The development of critical literacy skills in modern
society challenges teachers to help shape and direct
our learners to become multi skilled, well-balanced
Cope, B., &Kalantzis, M. (2000). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies. In B. Cope., & M. Kalantzis
(eds.). Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures, (pp. 9-37). London:
Taylor & Francis Group
According to Cope and Kalantzis, educations‟ fundamental purpose is to
ensure that all students benefit from learning that allows them to
participate in public, community and economic life. This creates learners
with a wide range of skills. These learners use multiple text types
everyday, which assists in the creation of new literacies. This action
changes how people integrate with each other within today‟s society. The
way literacy is taught has changed, and we no longer merely test a
student‟s competence in literacy, but rather desire to mould students into
open-minded citizens, capable of displaying their knowledge of literacy on
a daily basis within society.
Cope, B. &Kalantzis, M. (2009). Multiliteracies: new literacies, new learning.Pedagogies: An
International Journal 4(3), 164-195. doi:10.1080/15544800903076044
This article emphasizes important ideas from the New London Group‟s
„Multiliteracies pedagogy‟. The four „knowledge processes‟ of
experiencing, conceputalising, analyzing and applying were perceived to
give students insight and the opportunity into real life situations both at
school and outside the school environment. This was influenced by
social, cultural and technological changes to teaching literacy. These
changes in society were seen by the London Group to be very
important, as this inevitably meant adjustments were necessary on how
literacy is taught in schools.
Anstey, M. & Bull, G. (2006). Developing Pedagogies for Multiliteracies. In M. Anstey, & G.
Bull (eds.) Teaching and learning multiliteracies: changing times changing literacies (pp. 56-
81). Newark, DEL: International Reading Association
Anstey and Bull believed that there are six phases of learning. These
include focusing, identifying, practicing, reviewing and reporting. These
six phases of learning give students the chance to explore literacy. It was
described as important for students to involve themselves in classroom
activities, which are seen to be of paramount importance in the
development of higher order thinking skills. The Author‟s believe that the
learning environment should be vibrant and supportive with „teacher talk‟
encouraged. This environment allows students to improve their literacy
skills with the assistance of the teacher who acts as a mentor.
Santoro, N. (2004). Using the four resources model across the curriculum. In A. Healy, & E.
Honan (Eds.), Text next : new resources for literacy learning (pp. 51-67). Newtown, NSW:
Primary English Teaching Association
Santoro illustrates the four rescources model as an invaluable resource
for all teachers in classroom learning environments. It allows the teacher
to locate the key areas of learning in the area of literacy. The
expectations of what needs to be taught become apparent, which enables
the teacher to prepare successfully for the lesson requirements. Literacy
can be very complex, and there are a variety multimodal texts covered
including written, spoken, auditory and visual methods. The use of the
four resources model helps the teacher assemble a lesson which enables
the teaching and development of these key multiliteracy skills.
Strong, G. (2007). Has txt kild the rtn wd? Retrieved 1 Augusts, 2013 from
Geoff Strong‟s article „Has txt kild the rtn wd?‟ depicts society as it
appears today. We live in a rapidly developing generation filled with
new technologies, and multiple methods of communication. Strong
states that our generation is becoming „emotionally stunted‟. We no
longer use speech as our most commonly used form of
communication, but we send a text message, which takes away
voice interaction. Literacy relationships are changing with our
evolution, and the trend is set to continue.
Levasseur, A. (2011). The Literacy of Gaming: What Kids Learn From Playing. Media Shift. Retrieved
August 1, 2013 from http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2011/08/the-literacy-of-gaming-what-kids-learn-
Levasseur explains in his article that playing video games is a new form of
literacy. This new literacy is an interactive learning environment filled with the
opportunity for children to engage in meaningful challenges, which are
“congruent with the nature and trajectory of today‟s world”. This new literacy
teaches children problem solving skills through trial and error, in a gaming
environment where the emotional stakes of losing are much lower then in the
„real world‟. Levasseur explains that children aren‟t naturally great at gaming
early on, but improve greatly over time through discipline and practice. This
trial and error learning in a non-threatening environment allows children to
learn through their actions, without consequence when they make an error.
Frey, T. (2010). Next Generation Literacy. World Future Society.
Retrieved August 1, 2013 from http://www.wfs.org/content/next-
Thomas Frey explains that literacy is no longer simply the ability to
read and write. Literacy is rapidly evolving, and our ability to read
and write on paper in its conventional form is being replaced by
countless digital forms of communication. With this trend set to
continue, Frey asks the question, “What really is literacy?”. The list
of literacy types is endless, and each form of communication comes
with a unique style and format for conveying our thoughts. Learning
the basic forms of literacy will no longer be sufficient in the
workplace in the future.
Chattanooga Times Free Press. (2011). Literacy and the Future. Retrieved August 1, 2013
The author of this article relates back to a book written by Dr Seuss in
1978. Dr Seuss was quoted in the article saying “the more you read, the
more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you
will go”. This quote depicts the message of the article intelligently. The
integral and complex link between literacy, and one‟s capacity to lead a
meaningful and productive life still has a great purpose in today‟s society.
Those who are illiterate will find it almost impossible to find fulfilling
employment. We are increasingly gauged by how well we interact within
a knowledge driven world. The benefits of acquiring knowledge in
multiliteracies has never been more important.
Open Technology. (2012). The ABC’s of Tech Education. Retrieved August 1, 2013 from
This article asks the question, “what does digital literacy really mean today?”. In
the author‟s view, technological education should centre around three concepts.
These concepts include understanding, creation and critique. In the understanding
component, the author explains that students must be capable of understanding
the building blocks of technology, as well as the larger systems in which
technologies operate. They must be able to use these skills to become competent
in using all the available technologies. The last component is the ability to critique
the communications they use. Teaching critique is as important as teaching
literature as it teaches the student to analyze the range of multiliteracies they use
on a daily basis. This aids the literacy learning process.
Chiose, S. (2013). Native literacy camps can change communities future. Retrieved August 1
In SimonaChiose‟s article, she writes about the importance and need for
„literacy camps‟ in remote native communities in Canada. In the
community she visited, only 1 in 4 residents held a job. This is a great
example of the lack of literacy skills which can lead to a life without
purpose, which breeds uninformed choices and mistakes. Some of these
choices mentioned in the article refer to substance abuse, something
which easily be avoided from obtaining the appropriate educational
services. Reading and writing skills are widely proven to improve lifestyle
choices, and employment prospects, which bridges the gap between the
rich and the poor.
The range of multiliteracies in modern society challenges teachers to help shape and direct our learners to become multi skilled, well-balanced individuals. The following synthesis summarises the ten annotations in relation
to the importance of multi literacy learning environments, and the teaching of these multiple multiliteracies in schools and communities to create the opportunity to become well rounded, and abundantly skilled literacy
In agreement with Cope and Kalantzis, I believe the concept of „design‟ has become central to school reforms in the modern world. Teachers are now seen as the designers of the learning environment, rather then the boss
of their students. The concept of design connects to the reality that learning and productivity are the results of the designs of complex systems of people, environments, technology, beliefs and texts (Cope, B., &Kalantzis, M.
The New London Group‟s „Multiliteracies Pedagogy‟ explores literacy by the four knowledge process which demonstrates how literacy learning aids the design of fulfilled futures for students by giving them a vast literacy
knowledge base. By gaining insights during lessons into real life scenarios influenced by the social, cultural and technological changes, students are able to design and create their own meanings and understandings
through sense-making processes such as reading, listening, writing and speaking. Through the act of designing, a person‟s world and personality can be transformed (Cope, B. &Kalantzis, M. 2009).
Anstey and Bull investigated further into this concept with the six phases of learning allowing students to explore literacy in an environment where the teacher and student can design and communicate meanings of a lesson
through „Teacher Talk‟ (Anstey, M. & Bull, G. 2006). Santoro believed teachers could reduce the difficulty of designing and implementing great literacy learning environments by implementing the Four Resources Model.
The complex range of multiliteracies in modern day society could be broken down by using this model to redirect focus to the teaching and development of key multi literacy skills in the classroom. The rapid changing of our
literacy relationships means teachers are required to plan lessons which access a wide range of meaningful multiliteracies (Strong, G. 2007).
Dr Seuss once stated that “the more you read, the more you will know”. This statement still has great relevance today, although as Thomas Frey described, literacy is no longer simply the ability to read and write (Frey, T.
2010). The building blocks of literacy have been transformed by the arrival of a large number of digital technologies. These digital literacies have forced a change in how we view literacy learning (Open Technology. 2012).
The literacy-learning environment will continue to evolve and develop, but the basic learning rules apply. Immersing yourself in literacy will improve your knowledge of the world around you, and doing so will give you
endless opportunities to fulfil your purpose in life (Chiose, S. 2013)
Anstey, M. & Bull, G. (2006). Defining Multiliteracies. In Teaching and learning multiliteracies: changing times, changing literacies (pp. 19-55). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Chattanooga Times Free Press. (2011). Literacy and the Future. Retrieved August 1, 2013 from http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/sep/04/literacy-and-the-future/
Chiose, S. (2013). Native literacy camps can change communities future. Retrieved August 1 from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/changing-native-futures-one-summer-camp-at-a-time/article13331334/
Cope, B., &Kalantzis, M. (2000). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies. In B. Cope., & M. Kalantzis (eds.). Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures, (pp. 9-37). London: Taylor & Francis
Cope, B. &Kalantzis, M. (2010). New media, new learning. In D. R. Cole & D. L. Pullen (eds.) Multiliteracies in motion: current theory and practice (pp87-104). New York, NY: Routledge.
Frey, T. (2010). Next Generation Literacy. World Future Society. Retrieved August 1, 2013 from http://www.wfs.org/content/next-generation-literacy
Levasseur, A. (2011). The Literacy of Gaming: What Kids Learn From Playing. Media Shift. Retrieved August 1, 2013 from http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2011/08/the-literacy-of-gaming-what-kids-learn-from-playing215
Open Technology. (2013). The ABC‟s of Tech Education. Retrieved August 1, 2013 from http://opentec.org/the-abcs-of-digital-education/