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‘Because I believe in the improving and civilising qualities of literature’ ‘Because I love reading!’ ‘Teachers get good holidays, and I liked English’ ‘I look good in cardigans’ ‘to start a revolution’ ‘I had a great teacher that inspired me’ Why do you want to be an English teacher? ‘because I’m a film buff ’ ‘It’s a secure career path’ ‘I’ve seen too many students who can’t read or write well – I want to make a difference’ ‘it complements my other teaching area’ ‘I have a wild imagination and want to encourage creativity in others’ ‘Because the English language is beautiful and amazing’ ‘I love to create with words – I’d love to be a writer or an actor or something in another life’
What is your relationship with language? What do you read? What do you write? Do you like visual texts? Do you have a bookshelf? Are you a gamer? How much TV do you watch? How much social writing do you do online? Do you borrow books or films from others? Do you visit the library if you don’t have to? What are you most afraid of?
How this unit help you become a better English teacher: Module 1 “Informing theories of language” will help you to:
build your own personal philosophy for English teaching
recognise outdated (but persistent) theories of language
understand how different approaches and philosophies overlap
evaluate the theoretical underpinning of classroom resources
Module 2 “Supporting students and instructional planning” will help you to:
plan English lessons
identify and select effective teaching strategies
become familiar with a range of English curriculum requirements
The times, they are a-changing (curriculum) Come gather 'round peopleWherever you roamAnd admit that the watersAround you have grownAnd accept it that soonYou'll be drenched to the boneIf your time to youIs worth savin'Then you better start swimmin'Or you'll sink like a stoneFor the times they are a-changin'. NOW = Essential Learnings for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 plus Senior English Syllabuses SOON = Australian Curriculum for English Foundation-10 and 11-12
Some concepts to help ‘anchor’ your thinking ‘LITERACY’ is more than decoding letters. It is: The argument has been that the most worthwhile, robust understanding of literacy is one that brings together the ‘operational’, ‘cultural’ and ‘critical’ dimensions of literate practice and learning... I’ve come to see that there’s particular pedagogic value in starting with the cultural dimension, with its focus on meaning-making in context. This means drawing the critical and the operational in, organically, as the occasion and the need arises, although it also entails making quite sure that this does in fact happen, somewhere along the line. (Green reading week 3 – CMD)
‘MULTILITERATE’ students can ‘read’ all five semiotic systems: “The concept of text including semiotic systems other than just the linguistic is relatively new.” (Bull & Anstey reading week 3 – CMD) Texts delivered by traditional (paper and live) and new (digital-electronic) communication technologies can all combine the signs and symbols of a range of semiotic systems to convey meaning.
English curriculum is about more than ‘Literature’ Literary culture has always been defined against popular culture, ‘high’ or ‘elite’ culture against ‘low’ or ‘mass’ culture. For many, I know these are still uncomfortable formulations. There is a much larger debate in all this – a social and cultural debate, and not simply an ‘aesthetic’ one. (Green reading week 3 – CMD)
Tutorials begin this week: tutes running today and tomorrow will include introductory exercises, information about assignment 1 and the formation of important work groups – be sure to attend! Preparing for classes next week... You must: Pick up the prescribed textbooks for this unit Read the firstthree chapters of Charged with meaning (Gannon et al.) Read Mark Matcott’s teacher narrative (it’s short!) Print out and bring the Bushell reading to your tutorial You can:
Join Twitter and ‘follow’ @CLB_018 and @ETAQld
Check out some English teachers blogs. You might start with mine
Visit the websites listed on Blackboard e.g. ETAQ, AATE, MyRead