The purpose of this paper is to explore the emerging concept of transliteracy from the perspective of literacy as a socially constructed and contextual practice.
A systematic review of the literature explores the origins and development of transliteracy in the context of the multiple understandings of literacy. An argument is made that the current discussion among academic librarians about transliteracy as a set of skills is incompatible with its socio-constructivist roots.
Librarians’ interest in transliteracy stems from its relationship to information literacy, with current discussion focused on defining its skills. However, a skills-based perspective does not reflect the nature of what it means to be transliterate. Rather than a common set of skills that are practiced across multiple media platforms, transliteracy can be reconceptualized as a social practice that crosses multiple contexts (e.g. school, home and workplace).
This expanded understanding better aligns transliteracy to recent developments in information literacy, such as the knowledge practices of the ACRL framework.
This paper introduces an expanded understanding of transliteracy, adding to the growing conversation about the relationship between emergent literacies and information literacy.
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