Extricating Reading Science From Entrenched Anglocentricism, Eurocentricism, and Alphabetism and Embracing Global Diversity: A Personal Journey

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Abstract

The following semi-autobiographical essay tells a cautionary tale about the entrenched An-glocentrism, Eurocentrism, and Alphabetism in reading and reading disabilities (dyslexia) research. Having been born, raised, and educated in an entirely monolingual English-speak-ing environment, I later migrated to a country where non-European languages (Hebrew and Arabic) were the linguae francae and, furthermore, written in a non-alphabetic script. Over the period of a decade or so, I gradually, and sometimes painfully, came to understand that I needed to revise or discard many of my Anglophone insights into reading and reading dis-abilities. The culmination of this “awakening” came with the writing of my Anglocentricities critique (Share, 2008), where I argued that the extreme ambiguity of English spelling-sound correspondence had confined reading science to an insular, Anglocentric research agen-da addressing theoretical and applied issues with limited relevance for the majority of the world’s literacy learners. I subsequently extended this argument to Eurocentricism and Al-phabetism – the misguided belief that alphabets are inherently superior to non-alphabetic writing systems (Share, 2014). More recently, together with Peter T. Daniels, a linguist spe-cializing in writing systems, I have been exploring writing system diversity and its implications for learning to read around the world (Daniels & Share, 2018). I hope my story will help raise awareness of the need to move our field a step closer toward embracing global diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Research in Learning Disabilities
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities (IARLD). All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Alphabetism
  • Anglocentrism
  • Eurocentrism
  • learning disabilities
  • reading
  • reading disabilities
  • writing systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Psychology
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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