Making Literacy Real (2nd ed.)

Theories and Practices for Learning and Teaching

by Joanne Larson, Jackie Marsh

Offering an overview of the major fields in literacy studies, this book presents a detailed and accessible discussion of key theories and their relevance in the primary classroom.

Each chapter uses a real life case study to explore the application of theory in practice, followed by a detailed discussion of the case study material by a leading name in the field, including contributions from Barbara Comber, Michele Knobel, Colin Lankshear, Gunther Kress, Brian Street, Kevin Leander and Patricia Enciso.

The text also offers reflections on theoretical foundations for research, exploring literacy as a practice grounded in social, cultural, historical and political contexts and in relationships of power.

This second edition includes:

  • New chapters covering digital literacy, space and play, and multimodality
  • Examples and contributions from a range of international contexts, including US, UK, Canada, Australia and South Africa
  • Further reading links.

Essential reading for students at undergraduate and post-graduate level on primary education courses and an invaluable guide for anyone wanting to understand literacy theory and successfully apply this to the classroom. 


  • SAGE Publications; November 2014
  • ISBN: 9781473911420
  • Edition: 2
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Making Literacy Real
  • Author: Joanne Larson; Jackie Marsh
  • Imprint: SAGE Publications Ltd

In The Press

This is one of very few books that considers the world of possibilities within literacy pedagogy and challenges the dominant techno-rational approach that reduces literacy to skills teaching. The book is grounded in robust theoretical models that challenge the reader to critically reflect on their practice. The vignettes are extremely helpful in contextualising what the authors say. A must read for all aspiring and current literacy teachers.