Web-based new literacies: Revisiting literacy in TESOL and EFL teacher education
Web-based New Literacies: Revisiting Literacy in TESOL and EFL Teacher Education Prepared by Mahmoud M. S. Abdallah Assistant Lecturer of Curriculum & TESOL Methodology at College of Education, Assiut University, Egypt & PhD Student at Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, UK.
Me and the Internet <ul><li>"Every morning, and as soon as I get up and open my eyes to realise that I’m still alive, I thank God that I was born to witness the age of the Internet, and then go to my beloved laptop to continue a dialogue that never ceases!"- Mahmoud Abdallah 2010 </li></ul>
Objectives <ul><li>This presentation is based on my current PhD study-a design study that aims at investigating the possibility of improving/expanding Egyptian EFL student teachers’ literacy practices by integrating some Web-based new literacies into their education programmes with specific reference to Assiut University College of Education, Egypt. </li></ul><ul><li>Specifically, my objectives from this presentation are: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Exploring a range of approaches to literacy to position myself within existing literature (i.e. theoretical grounding). </li></ul><ul><li>2. Demonstrating my theoretical framework that involves: a) introducing "Web-based new literacies" as a new term; b) illustrating the complicated literacy relationships as mediated by the Web; and c) stating the new dimensions of literacy as far as the Web as a defining technology of literacy in the 21 st century is concerned. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Presenting a list of those Web-based new literacies that Egyptian EFL student teachers need in the 21 st century based on empirical data . </li></ul><ul><li>4. Illustrating how some Web-based facilities can function as online spaces for the delivery of a blended learning course; </li></ul><ul><li>5. Presenting some conclusions on integrating Web-based new literacies into TESOL and EFL curriculum design within Egyptian teacher education programmes. </li></ul>
Theoretical Grounding: Main Approaches to Literacy Two main approaches/camps The socio-cultural approach (Modern) The cognitive/psycholinguistic approach (Traditional)
New Approaches to Literacy <ul><li>As a result of the dominance of ICTs in the educational and language learning contexts, some new literacy approaches have come to the fore all of which take into consideration the new literacy practices attached to emerging new technologies and the resulting new social practices: </li></ul><ul><li>New Literacy Studies : Literacy practices are so socially embedded that they cannot be understood in isolation. Literacy is not static, and hence, language learners should EXPAND their literacy practices (e.g. Street 1984; Barton & Hamilton 1998). </li></ul><ul><li>Multiliteracies : For English language learning purposes, students need to integrate multimodal ways of communication and meaning representation (e.g. linguistic/textual, audio, and visual) drawing on their own experiences and semiotic literacy practices to get their message across (The New London Group 1996). </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-modal Literacy : Encompasses all the different ways in which meaning can be created and communicated in the world today (Jewitt & Kress 2003). </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Electronic literacy approach’ to network-based language teaching (Shetzer & Warschauer 2000). It implies an interdependent/transactional relationship between the Internet and language assuming that becoming literate is more than learning how to decode and write letters and words. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ New Literacies’ Perspective : (New Literacies Research Team at the University of Connecticut, US): Main focus was on online reading comprehension. New literacies based on the Internet are “the skills, strategies, and dispositions necessary to successfully exploit the rapidly changing ICTs continuously emerging in our world” (Leu, Kinzer, Coiro & Cammack 2004). </li></ul>
How has literacy changed? (New dimensions) <ul><li>Thus, literacy has changed in different ways that current EFL curricula in the 21 st century (especially in pre-service teacher education) should consider: </li></ul><ul><li>From paper-based to electronic/digital-based . </li></ul><ul><li>From one-dimensional to multi-dimensional . </li></ul><ul><li>From offline practices to online practices. </li></ul><ul><li>From isolated/individual practices to collaborative/connective practices. </li></ul><ul><li>From independent, unified practices to situated, contextual ones (Globalised or localised?). </li></ul>
Connective/Complicated Relationship between Elements of Literacy Internal cognitive processes (the individual) Socio-cultural aspects & social practices (External social context) The Web as a medium Literacy & Language
What are the “Web-based new literacies”? <ul><li>I define “Web-based new literacies” in the context of TESOL and EFL teacher education as: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The up-to-date, Web-associated knowledge, insights, skills, strategies, and competencies that EFL student teachers need for an effective employment of the Web in language learning which might lead to improving/expanding their literacy practices within learning contexts, and making them succeed as both lifelong learners and prospective teachers of English”. (Available online on Wikipedia). </li></ul>
A list of those Web-based new literacies that Egyptian EFL student teachers need <ul><li>1-Online Communication and Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>1.1 Membership of online communities and the knowledge society; </li></ul><ul><li>1.2 Composing and writing online; </li></ul><ul><li>1.3 Meaning negotiation and idea sharing; </li></ul><ul><li>1.4 Online language practice. </li></ul><ul><li>2-Online Information Management and Knowledge Construction </li></ul><ul><li>2.1 Surfing the Web and locating information; </li></ul><ul><li>2.2 Online reading comprehension; </li></ul><ul><li>2.3 Critical Literacy Skills; </li></ul><ul><li>2.4 Synthesising information and constructing knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>3-Acessing Web-based English Resources/Materials </li></ul><ul><li>3.1 Making use of the Internet as an online library for English learning; </li></ul><ul><li>3.2 Accessing authentic English material. </li></ul>
Using Web-based Facilities as Online Spaces <ul><li>By 'Web-based facilities' I mean those "free Web-based tools, applications, and resources that learners can access and employ as online spaces for language learning and practice". Thus: </li></ul><ul><li>1. A class Wiki was used as a platform to include the main course material and also to allow student teachers to practise collaborative writing. My class Wiki is available at: http://assiuttefl.wikispaces.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>2. A class Blog was used for practising 'connective writing‘ as a new form of literacy enabled/fostered by the Web. My class Blog is available at: http://assiuttefl.blogspot.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>3. An e-mail group was used for exchanging messages and sharing files. My class e-group is available at: http:// groups.yahoo.com/group/searching_for_identity / </li></ul>
Conclusions for Egyptian TE & EFL Curriculum Design <ul><li>EFL teacher education (TE) in Egypt should target improving/expanding student teachers’ literacy practices by integrating some Web-based new literacies into their programmes. My data analysis so far shows that these new literacies should be integrated into the EFL curriculum in TE at a course level by: </li></ul><ul><li>a) Creating connections between two main separate courses: The TESOL/TEFL Methodology course and the Educational Technology course; </li></ul><ul><li>b) Addressing some current needs in relevant academic courses to make any new literacy course realistic and directly useful to EFL student teachers (i.e. pragmatic orientation); </li></ul><ul><li>c) Enabling some Web-based facilities/applications (e.g. Wikis, Blogs, e-groups) to act as online spaces or platforms that should allow for a continuous dialogue (i.e. dialogic learning); </li></ul><ul><li>d) Implementing blended learning that combines both face-to-face mode and online mode as a learning/teaching design; </li></ul><ul><li>e) Focussing more on socio-cultural and dialogic learning activities to improve student teachers’ language learning; </li></ul><ul><li>f) Employing the Web as: </li></ul><ul><li>1. a means of learning 2. a means of communication </li></ul><ul><li>3. a means of language practice 4. an online library </li></ul>
Thanks for attending! <ul><li>Your input is most welcome. </li></ul>
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