With all the excitement of the big book and being in the local newspaper, one of my students came up with the idea of making a film based on their big book.
Include snippets of the videos.
“Developing ESL, including refugee students’, language andliteracy skills and the understanding of concepts throughmultimodal texts” By Mallika Das Auburn Public School
Auburn Public School is a multiculturalschool with around 560 students located inSydney’s mid western region. 98% ofstudents are bilingual and speak English as asecond language.Over 35 different languages are spoken,largest cultural groups are from turkey,Somalia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Chinaand the Pacific Islands. A significant numberof families have refugee status resulting inmany students with disrupted or no priorschooling.Along with regular mainstream and special-ed classes the school also has two receptionclasses for newly arrived students, one forStage 1 and the other a multistage classwith students from stages 2 & 3.
In 2010 and 2011 I had a composite reception class of new arrival studentsincluding refugee students. The students ranged from years 3 to 6 and theirLanguage backgrounds included Dari, Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese andMandarin), Somali and Russian. All of them were first and second phase ESLlearners. I was part of PIEP program in 2010 and 2011. This program is Primary Intensive English Program which aims to support the language and literacy skills of newly arrived refugee students as well as their general health and well being as well as their participation in mainstream classroom. I had 19 students in the program in 2010 and 16 students in 2011.
The internet has added a new dimension to the way we access information. Today we live in a world which is constantly changing and becoming more and more technology oriented. Developing students understanding of reading visual images and being able to create multimodal texts is very important.• The multimodal nature of English is deeply integrated in all strands of the Australian national curriculum.In the literacy strand, it is written that “texts provide the means for communication. They can be written, spoken or multimodal, and in print or digital/online forms.”• “Powerfully persuasive images and multimedia need to be met with equally powerful tools for discussion, critique and analysis. One aspect of the multi- literacies concept is the use of a visual metalanguage to assist in this task... Teaching about visual literacy should provide students with a sound understanding of visual and multimodal texts” (JONCALLOW • AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE AND LITERACY, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2006, pp. 7–23)
2010Rich Task:Students use movement and storytelling todevelop and present a narrative/performancethat explores effect of human activity onrainforest environment. 5
• Students looked at maps of the world to locate rainforests areas and discuss the tropical rainforests in particular.• Students learned about the structure, some flora and fauna of the Amazon Rainforest as well as the Daintree rainforest and compared the two rainforests.• We went on an excursion to the Royal Botanical Gardens to experience and understand the flora of rainforest in more detail. 6
Teaching and learning comprehension strategies• The students read ‘The Great Kapok Tree’ by Lynn Cherry and were taught comprehension skills and strategies such as sequencing, visualising, concept maps, key words, paraphrasing and main idea through this text. They also learnt the structure of narratives through graphic organisers and story boards among other things. 7
• Text Innovation based on The Great Kapok Tree• Students wrote their own story based in the Daintree Rainforest. For this, they undertook research work in groups, and decided on the setting, characters and the plot for their story. 8
Writing our story on the computer They first produced their story on the computer using ‘To Create a Super Story’ software. Students were very proud to see their stories in colour print! 9
Producing the Big Book• Students produced a big book of their own story to present and perhaps read it to Kindergarten or Year 1 audience. 10
Reading and presenting the Big Book to Kindergarten L 12
Multi-lingual Big Book• Students are so proud of their finished story book that we decided to translate the story in other languages and thought of inviting parents for a storytelling session too!• Students were invited by the Australian Community of Languages (ACL) to present their Big Book to parents and community during Book Week. 13
Action Inquiry: To support refugee students tointerpret the positions advocated by texts - Howauthors and illustrators can influence the reader to aparticular point of view through their choice oflanguage and images.Action Inquiry: To support refugee students readingand writing of multimodal, multimedia texts(differentways in which meaning can be created andcommunicated in the world today). 18
I introduced ‘Fox’ by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks to explicitlyteach my students how authors and illustrators can influence the reader to a particular point of view through their choice of language and images. As we read the book ‘Fox’ we evaluated visual messages by asking: - What am I looking at? What does this image mean to me? - What is the relationship between the image and the displayed text message? - How is this message effective? - How do the pictures and text work? •LETTERING • PICTURES –the use of line, • COLOUR •TEXT ORIENTATION and •LAYOUT 19
In picture books, there are two texts – the words and the images. As we read we put these two texts together to form a composite text. Creating Images 20
After creating images, students were shown how the pictures in a text work.For example - Fox’s power over Magpie is communicated by Fox looking down on Magpie as she looks up at him.Students created their own books and tried to use some of their new found knowledge in their own illustrations. 21
LAYOUT – GIVEN AND NEW Given New What does it mean? Dog runs with Fox comes Fox is Magpie. dangerous. into the ( ‘haunted’,. bush and ‘fire’ and, Magpie ‘flickers....like a trembles. tongue’ = scary like the snake? Dog and Fox and Magpie has a Magpie at Magpie relationship with Fox that their together, does not pool, without Dog include Dog. together. 22
I chose “Inanimate Alice”, a digital story by Kate Pullinger to develop student’s critical andcreative reading and writing.Inanimate Alice tells the story of Alice, a young girl growing up inthe first half of the 21st century, and her imaginary digital friend, Brad. Inanimate Alice was created as a digital book; the immersive story allows users to interact with the central character, Alice, and to help her advance into the story. Text, audio, video, special effects and gaming are all used to deliver the narrative in a compelling way. 23
We began with students reading episode 1 without sound then with sound to see thedifference of adding sound to a story. Later we discussed the various elementsindividually and their effect on a reader. 24
We discussed the meaning of inanimate‘. We We compared and contrastedthought the in might mean an opposite and different literacy media as readersanimate could be related to cartoons andanimation. We had learnt about ‘here’, ‘hidden’and ‘head’ questions. So we made some of ourown. 26
Creating ‘Inanimate Alice, Episode-5 Students created episode-5 of inanimate Alice using ‘Powerpoint’ and ‘Photostory’. Discussion on issues of copyright and publicity consent for photos took place and decision was taken not to use photos of people. 30
Student Outcomes• Rich tasks resulted in enhancing student’s language and literacy skills as well as developing their confidence and engagement.• Learning to read and creating multimedia text has given the students an essential tool for learning across the curriculum.• Students are able to achieve the stage appropriate learning about outcomes.
Reflection• It is possible to teach newly arrived students comprehension skills even though they may not be fluent at decoding skills with the use of multimodal stories.• With high challenge and high support ESL and refugee students can achieve beyond our expectations.• I believe that we must teach children to thrive in this century rather than preparing for the last. The need for creative and critical thinkers is never been more needed.