Alisa-- Nice summar of what it means to be "people of the book."
I think when you write that literacy DOES NOT CORRELATE with
What you mean is that formal education is not a pre-requisite to literacy,
it can be attained by informal means. Just how easy it is to acquire
literacy without any deliberate teaching almost certainly depends, in part,
on the orthography. Many Japanese chidren come to school knowing the syllabic
script called kana, and in our work among the Vai of Liberia who use a
syllabic script, instruction may be minimal and informal. But when you have
a phonetic script, and especially when it represents a hybridized language
like English, acquisition without some help has got to be very difficult.
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