Saturday, May 17, 2008

Literacy: Cross-Cultural Literacy Practices

These activities are more suited for those in the early years, and in preschool as well as for beginner readers. These are among the tasks besides just doing article summaries that students have to undertake ias part of the assessment tasks for a literacy unit for 2nd Year studies.As said before, the more elaborate & detailed the explanation for a task, the higher a student can score.

Task 1: Comparison of the beliefs of two different sets of parents and their literacy practices at home.

Parent: Mei Ling
Ethnicity: Chinese.
Background: She comes from mainland China and has an elder son, who is 15 years old. Mei Ling has been in Australia for almost 5 years now, and is currently undertaking a two year undergraduate teaching training programme.
Age of child: 2.10 years.

Parent: Steven
Ethnicity: Chinese.
Background: He spent his childhood and growing up years in Brunei, but did his tertiary studies in Australia. He has been in Australia for almost 12 years. His wife comes from Taiwan. He has two children.
Age of child: 4.10 years.

Understanding of own children’s personalities
: Both parents show much knowledge and understanding of children’s personalities. Steven says that his son has a strong will, and therefore has to cater to his son’s interest and tries to individualize his responses accordingly.
Mei-Ling states that her son is still in the midst of developing his personality, and his speaking skills.

Foundation in own cultural language: In particular, the striking aspect of both parents interviewed is that they come from chinese backgrounds. As what has been communicated, both families show the intention that they would like their children to master the speaking of the mandarin language.
They said that they spent much time in trying to teach their children speak mandarin at home. Mei Ling’s son is at preschool, and has exposure to English language. She is attempting to develop her son’s foundation in the Mandarin language as she states that she knows her son would no longer use much of that language once he is older, as there will be limited and less opportunities for him to practice his language at school or socially
Steven shares the same sentiments as Mei Ling in that he wants his children to develop his foundation in Mandarin. He states that is would be beneficial for his children to know two languages, and easier to develop it from young. He also stated that he regrets not knowing much of his Chinese dialects as his parents did not speak to him in Chinese, and he is now struggling to pick up the mandarin language as an adult.

Range of different literature: Both Steven and Mei-Ling also share similar understandings that providing different and a range of literature at home will help develop their children’s literacy skills and understanding. Steven states that much of his knowledge of literacy practices that he practices at home is derived from his son’s teachers at schools and the advice that they had given him.

Multi-Media: Steven and Mei-Ling are also very open to their own children working with multi-media. They are also aware of the influence of that the mass media (television in particular) has on the language development skills of their children, and both monitor the kind of television programmes and duration of the shows the children watch.

Task 3: Evaluation of a Television Program.
Title of television program: Sesame Street Visits the Hospital.
Language quality: Very Good

  • Speakers speak very clearly and pronounce their words clearly.

Different mode of language: Very Good

  • Puppet show and song. So children understand concept of “patients are to be patient
  • A “play room” – song “Busy getting better” song,

Pace of the program: Very Good

  • The program is paced appropriately where the conversation can be heard and the acting is very clear. It does not rush through the plot.

Foundations for social skills: Very Good

  • Multi-cultural: Introduces children to people from other ethnicity.
  • Relates more to children in the big city. The video can be used to introduce children who have not been exposed to hospitals. It also prepares children to the concept of hospitals.
  • Introduce rules & regulations, routines at hospitals and post hospital check-ups.
  • Procedures- health insurance, what adults have to do before registering a patient into the hospital.
  • Routines- identification patients tag, blood pressure, looking at tongue (tongue depressors), looking at ears, breathe in and out, appetite, sleeping well, blood tests and x-rays, lunch menu, paging machine.
  • Social- people visit their friends who are sick and bring toys and fruits during visiting hours only.
  • How the x-ray is to be taken. Children will learn that it is a painless and fast procedure.
  • Uses of paging machine which is demonstrated by Big Bird.

Children’s interests: Very Good

  • Real life situations- children can relate to their experiences.
  • Common cold- a sickness that children have experienced before.
  • Children can relate to Big Birds’ fears of going to the hospitals.
  • Prepare children emotionally and mentally before going to the hospital.

Dramatic play: Very Good

  • Characters introduce themes of “playing hospital” in the Sesame Street with other Sesame Street puppet characters.

Gross motor skills: Very Good

  • Use of puppets with the song “Patients are to be patient” song is catchy andencourages movement.

Structured well: Very Good

  • The script flow starts from where Big Bird catches a flu and he goes to the hospital then after. It flows smoothly and in a coherent manner so children will understand that it starts with the child having symptoms of being sick before he goes to see a doctor.

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