Home > General Overview of the Competency Model > Modes of Cognitive Representation

Literacy is an inherently complex cognitive process, requiring people to coordinate multiple ways of representing ideas. We can usefully distinguish five modes of cognitive representation:
  • The social mode, which deals with people and their communicative purposes.
  • The conceptual mode, which deals with mental models of the world.
  • The discourse mode, which deals with the purpose and forms of texts and discourse.
  • The verbal mode, which deals with the structure and meaning communicated by language.
  • The print mode, which deals with orthography and other modes by which language and text are embodied in physical form.

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