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Language Arts, Vol. 88, No. 2, November 2010

Cover Art for Language Arts, Vol. 88, No. 2, November 2010

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: From the Beginning . . .

  • Call for Manuscripts

  • Thoughts from the Editors

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Diversity, Language, Elementary, School/Community

  • First Steps in Constructing Counter Narratives of Young Children and Their Families

    Julia López-Robertson, Susi Long, and Kindel Turner-Nash

    Abstract: Teachers and preservice teachers offered initial assumptions about children and families from backgrounds different from their own, “Letting them speak Spanish in school will hinder their ability to learn English and also hold back the other children” and “His house will be messy and dirty.” Through experiences in the children’s homes and communities, however, teachers and preservice teachers began to recognize that assumptions such as these are inaccuracies that negatively define and label children and families and limit teachers’ visions for what is educationally possible. They also began to recognize the power that teachers hold to either perpetuate single stories or interrupt them by providing counter narratives that make visible the rich resources that children and families bring to schools.

    Keywords: Diversity, Language, Literacy, Elementary, School/Community

  • Accelerating Reading Inequities in the Early Years

    Mariana Souto-Manning

    Abstract: Souto-Manning shares her journey as a second-grade teacher-researcher, offering insights into the relationship between a reading program that is (over)determined by scores, multiple-choice questions, and book levels, and the ways children, parents, and teachers worked together to maintain their commitment to a more equitable community of learners. She explains how participants found wiggle room within the constraints of Accelerated Reader, a program that commodified and (over)simplified early literacy, and how they negotiated ways to foster meaningful early literacy practices while challenging social, cultural, racial, and political discourses that often separate children as friends and readers.

    Keywords: Literacy, Pedagogy, Technology, Elementary

  • Digital, Hybrid, & Multilingual Literacy Practices in Early Childhood

    Aria Razfar and Eunah Yang

    Abstract: This article examines sociocultural research on early literacy development in the digital age. The last decade has witnessed a proliferation of informational technology that has fundamentally shifted how we think about language and literacy in the early childhood years. Despite these trends, narrow and reductive views of literacy continue to dominate federal policy and local pedagogy. Building on previous work regarding sociocultural influence on early literacy, this paper synthesizes lessons learned from the latest empirical work conducted using sociocultural approaches to language, learning, and human development. Analysis reveals three significant and interrelated foci: 1) the use of electronic and digital media as mediational tools, 2) the use of hybrid languages and mediational tools, and 3) the use of multiple languages, literacies, and discourses, especially of immigrant and nondominant communities. These ethnographic studies help us better understand the complexities of young children and adults making meaning in a digital and hybrid literacy world. The authors conclude with practical guidelines for educators, family members, and other adults involved in early literacy development.

    Keywords: Literacy, Technology, Elementary

  • Cartitas de cariño: Little Notes to Say You Care

    Howard L. Smith and Mari Riojas-Cortez

    Abstract: Spanish-speaking, Mexican American parents participated in a literacy workshop in which they created short, personal letters called cartitas de cariño for their children. This paper reports on the content of their texts, which included drawings and messages that reflected the cultural norms and traditions of the families. Using a socio-historical lens, the authors show how the parents’ cartitas de cariño functioned as a tool of cultural and social mediation by communicating their affection and emotional support as well as the scholastic and behavioral expectations parents had for their children. This population (i.e., Spanish-speaking Latinos of the working poor class) is frequently relegated to studies on cultural, social, or educational deficiency. Based on the evidence from the cartitas de cariño, we affirm that Mexican parents, irrespective of their prior schooling or economic status, value literacy as a tool for cultural transmission as well as a form of self-expression, and they readily engage in literacy practices with their children when afforded the opportunity.

    Keywords: Diversity, Literacy, Writing, Elementary, School/Community

  • Research Directions: Directions for Studying Early Literacy as Social Practice

    Deborah Wells Rowe

    Abstract: In this essay, the author addresses the current status of emergent literacy research. First, she sets the stage by briefly exploring the important questions and continuing contributions of the emergent literacy perspective.  Next, she examines some inherent theoretical tensions—especially how emergent literacy’s research questions have bounded and constrained what is currently know about preschool literacy. Finally, she turns her attention toward new questions and new opportunities for understanding that flow from re-theorizing early literacy learning as social practice. Using data from her own studies of preschoolers’ early writing interactions, the author illustrates some exciting possibilities for expanding our understandings of early literacy learning.

    Keywords: Literacy, Writing, Elementary

  • Focus on Policy: A Is for avatar: Young Children in Literacy 2.0 Worlds and Literacy 1.0 Schools

    Karen E. Wohlwend

    Abstract: This article draws upon the cinematic, fictional portrayal of Avatars as a metaphor to show how young children are positioned in similar ways in relation to technology and nature. The authors discuss children as digital natives growing up in brave new virtual worlds, but also as vulnerable innocents who are specially attuned to—and in need of—nature. They wonder: Shouldn’t children be engaged in hands-on explorations rather than glued to computer screens? Do we understand them as emergent users of new literacies and new technologies? If so, how might early literacy education change to prepare children to read, write, be, and act as full participants in digital worlds and unknowable futures?

    Keywords: Literacy, Technology, Elementary, Media

  • Profiles and Perspectives: Philippa Stratton: Winner of NCTE’s Outstanding Educator in the English Language Arts Award

    Ralph Fletcher

    Abstract: Abstract for this article is currently not available.

    Keywords: Writing, Elementary

  • Professional Book Reviews: What’s at Play in the Work of ECE?: The Storytelling Curriculum, Artful Stories, and Postmodern Picturebooks

    Timothy A. Kinard and Diane Hamilton

  • Children’s Literature Reviews: Orbis Pictus Award Winners

    Kim Ford, Mingshui Cai, Fran Wilson, Jeffrey S. Kaplan, Diana Porter, Barbara Chatton, and Jan Kristo

  • In Closing . . . Lexical Lust: An Ink-slinger’s Confessions

    Shutta Crum

* 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 10/29/2010 11:06:29 AM

Where is the article on Philippa Stratton as outstanding educator?

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