Home > General Overview of the Competency Model > Levels of Cognitive Representation > The Social Mode > Social Background Knowledge > Key Literate Activity Systems


A variety of social spaces exist in which people interact and in which they use reading and writing. Some of these spaces are not in focus for school, for a variety of reasons, but others are incorporated into the curriculum. The systems listed here include more than the activity systems that currently receive emphasis in the educational system, though most of them obtain at least some support.
  • Everyday literate activities, in which text is used as a tool to support activities of daily living, through such activities as notes and letters to family and friends, shopping lists, reading maps, and the like.
  • Literacies of consumer life, which include knowing how to interact with commercial documents such as advertisements, labels, warranties, user manuals, and the like.
  • Literacies of culture, i.e., reading magazines and novels, producing and consuming reviews, and otherwise participating in popular and literary culture.
  • Literacies of publishing, i.e., participating in the process by which published texts are produced, selected, prepared, and published.
  • Literacies of informational text, which include the roles taken by the casual consumer of information, by researchers, and by others involved in the production and distribution of factual knowledge.
  • Literacies of politics and law, including public advocacy, political campaigns, and the justice system.
  • Literacies of science and rational discourse, ranging over a variety of practices that differ by academic discipline.



Home | About CBAL | Acknowledgments | Contact Us

© 2012 Educational Testing Service. The Common Core State Standards © copyright 2010 National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.