Home > General Overview of the Competency Model > Modes of Cognitive Representation > The Print Mode > Print Background Knowledge


Literate people know more than how to decode a text. They have rich knowledge of the elements of print and how they are encoded in a text, including
  • the script—not just the standard letters and their values, but alternative forms (cursive, italics, etc.) and even related script elements such as Greek letters;
  • print conventions, such as standard spellings, punctuation marks, and related conventions such as footnotes, tables of content, figures, page numbers, and the like;
  • modes of publication, including pen and ink, printing presses, and other means by which texts are made publicly available; and
  • elements of language encoded in text, including phonemes, syllables, and intonation patterns, including their use in literary forms, such as rhymes, meter, and assonance.



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