University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. John Baugh, Ph. Stanford University. Connie Eble, Ph. Edward Finegan, Ph. The University of Southern California. John Fought, Ph. Diamond Bar, CA. Barbara Johnstone, Ph. Carnegie Mellon University.
Essay on Language Development | Bartleby
NC State University. The units have not been designed for a particular college sequence and in fact, may be well suited to a junior college curriculum. The Do You Speak American? The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors.
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The University of Sydney. As you do so, pay special attention to the following issues:. Street argues that there is a need to move beyond this level of debate to explore the theoretical bases on which such choices are argued. A clear definition of the difference between autonomous and ideological is as follows:. The model, however, disguises the cultural and ideological assumptions that underpin it and that can then be presented as though they are neutral and universal The alternative, ideological model of literacy This model starts from different premises than the autonomous model — it posits instead that literacy is a social practice, not simply a technical and neutral skill It is about knowledge: the ways in which people address reading and writing are themselves rooted in conceptions of knowledge, identity, being.
Literacy, in this sense, is always contested. But Street argues that there is a need for teachers and policy makers to be aware of the theoretical models of literacy which are implicitly influencing educational policy and practice. Moreover, while, as Street says, there is no necessary one-to-one relationship between a specific theory of literacy and a specific teaching method, he argues that many approaches to literacy in formal institutions of education seem to more closely reflect an autonomous model. Throughout most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the teaching of reading certainly in Western countries and their sponsored campaigns elsewhere , commonly focused heavily on the explicit coaching of skills in sound-letter relationships.
The American educationalists Goodman and Goodman, for example, some time ago wrote:. We believe that children learn to read and write in the same way and for the same reason that they learn to speak and to listen. That way is to encounter language in use as a vehicle of communicating meaning.
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Whatever the approach advocated for teaching reading and writing, educators and researchers from all perspectives stress the right of all individuals to learn to read and write. We return to questions about literacy pedagogy below. Where there is significant debate, however, centres on the presumed benefits accrued to individuals because of their literacy skills.
This debate is illustrated by Vicki Carrington and Allan Luke , who argue that, contrary to the claims made by many literacy campaigns, strategies and policy statements, literacy of itself does not guarantee social, educational or social success. The essence of their argument is that literate abilities do not bring to an individual any intrinsic social or cognitive advantages.
Their argument that having literacy skills does not guarantee access and success in society indicates the powerful way in which the two levels of discourse, discussed in section 1. Consider what one student, Mary, says about the struggles she faces in using particular words in her academic essay writing at university. Here, Mary is talking about how she feels about using certain words. Mary says she feels like that about a lot of words. She has particular concerns about how others around her who have not studied after leaving school will see her:. This theme of identity and discourse is explored more fully in section 3.
Writing at university, for example, typically involves a formal and impersonal kind of language as well as a distant relationship between writer and reader. Much work in New Literacy Studies is critical of the emphasis on school literacy only — that is, the kinds of literacy that are required in institutions of formal education — and argue that there is a need for greater recognition of everyday literacy practices in which children and adults engage. At the beginning of this section we emphasised two distinct perspectives on literacy, the cognitive and the social, and we then turned to explore in more detail what is involved in a social practices approach to literacy.
There are of course ongoing debates both across and within the two main perspectives outlined. This definition is echoed by Barton and Hamilton who state:. This involves participants making the reasoning behind talk and writing explicit in the talk and writing. Wallace and Olson are arguing that this particular kind of literacy — one which emphasises explicit reasoning — is what should be taught in formal educational contexts.
Horizontal literacies are embedded in local contexts and serve the needs of local contexts. In the specific context of EFL teaching and learning literate English is therefore a powerful resource for all users and should be taught. In order to engage in both aspects, Wallace argues that written texts should be treated not only as linguistic objects but also as cultural objects. The first is common in EFL classrooms, where a range of analyses are carried out with students on written and spoken texts.
The second aspect; that of treating texts as cultural objects, is less commonly the focus of teaching. Treating texts as cultural objects involves looking at the values and belief systems they embody.
Considerable research now exists which demonstrates the very different literacy practices experienced by both children and adults in different social communities. For example, a well-established line of American studies is mentioned by both Hicks and Street , within which the anthropological research of Shirley Brice Heath was particularly influential. Heath observed the interactions between children and adults in three urban communities in the Piedmont Carolina region of the USA: a Black working class community, a white working class community, and a middle class mainly white community she called these Trackton, Roadville and Maintown.
She found that there were significant differences between different communities, and especially in the ways in which speech and writing were used in interpersonal interactions in the family and in other social events of each community. Many literacy activities in the Roadville community were religious in nature, focusing on written scriptures; Maintown practices included regular bedtime stories and an emphasis on talking explicitly about texts; Trackton community members focused less on written texts but were skilled in oral storytelling.
There were greater differences between the ways that literacy was enacted in the working class communities and in school than between school practices and those of the middle class, Maintown, community. The fact that there are variations in the literacy practices of communities within societies and between societies is not a matter for dispute amongst researchers. There is also a fairly widespread acceptance that education must do more to enable the literacy development of learners from all social backgrounds.
Essay on Language Development in Childhood Development
Where differences of view are found is in the implications of such diversity for teaching in formal education. Perhaps at the heart of debates about the teaching of literacy are the following questions: what kinds of literacy should be taught in schools, colleges and universities? Exactly what the features of such language and literacy are is not always clear, but a key focus is on explicit reasoning, as outlined in section 2. A slightly different, although not incompatible, approach to the explicit teaching of the language and literacy demands of formal schooling has developed from the work of M.
Halliday and systemic functional linguistics Halliday, , This approach has been particularly influential in the Australian education context Halliday and Martin, ; Coffin, ; Painter, and has been influential in many parts of the world. An important position adopted by those working within a systemic functional linguistics approach is that students should be taught the specific features of different kinds of texts explicitly.
Many writers within New Literacy Studies argue that greater emphasis should be placed on taking account of the variety of literacy practices that exist in homes and communities, and that these should be valued rather than ignored. This argument is being voiced even more loudly within the context of the changing communicative practices facilitated by the use of new technology. Increasingly, researchers are seeking to offer an approach to pedagogy which draws on understandings that have emerged from the broad range of literacy research. A key interest is to develop an approach which enables both student induction into, and critical awareness of, the literacy practices associated with formal education.
This position is illustrated in the context of secondary schooling in the work of David Wray which is summarised in Table 1.
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Look at the framework in Table 1 constructed by David Wray drawing on the work of Freebody and Luke The table reflects an attempt to outline the ways in which the literacy requirements of several school subject areas can be taught see, e. For the moment we wish simply to emphasise that many teachers and researchers are aiming to find a way of teaching the established conventions of language and literacy required by formal schooling, whilst allowing a space for critiquing them.
The New London Group of researchers so-called because the ideas generated by the group emerged after a week-long meeting in the town of New London, New Hampshire, USA , also sometimes referred to as The Multiliteracies Project, have emphasised four elements which they consider to be essential for a meaningful literacy programme for the future. In many ways, these elements amount to a framework for teaching literacy which integrates pedagogical approaches which have previously been construed as distinct.
These elements are outlined in Table 2. In this section we have focused on key debates surrounding the theorisation and teaching of literacy.