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Literacies Education Annotations

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Rebecca Adams

on 1 April 2011

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Transcript of Literacies Education Annotations

Literacies Education
ANNOTATIONS By Rebecca Adams Osborne, B., & Wilson, E. (2003). Multiliteracies in Torres Strait: A Mabuiag Island state school diabetes project [Electronic version]. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 26(1), 23-38.

The article demonstrates that literacy levels among indigenous students who have traditionally held low levels of literacy can be increased by creating a project relevant to the students. They have documented this through a project conducted with students in years 6 and 7 from 2 schools in Torres Strait where students created a radio commercial to raise awareness of diabetes in the local community. The project linked to the ‘four resources model’ and multiliteracies pedagogy and there is also discussion on how teachers scaffolded the students learning. The article includes student feedback of the project to show changing views as it progressed and the success of the project as well as extension suggestions.
Ryan, M. (2008). Engaging middle years students: literacy projects that matter [Electronic version]. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy: A Journal from the International Reading Association, 52(3), 190-201.

Ryan’s article outlines some of the pressures and issues that middle years students face and how multiliteracies designs and pedagogy can be incorporated into planning to increase student involvement and literacy. Ryan provides a successful example of such planning as well as a three step planning model that can be used for contextualised planning. Ryan summarises by using the results of the example to show the success of multiliteracies in planning with a warning that teachers should not be held ransom by traditional views of learning and knowledge (Ryan, 2008, pp.200). Sharpe, T. (2001). Scaffolding in action : snapshots from the classroom. In J. Hammond (Ed.), Scaffolding: teaching and learning in language and literacy education (pp. 31-48). Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association.

The title of Sharpe’s chapter, ‘scaffolding in action’, is precisely what it is about. Primarily 2 forms of scaffolding are outlined; ‘designed in’ and ‘point of need’. Strong arguments are made for both types of scaffolding while Sharpe discusses when, how and why to use both forms of scaffolding with specific examples to support her argument. Sharpe also links to other authors in the book to support her statements. Sharpe also discusses how open ended questioning and responses along with guided questioning and responses to cue responses from students are crucial for providing opportunities for scaffolding. Sharpe concludes that “knowing when and how to intervene is what scaffolding is about...It requires the teacher to act contingently, using a variety of strategies, so that students can gain understanding and confidence to work independently in applying new learning in new environments.”.(Sharpe, 2001, pp.48). Exley, B. (2008). Communities of learners: Early years students, new learning pedagogy, and transformations. In A. Healy (Ed.), Multiliteracies and diversity in education: new pedagogies for expanding landscapes (pp. 126-143). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

The chapter starts with a discussion on how globalisation and new technologies have impacted on teaching approaches in what many are calling a knowledge society. It includes a brief overview of the changing views of teaching moving from the traditional curriculum to the progressivist curriculum to the current transformative curriculum which links strongly to the four knowledge process. Exley goes on to discuss designs for learning and then links back to early childhood by discussing the Regio Emilia approach to early childhood education and how it can easily be linked to multiliteracies learning by design pedagogy. This is supported with a case study of a project conducted with 5 and 6 year olds at Regio Emilia. Exley claims that “Implementing multiliteracies pedagogies requires high levels of interpersonal intelligence on the part of teachers” (2008, pp.90). Dooley, K. (2008). Multiliteracies and pedagogies of new learning for students of English as an additional language. In A. Healy (Ed.), Multiliteracies and diversity in education: new pedagogies for expanding landscapes (pp. 126-143). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Dooley explores alternatives to widely held ideas about English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners and suggests better ways of fostering diversity in mainstream classes that include students of EAL. She claims that “difference and diversity are at the very core of multiliteracies thinking” (p.104, 2008) and that “equity is one of the ideals of multiliteracies education” (p. 106, 2008). Dooley has adapted her definition of difference and diversity from Kalantzis & Cope’s ‘Learning by Design’ project. The links between personal experience and research conducted by others support the strong statements Dooley makes. She claims that multiliteracies education might or should engage with multiple languages and that with the onset of multimodal digital technologies English hybrids are becoming increasingly common and should be recognised. Dooley makes a strong argument to support multiliteracies education in mainstream classes with students and teachers who speak English as a first, only or additional language.
Wing Jan, L. (2009). Literacy and language. In L. Wing Jan, Write Ways: modelling writing forms (5th ed., pp. 3-16). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Wing Jan discusses a variety of literacy types in the opening of her chapter including multiliteracies and has included a definition of literacy that is clear but not restrictive. As her title suggests Wing Jan goes on to discuss a variety of literacy and language practices throughout the chapter and provides examples of when it may be appropriate to use them with students. She also outlines different conditions for literacy learning including immersion, use and engagement. Wing Jan’s advice for supporting learners links strongly to the principles of multiliteracies education as well as scaffolding with references to Vygotsky’s ‘Zone of Proximal Development’. Wing Jan, L. (2009). Establishing an effective classroom environment. In L. Wing Jan, Write Ways: modelling writing forms (5th ed., pp. 40-53). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

The chapter is written around the basis that students “simultaneously learn language, learn through language and learn about language to develop effective literacy practices” (Wing Jan, p. 40, 2009). Wing Jan’s focus is not solely on teaching and learning practices but also on the organisation of the room, time management, the needs and experiences of individual students as well as the role of the teacher within the classroom. She also discusses how in order to be effective educators teachers need to understand the nature, components and stages of reading and writing and that effective modelling can be a powerful tool for education. While Wing Jan gives no definitive answers to teaching literacy her practices can be linked to those that occur in multiliteracies education.
Finger, G., Russell, G., Jamieson-Proctor, R., & Russell, N. (2007). Transforming Learning and Teaching: what does 21st-century learning and teaching look like?. In G. Finger, G. Russell, R. Jamieson-Proctor, & N. Russell, Transforming learning with ICT: making it happen (pp. 72-107). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

The chapter discusses the impact of globalisation and the advancement of technology on the education system. The chapter does not state what future technology will look like but rather the difficulties in making such predictions with historic links to support this. The chapter discusses how one of the problems in identifying which technologies may be used by schools in the future is that they are rarely created as a direct result of the needs of schools but rather schools choose from existing technologies that are available with a consideration on the cost, utility, ease of use and teacher training (2007, pp. 75). It is also shown how certain technologies can be adapted to improve learning and teaching even if not initially introduced for this purpose such as mobile phones and MP3 players and the possibilities ICT’s bring to online learning and virtual classrooms as well as learning and teaching practices. O’Neill, S., & Gish, A. (2008). Understanding culture in language learning and the need for intercultural literacy. In S. O’Neill, & A. Gish, Teaching English as a second language (pp. 1-31). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

The chapter discusses the importance of cultural factors in English language and literacy learning. Case examples are used to show effective teaching and learning of intercultural literacy when teaching English as an additional language. In particular it makes recurrent links to cross-cultural understanding and links to ICT as an important tool for interaction in a virtual learning context. The chapter has a section on Hofstede’s dimensions of culture and its implications for pedagogy while mentioning the importance of modelling as an effective teaching tool and that teachers must be able to assess students’ language proficiency to plan for effective language learning. The chapter also makes the point that currently there are more people who speak English as an additional language than those who speak it as their first language. O’Neill, S., & Gish, A. (2008). Creating positive language learning environments. In S. O’Neill, & A. Gish, Teaching English as a second language (pp. 149- 169). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

In this chapter O’Neill & Gish place a strong emphasis on the premise that “Learning in contexts where teachers take a multidisciplinary approach...to learning can greatly benefit students with ESL as well as their English L1 speaking peers” (2008, pp.149). This approach is not dissimilar to the multiliteracies education pedagogy and most of the chapter is dedicated to planning examples and possible ways of integrating multiple curriculum areas to advance English literacy and language skills in students who speak and/or are learning English as an additional language as well as the skills of their peers who have English as a first language.
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