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Poyhonen Birmingham2009


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Talk in Language, Discourse and Society (LDS) seminar, University of Birmingham, School of Education 9.10.2009

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Poyhonen Birmingham2009

  1. 1. Literacy practices and construction of identities in schools: Perspectives of migrant pupils Sari Pöyhönen University of Jyväskylä Centre for Applied Language Studies, Finland [email_address]
  2. 2. Aims of the talk <ul><li>overview of language situation in Finland </li></ul><ul><li>focus on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>literacy (and media) practices pupils are socialized in language classrooms, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the possibilities of pupils to construct and manifest their multilingual and multicultural identities in school settings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Two projects: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Towards Future Literacy Pedagogies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intervention among 8 th graders in Finnish as a second language class </li></ul></ul>
  3. 6. ” Finland is a land of paper”
  4. 7. Language situation in Finland (5.3 million) <ul><li>Finnish and Swedish are the official languages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Speakers of Finnish 90.9% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speakers of Swedish 5.4% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sami as indigenous people, Romany and people using Finnish Sign Language as linguistic and cultural minorities have a special status in the Constitution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 Sami languages ca. 1 780 persons, Romany ca. 14 000, Finnish Sign Language ca. 5 000 (ca. 14 000) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speakers of other languages (ca. 140 languages), about 3.6% of the population (190 538 persons) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No official statistics about bilingualism or multilingualism in Finland </li></ul><ul><li>The use of English has increased in several fields of life </li></ul>
  5. 8. Situation at schools <ul><li>Basic education (school years 1-9, age 7-16): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2-3 % (17 000) of the pupils with immigrant background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differences between areas and schools within the areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>About 50 languages taught as first languages at schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum group size 4 persons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extra-curricular subject: “o wn mother tongue, own native language” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Finnish as a second language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25 % does not study Finnish as a second language at all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12 % studies only Finnish as a second language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>60 % of the pupils studies both Finnish as mother tongue and Finnish as a second language </li></ul></ul><ul><li>General Secondary education (access to higher education) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>60 % of the age group, 15 % of immigrants </li></ul></ul>
  6. 9. Three concepts Literacy practices Language Identity
  7. 10. Literacy practices <ul><li>Reading, writing and talking about texts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social and cultural practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Barton & Hamilton 1998; Street 2000) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attitudes, feelings and social relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Symbolic resources in negotiating identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Martin-Jones 2000) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defining identities, manifesting membership to groups, and ownership and authorship to texts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gee 1990; Cope & Kalantzis 2000; MacCleod 2004; Bartlett 2005). </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 11. View of language and identity <ul><li>Dialogical philosophy of language and human existence (Bakhtin 1978; 1984) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiplicity and heterogeneity of language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Language as dynamic and multilayered </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discourse and context do not alone determine the formation of identity but function as resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competing discourses, several meanings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>contradictory, even opposite </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 12. Dialogic definition of identity <ul><li>Identity is formed in a dialogic relationship with others. It has many voices, it is dynamic and process-like, but, at the same time, anchored to the historical and cultural context with the result of gaining continuity and permanence. Therefore, identity is at the same time both fragmented and complete. Instead of an identity, we can speak of several identities that acquire different meanings in dialogical situations. (Pöyhönen & Dufva 2007; Pöyhönen 2009) </li></ul>
  10. 13. <ul><li>Literacy (and) media practices in language classrooms </li></ul>
  11. 14. Towards Future Literacy Pedagogies <ul><li>Aims of the project: </li></ul><ul><li>To explore and interpret literacy practices in school and out-of-school contexts </li></ul><ul><li>To explore teaching and assessment practices, and attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>To evaluate to what extent school is able to meet the literacy challenges of the knowledge society and the globalised, networked and culturally diverse world </li></ul><ul><li>To develop proposals for interventions in teaching, curriculum planning, assessment and teacher education </li></ul><ul><li>More information: </li></ul>
  12. 15. Holistic view to literacies
  13. 16. Survey of literacy practices in 2006 <ul><li>Based on a representative sample of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>9th grade pupils in Finnish-speaking comprehensive schools (15-year-olds, school-leaving cohort) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First language (Finnish) teachers (who teach in the 9th grade) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foreign language teachers (who teach in the 9th grade) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responses from 1 720 pupils from 102 Finnish-speaking lower secondary schools and from 740 teachers (417 L1; 324 FL) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 % of the pupils had immigrant background </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Response rates: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pupils 86 % </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>L1 teachers 42 % & FL teachers 32 % </li></ul></ul>
  14. 17. Structure / content of the survey BACKGROUND INFORMATION LEARNING AND TEACHING IN SCHOOL FREE TIME <ul><li>education and training </li></ul><ul><li>(teachers only) </li></ul><ul><li>experience (teachers </li></ul><ul><li>only) </li></ul><ul><li>language knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>use of technology </li></ul><ul><li>materials </li></ul><ul><li>methods </li></ul><ul><li>objectives </li></ul><ul><li>cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>feedback and assessment </li></ul><ul><li>attitudes </li></ul><ul><li>use of media </li></ul><ul><li>technology skills and </li></ul><ul><li>needs </li></ul><ul><li>reading and writing texts </li></ul><ul><li>attitudes </li></ul>
  15. 18. The world changes – how does the school respond? Mother tongue and foreign language literacy practices in school and in free-time .
  16. 19. Priorities and preferences <ul><li>The most important teaching material is the text book for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>97,5 % of the FL teachers (n=283) and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>92,5 % of the L1 teachers (n=361) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>” Language is in the book” </li></ul><ul><li>Possibilities to take into account pupils’ experiences, texts, initiatives? </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers’ professional identity? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linguists? Pedagogues? </li></ul></ul>
  17. 20. “ Concentrating” <ul><li>Photo: Ari Korkala, National Board of Education, Finland </li></ul>
  18. 22. Pupils’ own texts at school <ul><li>36 % of the L1 teachers integrate pupils’ texts produced in their freetime into teaching sometimes </li></ul><ul><li>40 % of the FL teachers never integrate pupils’ texts produced in their freetime </li></ul>
  19. 23. Texts pupils read at school <ul><li>L1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most read: fiction, stories & narratives, explorative texts media texts: newspaper articles, news </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most important according to the teachers: fiction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Least read: texts chosen by pupils, comics, visual texts (forms, tables, graphs etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most read: text book texts, stories & narratives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most important according to the teachers: stories & narratives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Least read: texts chosen by pupils, visual texts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Good text is a long text” </li></ul>
  20. 24. Texts pupils produce at school <ul><li>L1 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most produced: school essays & writings, linear texts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most important according to the teachers : essays, papers and other linear and monomodal texts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Least produced: www-material and other unlinear and multimodal texts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most produced: conversations, dialogues, school essays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most important according to the teachers : conversations, dialogues, school essays, oral presentations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Least produced: any form of multimodal text </li></ul></ul>
  21. 25. Tendencies in L1 & FL classrooms <ul><li>Text book driven </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Print-based </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teacher-led </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doing alone & mechanical pair-work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Monocultural & monolingual practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other linguistic resources non-existent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pupils’ multilingual literacies not important </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clear boundaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>school subjects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>school & freetime </li></ul></ul>
  22. 26. Pupils’ texts in their freetime <ul><li>personal, interactive & social new media texts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SMS-messages, Messenger, IRC (internet-relay chat), e-mails, chats etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most read and written </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Closest for the pupils </li></ul></ul><ul><li>on-line presence </li></ul>
  23. 27. Example: Pupils’ daily use of the new media
  24. 28. Multilingualism and the new media
  25. 29. Multilingualism and the new media <ul><li>Use of more than one language is very common when pupils use the media in their free time </li></ul><ul><li>Boundary between L1 use and FL use is very flexible in some new media, e.g. reading websites and playing games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>L1 used more with print media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Majority of foreign language use is in English </li></ul>
  26. 30. School and freetime: two parallel realities? <ul><li>-> How is school able (and willing) to support pupils </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in participating in different communities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in practicing and expanding their literacy practices? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in exploring the possibilities of the new media as a learning environment ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pöyhönen & Saario 2009 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Taalas, Tarnanen, Kauppinen & Pöyhönen 2008 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 31. <ul><li>” The cookies on my daughter’s computer know more about her interests than her teachers do” </li></ul><ul><li>Henry Kelly </li></ul><ul><li>President </li></ul><ul><li>Federation of American Scientists </li></ul>
  28. 32. How could school & freetime practices meet each other?
  29. 33. <ul><ul><li>Constructing and manifesting multilingual and multicultural identities in school settings </li></ul></ul>
  30. 34. The case/space: an intervention <ul><li>4 weeks in spring 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Finnish as a second language, grade 8 (13-years old) </li></ul><ul><li>Overall aim : Expanding the learning environment and materials; to learn about Finnish media and culture by using digital learning resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OECD case study on Digital Learning Resources as Systemic Innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Specific tasks : Practicing producing different media texts, giving feedback to others, learning teamwork skills, learning to bring own experiences to the learning situations and to assess own skills. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Favourite links, news, review (film, game etc.), interview (Survey, personal interview) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Process and product: making a web-journal </li></ul><ul><li>Participants: 9 pupils (4 girls & 5 boys), F2 teacher, 2 teacher trainees, 1 teacher trainer, 2 researchers </li></ul>
  31. 35. <ul><li>The name of the magazine: Who are we? </li></ul><ul><li>Different ideas of group-belonging </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Afgaani uutiset (Afghan news) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>” Alueen” lehti (”Region” mail ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rikosuutiset (Crime news) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S2 (F2; Finnish as a second language) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team Terrorist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>El Mosku </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final desicion: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mosquitos - S2-oppilaiden oma lehti </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mosquitos - F2 pupils’ own magazine </li></ul></ul>
  32. 36. Negotiations <ul><li>Teacher trainee: Isn’t Mosquitos a good name? Suggest a better one! :D </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 1: well, LOL </li></ul><ul><li>Boy 1: spiderman </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher trainee: Was that some kind of a suggestion??! :O </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 1: Oh yeah (it was) :D Well, change it and put F2 It’s a lot better than that nmfgdjythn </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher trainee: Boy 1: why spiderman? How does it relate to this?!! </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 2: remove that F2 pupils’ own magazine … it’s stupid Only mosquitos is better! El mosku would be even better.. (mosku = multiculturalism) </li></ul>
  33. 37. Different relationships/stances <ul><li>content of the journal, learning tasks, interests </li></ul><ul><li>oneself as a reader and writer </li></ul><ul><li>oneself as a member of a linguistic or ethnic community </li></ul><ul><li>-> hybrid discursive practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulties to handle the familiar practices and use & expand them for learning purposes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LOL, :D </li></ul></ul></ul>
  34. 38. ” Me/us” in the texts <ul><ul><li>“ We are interested in film culture, so we decided to make a survey. We asked some15 pupils questions about films, which we ourselves were also interested in .” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These are the questions we asked: </li></ul><ul><li>1. What kind of films do you like most? a) comedy, b) romantic , c) action, d) science fiction </li></ul><ul><li>2. Who is a better actor? a) Brad Pitt, b) Johnny Depp </li></ul><ul><li>3. Do you watch films late at night? a) yes, b) no </li></ul><ul><li>4. Do you go to cinema often? </li></ul><ul><li>a) yes, b) no </li></ul><ul><li>5. Do you watch foreign films? a) yes, b) no </li></ul>
  35. 40. Comments/feedback <ul><ul><li>Teacher trainee: An interesting survey! If you had asked about an actress, which alternatives would you have given? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Girl 2: Well… maybe Angelina Jolie </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>F2 Teacher: An interesting survey! I would like to know about the foreign films, from which countries are they? Good work, girls! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boy 3: quite a good survey, you could have asked which film is their favourite :) </li></ul></ul>
  36. 41. What is ”proper” learning? <ul><li>Sari: should the internet be used more often in teaching? </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 1: no </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 2: well not really </li></ul><ul><li>Sari: why not? </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 3: because you get easily bored with the net or what I mean is that if you do exercises then you sort of get bored with it them easily </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 1: then you don’t really learn better </li></ul><ul><li>Sari: what’s the best way to learn then? </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 1: well in the classroom if the teacher explains compared you know with the net </li></ul>
  37. 42. Continues... <ul><li>Sari: is it because there’s so much stuff in the net that it’s difficult to choose or or? </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 1: well you see it’s like awfully that if someone tells you about it it’s better than if one reads about it in some internet the net usually has quite long stories </li></ul><ul><li>Girl 3: or it’s like when you’re in the net you want to go to your own pages and don’t want to do it (the exercise) </li></ul>
  38. 43. Internet & multi-voiced identities <ul><li>All pupils had Internet connection at home </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet was used by all members of the family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The pupils helped younger siblings and their parents in the use of Internet and IT technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet as a social space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chatting with friends, listening to music, watching videos, online gaming… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polyphonic identities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multilingualism vs. monolingualism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linguistic repertoires and resources connected with the activities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Using different languages, genres and varities </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Finnish, English, Dari, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish, Bengali, Hindi… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Notions on ”our language” in ”our culture” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  39. 44. “ Our own mother tongue” <ul><li>Sari: that one is an English page, do you visit pages in other languages? </li></ul><ul><li>Boy: well at least pages in our own mother tongue </li></ul><ul><li>Sari: what’s it then your own mother tongue? </li></ul><ul><li>Boy: well it depends on what I want to do </li></ul><ul><li>Sari: oh yeah </li></ul><ul><li>Boy: for example I visit an address to watch television in our own mother tongue or I mean of our own country – </li></ul><ul><li>Sari: so what is your home country? </li></ul><ul><li>Boy: Afghanistan </li></ul>
  40. 45. Concluding thoughts <ul><li>Literacy practices and texts at school: learning for school or learning for life? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pressures to integrate formal and informal learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenges of the school </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To support and expand pupils’ literacy and media practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give space to construct different identities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To get rid of monocultural, monolingual practices and fixed meanings </li></ul></ul>
  41. 46. Critical question <ul><li>How willing are pupils to learn new ways to participate in these activities and to create knowledge together? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keeping school practices and out-of-school practices separated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Giving preference to print-based, teacher-led practices in school </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal views and texts: minimizing the ”me/us” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  42. 47. Is there a way out of the land of paper?
  43. 48. Project group <ul><li>Prof. Minna-Riitta Luukka [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>- First language literacy practices in schools and out-of-school contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Ari Huhta [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>assessment and feedback practices </li></ul><ul><li>Sari Pöyhönen [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>literacy practices and construction of identities, language education policies </li></ul><ul><li>Peppi Taalas [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>- teaching and learning practices in language teaching environments </li></ul><ul><li>Mirja Tarnanen [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>- assessment and feedback practices in relation to curriculum and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Merja Kauppinen [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>language learning and literacy practices in the national core curricula for basic education </li></ul><ul><li>Johanna Saario [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>language context and concepts in social studies; challenges for second language learners </li></ul><ul><li>Sanna Voipio-Huovinen [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>support for bilingualism and bi-literacy in Finnish schools among Russian and Somali-speaking immigrant pupils </li></ul>