This article examines the complex nature of literacy through a variety of lenses. The linguistic lens focuses on literacy as a language and multimodal process. The cognitive reveals the mental processes and strategies readers and writers employ to construct meanings through the linguistic and multimodal dimension. Not just a linguistic and cognitive process, the sociocultural lens examines literacy use within social and cultural contexts. Finally, the developmental lens explores the very active nature of literacy learners and their mediators.

Key Take Away Points

• Literacy is multidimensional in nature: linguistic and multimodal, cognitive, sociocultural, and developmental.

• Instructional access to the multidimensional nature of literacy can vary across language and socioeconomic groups.

Author Biography

Stephen B. Kucer is a professor of language and literacy education at Washington State University Vancouver. His scholarship is focused on the nature of literacy, the relationship between how texts are processed and how they are comprehended, and the use of integrated curricula to support both literacy learning and concept development.