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Language Arts, Vol. 86, No. 2, November 2008

Cover Art for Language Arts, Vol. 86, No. 2, November 2008

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Literacy as Movement, Voice, and Image

  • Call for Manuscripts

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Thoughts from the Editors: Language and Literacy through a Moving Lens

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Elementary

  • Literacy in Motion: A Case Study of a Shape-shifting Kindergartener

    Marjorie Siegel, Stavroula Kontovourki, Stephanie Schmier, and Grace Enriquez

    Abstract: This article presents a case study of a kindergarten girl from a Bangladeshi immigrant family who demonstrates her multiliteracies as she negotiates the multiple demands of the mandated literacy curriculum. The case is drawn from a year-long ethnographic inquiry of the literacy practices and cultural models in a balanced literacy curriculum where digital and print-based literacies intersected.

    Keywords: Diversity, Technology, Elementary, Media Studies / Journalism

  • Finding the Right Words: Art Conversations and Poetry

    Mary Ann Reilly

    Abstract: Generative thinking is explored in this article by chronicling the development of middle school English language learners’ poetry writing through their interaction with visual art. The author explains how art conversations (Reilly & Cohen, 2008) were used to help students engage in dialogue about the topic of journeys and how students’ paintings were then used as a starting point for poetry writing. Drawing on research from Christine Leland and Jerome Harste (1994), Shirley Brice Heath (2000), David Perkins (1994), and Eliot Eisner (2001, 2002) the author advocates for transmediated instruction as a means for enhancing students’ thinking.

    Keywords: Pedagogy, Writing, Middle

  • Autobiographical Snapshots: Constructing Self in Letras y Arte

    Joan Armon and Tony Ortega

    Abstract: Letras y Arte: Literacy and Art, is a summer course that pairs college students and children from a Latino neighborhood for literacy and art learning. Started five years ago, Letras y Arte provides opportunities in four areas: literacy opportunities that foster distinctive identities and voice; immersion in a broad view of literacy that includes visual arts; reciprocal mentoring in which college students teach and learn from the children.

    Keywords: Diversity, Language, Literacy, Writing, Elementary, School-Community Relation, College

  • Focus on Policy: Advocating for the Arts in an Age of Multiliteracies

    Samantha Caughlan

    Abstract: This article is a discussion of the decades of research linking achievement to the arts: the Cognitive, the Motivational, the Cultural, the Practical, etc. in response to districts cutting the arts to make way for the “basics,” or to save money for literacy consultants and math programs to prepare students for standardized tests. The article asserts that cutting the arts is not something that is likely to improve academic achievement; in fact, quite the opposite. It closes with suggestions for how educators and community members can advocate for the arts in their own buildings or districts.

    Keywords: Assessment, Standards, Reading

  • Research Directions: Play as a Literacy of Possibilities: Expanding Meanings in Practices, Materials, and Spaces

    Karen Wohlwend

    Abstract: This reconceptualization of play as an embodied literacy explores how its multimodal facility for manipulating meanings and contexts powerfully shapes children’s learning and participation in classrooms. Three examples from one focal kindergarten in a three year study of literacy play in early childhood classrooms illustrate how young children emphasize or combine particular modes to strategically amplify their intended meanings as they play 1) to try out social practices, 2) to explore the multimodal potential of material resources, and 3) to construct spaces for peer culture within classrooms. Multimodal literacy research holds promise for convincing administrators and policy-makers to reverse the erosion of play in schools.

    Keywords: Pedagogy, Elementary

  • Profiles and Perspectives : Jerry Harste and Carolyn Burke: Winners of NCTE’s Outstanding Educator in the English Language Arts Award

    Diane Stephens, Heidi Mills, Kathy Short, and Vivian Vasquez

    Abstract: This article celebrates Jerry Harste and Carolyn Burke, two people who were academic partners and who have now been given NCTE’s Outstanding Educator in the English Language Arts award for 2008. For over 30 years Jerry and Carolyn have been pushing each other’s thinking in their individual work as well as in their shared endeavors, forever changing the field of literacy education.

    Keywords: Research, Elementary

  • Professional Book Reviews: Multimodal Literacies: Linking Theory, Research, and Practice

    Mark Evan Nelson

    Abstract: Threaded throughout this column and the three books reviewed is a concern for understanding the current and potential roles in literacy, learning, and life of dimensions of communication excluded from traditional conceptions of literacy education. These include visual imagery, movement, gesture, sound, embodiment, and even silence, as well as interrelations and interactions among them.

    Keywords: Research

  • Children’s Literature Reviews: The 2008 Orbis Pictus Award Collection of Nonfiction Literature for Children

    Sandip Wilson, Carol Avery, Mingshui Cai, Kim Ford, Sylvia Read, Fran Wilson, Terrell A. Young

    Abstract: True to the tradition of the Orbis Pictus Award, the committee has selected, from among more than 325 titles submitted, books representing multiple disciplines and formats that will interest a wide range of young readers. In selecting books, the committee looks for numerous qualities that work together to enhance learning and the pleasure of reading: evidence of accurate information and differentiation between fact and conjecture, clear and coherent organization, attractive and engaging design, and a stimulating and appropriate style. The committee has searched for books that provide different perspectives on topics to which students could relate and that are explored in fresh, intriguing, often heartfelt ways.

    Keywords: Literature

  • In Closing ...: Books Discover Children

    J. Patrick Lewis

    Abstract: Lewis explores the powerful connections that occur between children and their books. He writes, “Yes, children do discover books,/ But books find children on their own,/ And then can’t wait to get their hooks/ In kids who think they’re all alone.”

    Keywords: Literature, Writing

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts