We distinguish two ways in which a person can be multi-literate. Firstly, a person can be literate in more than one language. Secondly, someone can be literate across different areas of skill or knowledge in one language – for instance, computer literacy, financial literacy, and so on. Here again we emphasise that proficiency is not merely a matter of being able to talk about these content areas, but of capability. The government’s National Literacy Strategy aims at enhancing basic literacy skills in order to equip children to cope with the curriculum and for fulfilling adult life. However, the national curriculum also makes demands on subject specific literacy. Furthermore, modern day society needs people who are literate and capable in different areas, communicate effectively and achieve through capability and motivation.

blen has provided a continuing forum for debating and clarifying these issues.