TEACHING THE DIMENSIONS OF LITERACY

  • Published on
    06-Aug-2016

  • View
    220

  • Download
    7

Transcript

  • ception of technology use in the classroom, and present their views on how to encour-age teachers to use technology+ In chapter 2, Luke situates CALL in foreign languagemethodologies and reviews current literature on the cognitive and affective advantagesof technology+

    The next eight chapters focus on how technology could facilitate the developmentof multiliteracy, specific language skills ~reading, listening, speaking, and writing!,cultural understanding, and cross-cultural communication+ Each chapter begins with acomprehensive review of studies on the advantages of various technologies designedto facilitate a specific aspect of language learning+ Then each chapter showcases someprojects or applications and concludes with a set of specific pedagogical guidelinesand issues to consider in integrating technology+ For those who are interested in usingtechnology to enhance cross-cultural understanding, this volume is a plus, with threechapters dedicated to technology and culture: two on using computer-mediated com-munication ~CMC! to enhance intercultural and intracultural exchange and one on thecurrent use of various technologies to help learners with cultural understanding+

    The last three chapters give insights on different ways to use CALL to serve special-purpose language classes and on the advantages and limits of computer-assisted assess-ment+ Guidelines are also provided to help foreign language instructors evaluate andselect CALL software for their language courses+

    This volume gives a comprehensive account of the use of technology in facilitatingspecific language skills and cultural understanding+ The only thing lacking is one ortwo chapters on perspectives and projects that take a systematic view toward tech-nology and foreign language education and explore ways to combine various technol-ogies that complement each others affordances and compensate for each othersconstraints, with the goal of forming optimal comprehensive technology-enhanced lan-guage learning environments to facilitate the integrative development of learners lan-guage competence+ This work is a useful guide for foreign language teachers who wantto use technology to help the instruction of certain aspects of languagebe it culture,specific language skills, or multiliteracy+ This volume would serve as a good introduc-tory book for graduate students who want to gain some overall understanding of thisfield and as a good resource for researchers in this field+ Although this work lacks anoverall section on comprehensive technology-enhanced language learning environ-ments, language learning program designers will find this volume useful in informingspecific technology choices when constructing language learning environments orprograms+

    ~Received 11 January 2007! Chun LaiMichigan State University

    DOI: 10+10170S0272263108080133

    TEACHING THE DIMENSIONS OF LITERACY. Stephen B. Kucer and Cecilia Silva+Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2006+ Pp+ xv 406+ $49+95 paper+

    Kucer and Silvas work is a companion volume to Kucers ~2005! earlier volume,Dimensions of Literacy: A Conceptual Base for Teaching Reading and Writing In School

    108 Book Reviews

  • Settings, now in its second edition+ In this earlier volume, Kucer argued that literacyshould be understood in all its dimensionscognitive, linguistic, sociocultural, anddevelopmentaland that to reduce our understanding of literacy to any one dimen-sion alone is to lack wisdom about its total nature+ Whereas the previous volume offersa theoretical exposition of these four dimensions of literacy ~i+e+, content knowledgefor teachers!, this new work provides answers to the question Well, now that I amequipped with a multidimensional understanding of literacy, what shall I do on Mon-day morning? ~i+e+, pedagogical content knowledge; Shulman, 1986!+

    The volume includes four parts: an introductory chapter, two theoretical chapters,strategy lessons, and a concluding chapter+ In the theoretical chapters, Kucer and Silvasynthesize the theory presented in Kucers earlier volume, organizing the discussionaround the four dimensions of literacy: cognitive, linguistic, sociocultural, and develop-mental+ Because these chapters summarize complex theory, they are quite dense andinclude numerous tables and figures+ The second part of the volumeits main focusincludes strategy lessons that correspond to three of the four dimensions+ The finalchapter provides a discussion of literacy curriculum design+ Although there is somefurther elaboration, this chapter essentially repeats the final chapter of the previousvolume, positing that there are four literacy curricular components ~thematic or inquiryunits; teacher reading and student response; independent reading and student response;and independent writing, conferencing, and publishing! and designating certain amountsof time to be devoted daily to each component+

    One hundred fourteen literacy lessons form the heart of this work+ They are dividedinto three subcategories focused on teaching linguistic, cognitive, and socioculturaldimensions of literacy ~e+g+, linguistic lessons include using conventions of written lan-guage, exploring letters and sounds, spelling, and features of text strategies!+ Eachlesson is organized around a concept+ The authors list materials to be used for thelesson ~often in the form of suggestions! as well as a procedure to be followed+ Withinthe procedure section of each lesson, the authors include what they call into0through0beyond the lessona sequence that assumes movement from more explicit instruc-tion to guided practice to independent practice+ It is through this structure that theauthors attend to the developmental dimension of literacy+ Finally, many of the lessonsinclude a section with suggested variations to the lesson+ Accompanying the lessonsare many helpful sample materials, a few of which are replicated from Kucers earlierwork+

    Although approximate age levels or developmental appropriateness are not speci-fied for the lessons, they seem designed primarily for K8 students+ Experienced K8literacy teachers and elementary teacher educators would be the audience most likelyto find this volume useful+

    I am unsure, however, just how useful these lessons will be to preservice and early-career teachers+ Although the volume does take a developmental stance on literacy, itlacks a developmental perspective on teaching+ Reading the volume, a novice teachermight assume that lesson lesson lesson curriculum+ However, in the final chap-ter, the authors propose that a literacy curriculum should be organized into thematicunits+ If a curriculum is organized into conceptual units, then it follows that some kindof backward planning strategy is needed to break unifying concepts into teachable parts+The overall design of the volume does not illustrate how teachers should work throughthis process and design units+ Although the final chapter briefly presents a modelfor unit design and narrates an example of an immigration unit, it is not sufficientlyelaborated for novice teachers+ I suspect that new or preservice teachers would strug-

    Book Reviews 109

  • gle to imagine when and why, in a curricular sequence, the given lessons would beused+

    Although there is some discussion of English language learners in the theoreticalchapters, the lessons do not consistently address how the lessons would be modifiedfor linguistically diverse students+ I was also surprised to find little theoretical discus-sion and few lessons involving technology or digital literacy practices+

    REFERENCES

    Kucer, S+ ~2005!+ Dimensions of literacy: A conceptual base for teaching reading and writing in schoolsettings ~2nd ed+!+ Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum+

    Shulman, L+ ~1986!+ Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching+ Educational Researcher,15, 414+

    ~Received 11 January 2007! Mary M. JuzwikMichigan State University

    DOI: 10+10170S0272263108080145

    ACQUIRING A NON-NATIVE PHONOLOGY: LINGUISTIC CONSTRAINTS ANDSOCIAL BARRIERS. Jette G. Hansen+ New York: Continuum, 2006+ Pp+ 197+ $160+00cloth+

    Hansens monograph concerns the phonological development of two Vietnamese adultsacquiring English as a second language ~L2!+ Data collection began 1 year after the cou-ples immigration to the United States and continued for a period of 1 year+ The focuswas on the developmental sequences involved in the acquisition of English syllable-initial and syllable-final consonant singletons and clusters, which are challenges to manyL2 learners+ In Vietnamese, syllable-final phones are limited to plosives, nasals, and semi-vowels; there are no consonant clusters+

    This volume is divided into eight chapters+ An introductory chapter is followed by abrief review of linguistic factors that influence L2 phonological acquisition, such as firstlanguage ~L1! transfer and markedness, and social factors such as gender, social iden-tity, and L2 use+ Chapters 35 present an overview of English and Vietnamese phonol-ogy, details of the participants in the study, data collection methods and analyses, andthe results of phonological analyses as well as their interpretation in light of variouslinguistic factors+ In chapter 6, Hansen turns to a description of the participants socialcontexts of language use and the effects on their language development+ Chapter 7 pro-vides a discussion of the learners stages of acquisition, including the interaction ofsocial and linguistic constraints+ The final chapter summarizes the findings of the studyand suggests directions for future research, including projects of longer duration, learn-ers of other language backgrounds, and other targets of phonological interest+

    Data collection in this study involved recorded interviews, participants languageuse journals, and observations of family interactions+ Phonological data were gatheredat 3-month intervals, primarily from interviews dealing with the participants social con-texts of language use, and were supplemented with data from read speech ~a reading

    110 Book Reviews

Recommended

View more >