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Language Arts, Vol. 88, No. 1, September 2010

Cover Art for Language Arts, Vol. 88, No. 1, September 2010

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Language Arts in a 2.0 World

  • Call for Manuscripts

  • Thoughts from the Editors: Language Arts 2.0 and 1.8: Mindsets, Modes, and Adaptations

  • New Literacies in the Material World

    Randy Bomer, Melody Patterson Zoch, Ann D. David, and Hyounjin Ok

    Abstract: This article reports on a design experiment in which 4th grade bilingual students were invited to engage in new literacy practices of linking, multimodality, and design using only ordinary, concrete materials like ink, paper, tape, and boxes.  The inquiry was undertaken in the midst of a unit of study on memoir in a writing workshop, under conditions of a high-stakes writing test, in a low-income school, in a classroom of Latino students who spoke Spanish as their first language.  The students engaged with these literacy practices common in digital environments, without digital devices, in varied ways, including: the use of objects, words, and partial texts as links capable of changing one’s mind; the use of images as tools for thinking and for revising toward readers; and design as a means of focusing thinking and also making unconventional textual objects.

    Keywords: Diversity, Language, Technology

  • What Happens in the Arcade Shouldn't Stay in the Arcade: Lessons for Classroom Design

    Kathryn F. Whitmore and Lindsay Laurich

    Abstract: What features of the physical environment in video game arcades lead kids to be so engaged? How can analysis of arcade space inform language arts teachers’ decisions about designing classroom environments?  This article presents an analysis of physical space in video game arcades and participants’ positions therein to suggest how language arts teachers can explore student-designed learning spaces.  Qualitative analysis of the arcade space revealed three learning principles: clustering and collaborating, inverting traditional structures of power, and reconstituting access and ownership. Following a detailed assessment of the existing literacy environment in one 5th-6th grade classroom, the researchers and the classroom teacher applied these principles through physical arrangement changes in the classroom. This study shows that arcades are not only places of fun and games for children, nor are they disruptive of learning.  Rather, understanding the physical space in video arcades offers principles of design to advance opportunities for students’ and teachers’ literacy learning and identities.

    Keywords: Elementary, Literacy, Pedagogy

  • Kittens! Inspired by Kittens! Undergraduate Theorists Inspired by YouTube

    Diane Downer Anderson, Mark Lewis, Sarah Peterson, Samantha Griggs, Gina Grubb, Nicole Singer, Simone Fried, Elizabeth Krone, Leigh Elko, Jasmine Narang

    Abstract: A professor and students in an undergraduate honors research seminar were inspired to playfully link old and contemporary literacy theories to a 2.0 media artifact, the popular YouTube video Kittens! Inspired by Kittens! (KIbK) starring 6 year-old Maddie. In this article KIbK is theorized drawing on frames of school-based reading instruction, social identities, identity formation in communities of practice, Bakhtin’s theory of intertextuality, and Bourdieu’s theory of social reproduction. The authors found that KIbK was a powerful touchstone and Vygotskian tool for their project of linking theory to practice. They found that pre-digital literacy theories designed for paper texts were appropriate and useful to understanding web-based media such as KIbK. This interpretive project also supported the seminar’s goal of learning to see and appreciate the value of literacy practices in places that were previously invisible, such as on YouTube and in children and adults everyday creative human endeavors. Participants also found KIbK to be a powerful medium for constituting the seminar as a community of practice.

    Keywords: Literacy, School/Community, Technology

  • Research Directions: Literacies in a Participatory, Multimodal World: The Arts and Aesthetics of Web 2.0

    Lalitha Vasudevan

    Abstract: Communicative and expressive modalities, such as smart phones and video cameras, have become increasingly multifunctional and reflect an evolving digital landscape often referred to as Web 2.0.  The “ethos” and “technical” affordances of Web 2.0 have the potential to catalyze the aesthetic creativity of youth.  Following a discussion of aesthetics in literacies, I explore the implications of participation in socially mediated communicative landscapes for how we might rethink the nature of participation in classrooms.  New forms and spaces of participation are opening up opportunities for young people to assume new roles and perform new selves.  I conclude by calling for a renewed appreciation for progress and process in how we approach curriculum and pedagogy in language arts education by broadening and reimagining understandings of literacies, participation and the performance of self in a digital communicative landscape.

    Keywords: Elementary, Literacy, Technology

  • Focus on Policy: Considering Literacy and Policy in the Context of Digital Environments

    Charles K. Kinzer

    Abstract: This article (1) argues that literacy is being redefined as a result of the use of digital media, and (2) provides suggestions for policy makers, budget decision-makers, teachers, researchers, and interested others about literacy and language arts standards, assessment, and teaching related to "new literacies," including: (a) Maximize the possibilities of collaborative and social networking technologies; (b) Make more funding available to document effective practices related to technology teaching and learning in language arts, and to support preservice and inservice education about digital literacies and teaching in collaborative digital media; (c) Provide additional and ongoing funds to support the supply and maintenance of existing computers and peripherals; (d) Make provisions for continued and enhanced emphasis on the "21st Century" skills; (e) Include in “Standards” documents the expectation that teachers and students know how digital texts can support comprehension; (f)  Develop assessments of new literacies that work within assessments of writing and reading; (g) Teach digital literacy practices in synergy with traditional literacy practices; (h) Focus more, quickly, on discovering the literacy practices engendered by mobile technologies; (i) Teach about privacy issues related to communication and social networking in digital environments; (j) Ensure students’ digital media practices are not simply co-opted into classroom requirements.

    Keywords: Literacy, Technology

  • Profiles and Perspectives: Web 2.0 in the Elementary Classroom: Portraits of Possibilities

    William Kist, Kelly Doyle, Jody Hayes, Jeff Horwitz, and J. T. Kuzior

    Abstract: The general public has a conception of young children as being much more “computer savvy” than older generations.  Scholars have looked at how young children interact with new media and have posited that learning to read needs to be broader than just learning to decode. Recently there have been reports of teachers using a range of media, all in an effort to see how these new media can be and are a part of young children’s lives.  In this article, teachers describe the power that social networking and other new media have in their classrooms in relation to children’s literacy practices.   The authors conclude that is it naïve, at best, to think that new media should be kept out of the classroom or that Web 2.0 is somehow irrelevant to the teaching of reading.

    Keywords: Literacy, Pedagogy, Technology

  • Professional Book Reviews: Critical Media Literacy in the 2.0

    Jesse Gainer

    Abstract: The websites and books reviewed in this column offer educators background, ideas, and classroom-based examples relating to critical media literacy and how to incorporate it into teaching practices. The Zinn Education Project website, created by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change, offer a wealth of ideas, materials, lesson plans, links and other resources for teachers interested in incorporating social justice themes into the curriculum. Media Literacy is Elementary: Teaching Youth to Critically Read and Create Media, a book by Jeff Share, provides background on theory and practice relating to critical media literacy pedagogy in the elementary level. In addition to the book, an accompanying website provides additional resources and examples from classrooms. Captura: Digital Storytelling Toolkit is a website created by the Llano Grande Center. This multimodal text weaves print, video, and still pictures providing step-by-step instructions on how to create digital stories for community change. The detailed discussions on how to create such texts are supported by links to many outstanding examples created by students involved with the Llano Grande Center. Finally, Media Literacy: New Agendas in Communication, edited by Kathleen Tyner offers a diverse array of chapters providing ideas and insights generated from media literacy research in both formal and informal learning environments.

    Keywords: Literacy, Technology, Writing

  • Children’s Literature Reviews: Children’s Literature Characters Forming Community in an Almost 2.0 World

    Ann Neely, Elizabeth Bird, Terry Doherty, Helen Hemphill, and Julie Roach

    Abstract: What has brought communities together over time? How were social networks formed “pre-2.0?” How were ideas shared so that communities grew? Many of the books reviewed in this article provide readers with a sense of community. In several cases, readers quickly feel a part of that community so that their views are transformed. In other cases, the books provide examples of coming together in community to change the nation and the world. The authors have identified some of their recent favorites that provide children and adolescents with characters who reside in lively and vibrant communities.

    Keywords: Literature

  • In Closing . . . On Schooling and Fabricated Cats

    Katie Shepherd Dredger

    Abstract: Sending her daughter to kindergarten motivates this educator to pen a short essay on the value of schooling and the tensions that are created between the group and the individual.  Musing on the writings of some of the great and often controversial curriculum theorists, Dredger questions even her own beliefs.  She concludes with the hope that her daughter, just one representative of all school children, will manage to thrive in a world of conflicting expectations and awesome possibilities.

    Keywords: School/Community, 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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Posted By: Anonymous User on 10/11/2010 10:46:58 AM

The link to the article "What Happens in the Arcade Shouldn't Stay in the Arcade: Lessons for Classroom Design" (Kathryn F. Whitmore and Lindsay Laurich) does not work. Is the article not available or can someone fix it?

Posted By: Anonymous User on 10/5/2010 11:40:13 AM

I am unable to access the file " What Happens in the Arcade Shouldn't Stay in the Arcade: Lessons for Classroom Design," Kathryn F. Whitmore and Lindsay Laurich

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