The main goal of this study is to describe and analyze the meaning of Being in everyday life at school and the way subjects´ discursive relations within such a context might interfere in their learning of the English language as well as in their criticism, and in what ways this could help or impede them from enhancing their literacy through lifelong learning activities. Heidegger´s Hermeneutic Phenomenology, together with the Ethnography of Speaking and Applied Linguistics, served as the bases for this study. Literacy is no longer linked to the single threshold which separates the literate from the illiterate, and it has become more complex regarding new demands imposed as new societies become more technologically advanced. We believe it is time we started looking for the meaning of Being in different contexts which surround it, since this contributes to our understanding of any phenomena being investigated. After analyzing the data, it can be said that students´ anguish and emptiness – which they experienced in some situations – was highly revealing of their true feelings and emotions. They revealed themselves before the world which constituted them and which was intrinsically related to their inner world, which was affected by the world around them.
© The authors. Article originally published in ‘Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices’, V. 4 (2010), n.2, as open access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License