Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 March 2022
This chapter reviews research that examines the fundamental cognitive and social processes whereby people learn to read and write. The chapter discusses three types of literate knowledge. First, literacy can be general, such as the ability to decode words or engage in drafting and revision. Second, literacy can be task-specific: learning to read a novel and learning to read a recipe require different declarative and procedural knowledge. Third, literacy can be community-specific, in which members of a community approach a given text using different cognitive and interpretive frameworks. Learning how to read and write requires many distinct cognitive components, from decoding letters to composing and interpreting texts. Literacy also requires the ability to integrate these skills within communities of practice, and these findings are aligned with sociocultural perspectives on learning in all subjects.