.

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Our perspective suggests a much broader approach to the cultural context in which literacy is socialized, including such factors as age, gender, environment, and language background. Each of these factors became an important focus of our efforts, and each helped to determine the sample of children we sought to study in Morocco. Domains, questions, and directions 13 In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of emic, or culturespecific, dimensions of literacy in Morocco, we needed to employ ethnographic methods of observation and interview to understand better urban and rural environments, parental attitudes, and the role of Islamic education.

Formal written documents are required for a wide range of legal undertakings, such as property transactions, marriage, inheritance, and other business dealings. To prepare such documents, one must go to the notary (adit). Notaries have a long history in the Middle East, where they have served not only as the writers of legal documents but also as court witnesses (Tyan, 1959; Wakin, 1972). Notaries are trained in Islamic law, and there are several published manuals that guide them in the correct formulation of the various document types; however, they are required to pass a government test.

It is, in cultural terms, what has been called the law of diminishing returns. Yet there remain many parts of Morocco - and statistics suggest that this is still the large majority of the population where the traditional value of literacy remains high, where the qari are still a revered class of people. Taking the bus The impressive, newly built Marrakech bus station has more than 31 ticket counters for different bus lines and destinations. Numbered signs in Arabic and French quickly indicate, to the literate, where to buy the desired ticket.

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