Main aim of the course is the development of students’ awareness on literacy as a social practice and on the power of reading and texts production as factors of social identity construction. Partial objectives of the subject are students’ sensitization on the social dimension of language, the development of metalanguage awareness, learning strategies for literacy access and literacy’s place in language programs and materials.
Content of the course:
A relatively recent concept in language teaching, literacy is perceived as a social practice, situated in particular communication situations. Linguistic as well as social theory is needed for its interpretation, as reading and its power are more and more linked to social identity. Focusing on literacy refigures language course design which is now critical and awareness-centered.
Some of the issues discussed in the course are: definitions and models of literacy; autonomous vs. ideological literacy; functional, cultural, critical literacy; emergent and in-school literacy; bilingualism and bi-literacy, optical literacy and multiliteracies. Literacy, reading and writing as situated social practices.
Course design: criteria, objectives, contents, stages. Course design, from structure to communication, from communication to text, from text to language awareness. Language textbooks in primary schools: role, characteristics and constraints. Principles for the use of authentic material coming from children’s everyday reality: functionality and ethnographic consciousness.
Teaching and learning methods:
Interactive seminars, with students’ individual and in-small-groups participation particularly encouraged. Case studies and practical activities, oral presentations and use of digital material (internet, CDs).
Final assessment by an open, written exam (80%); ongoing assessment by facultative students’ projects or active participation in class activities (20%).