Teaching Talia

Journal Task Two

Posted on: March 20, 2007

Why do we need to talk about literacies in new ways? What are the implications for your classroom?

Literacy, and texts more specifically are changing. There are so many more texts being ‘read‘. Media (visual, audio, film, TV, music, internet), written texts and human interactions. In Len Unsworth’s book Teaching Multiliteracies (2001) he says that “rather than trying to squeeze new technologies into familiar literacy education procedures, we need to attend to the reality of new and emerging literacies”.

Unsworth (2001) also says that “In the twenty-first century the notion of literacy needs to be reconceived as a plurality of literacies and being literate must be seen as anachronistic”. Multi-literacies.

Different Parts To Multiliteracies/ What Do Multiliteracies Look Like?:

  • Computer Technology
  • Pictures
  • New literacies or multiliteracies theory considers literacy to encompass diverse and negotiated social practices and representational modes (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000; New London Group, 1996).
  • Web based literacy make appear to use the same techniques to read it- scanning the page, interpreting words and pictures etc, but in actual fact those skills are increased. Web literacy allows it’s reader to expand on their critical reading skills- taking into consideration, and evaluating the use of visual and nontextual features. (Bolter, 1991; Burbules, 1997; Charney, 1994; Leu, 1996; Shetzer & Warschauer, 2000).

Implications In The Classroom:

  • In Australian schools, there appears to have been a tangible shift from pen-and-paper writing to digital text production. Weaving The Literacy Web. (Sutherland-Smith, W., 2002)
  • Teachers need to link the knowledge that students are learning at home to the work done in class. This might mean using computers more, not just reading books but magazines, websites, youtube videos and more. (Angus,L., Snyder, I., Sutherland-Smith, W., 2002)


  • “What students learn about multiliteracies and meta-language is inexricable intertwinded with the how of their learning” (Unsworth, 2001)
  • We can accomplish this task well when we take students’ perspectives into account, inviting students to share their thinking processes, to consider appraisals of their own work, and to help shape the structures of the literacy work that they do in classes. In effect we walk side-by-side with them.

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Just finished my Graduate Certificate in Cross Disciplinary Art and Design with UNSW.




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