The Understanding of Literacy by Selected University of Zambia Undergraduate Students

  • Alice Mashewa The University of Zambia
Keywords: Literacy, Initial literacy, Conventional literacy, Critical Literacy, multiliteracies


This paper emerged from a field research aimed at establishing the understanding of the term literacy by selected University of Zambia undergraduate students. Data was collected through face to face interviews with 24 students randomly drawn from ten schools of the University of Zambia. Although students were randomly selected, there was an exclusion criteria used where students who were studying on a literacy and language programme were not involved on this study as they knew much about literacy already. In qualitative research, interview is a method of data collection that require a researcher to ask direct questions to the respondents. The data collected was analyzed thematically with the help of the constructivist theory where emerging constructive information was treated as it was presented by respondents. The findings revealed that most students at the University of Zambia knew literacy as reading and writing. Very few mentioned other forms of literacies such as information literacy, computer literacy, financial literacy, legal literacy and functional literacy. The study recommended that, although students across the university were studying in various fields, they should find time to understand certain forms of literacies such as computer literacy, financial literacy and media.