Learning activity 4.2: Access your English/literacy/language arts syllabus and compare its description of reading with the Literate futures definition above. Are the reading learning experiences in your syllabus linked to its reading belief? Give examples of this.
Reading is a social practice that draws on a repertoire of social, cultural and cognitive resources to construct and reconstruct meanings from various traditional and multimodal texts. It is enacted in different ways for different purposes in a variety of public and domestic settings.
(Source: Education Queensland (M Anstey) 2002, Literate futures: reading, p. 23)
A definition of reading is not found in the Queensland English syllabus, but rather, one that encompasses the practice of reading with other literacy practices as follows:
In English, students learn to speak, listen to, read, view, write and shape texts to make meaning with purpose, effect and confidence in a wide range of contexts. They learn how language use varies according to context, purpose, audience, and content, and they develop their abilities to use this knowledge. Students develop their ability to use language to talk about language and to reflect on and critique its use.
The study of English occurs in a rapidly changing world — culturally, socially, economically and technologically. Increasing social diversity, the globalisation of economies, cultures and workplaces, as well as new information and communication technologies, place increasingly complex demands on citizens to be multiliterate. (Education
Both these definitions of reading and literacy practices place an importance on students acquiring skills which require students to draw from their background knowledge as well as learn and develop a multitude of skills from a range of literacy practices. The onset of globalization taking place in a rapidly changing world has come to mean that students would no longer be able to be complacent but would need to develop a wide range of literacy skills in order to be considered as “literate” and read from a wide range of texts, include that of traditional texts, i.e. newspapers, brochures, posters, banners, to multi-media, which encompasses website prints, powerpoint presentations, television advertisements, cinema advertisements and perhaps holographic shows.
The reading learning experiences in the syllabus are linked to its reading beliefs as stated, as the English syllabus framework is divided into three sub-strands, which are the Cultural, Operational and Critical sub strands. The study of these three interrelated strand are developed and planned that it encourages students to develop a range of literacy practices to help them become multi-literate, active and and informed citizens able to participate as lifelong learners in a rapidly changing world (Education Queensland, 2005, p.3).
An example for planning is taken from the Level 1 Statement for the strand Reading and Viewing as states: Students interpret and construct simply structured brief texts that make connections with own experiences in familiar situations. They use textual resources including awareness of stages of the generic structure of texts, patterns of simple sentences, words, letters, images, sounds and voice. They identify similarities between textual representations and own experiences.
The core learning outcomes for this strand states that students acquire the reading viewing skills by the end of Year 2 are:
- That familiar written, visual and multimodal texts have particular cultural purposes.
- That texts maintain a topic or idea related to their personal experiences or familiar texts
- The roles and relationships that texts can be produced for different audiences
- The texts can be produced in familiar paper and electronic mediums.
- Different Text types which have their own genre and generic structure
- Students develop understanding of subject matter of what consists of a sentence, use of vocabulary choice, noun groups, verb groups, adjectives, statements, questions, and commands, questions,
- Students develop understanding of the different types of mode and medium of what consists of linguistic elements of text, starting point and direction, simple conjunctions, patterns, pronouns, simple synonyms, Word structure (spelling) and punctuation,
- Students develop understanding of skills reading through use of graphophonic cues, visual letter patterns and rimes, two-letter consonant blends,
- Students develop understanding of punctuation in reading texts: full stops, question marks, capital letters.
- Students demonstrate these reading and viewing outcomes
- Students recognise that in texts people can be recognised by how they are portrayed.
- Students understand that background effects and facial expressions can be used to represent people, places, events and things in particular ways.