Developing Global Literacy Skills of K-12 Pre-Service Teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs) through Service-Learning

Developing Global Literacy Skills of K-12 Pre-Service Teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs) through Service-Learning

Cate Crosby (University of Cincinnati, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6347-3.ch011


One of the challenges in teacher preparation programs is providing pre-service teachers with practice teaching ELLs. Our K-12 teachers are being asked to work with growing numbers of culturally and linguistically diverse students in their classrooms. Kramsch (2008) calls this the ability “to operate in a globalized space where . . . exchanges will be increasingly plurilingual and pluricultural” (p. 390). To help meet this need, a collaborative teacher training service-learning project on the global literacy development of K-12 pre-service teachers of ELLs was carried out to examine: 1) how a global literacy experience raises pre-service teachers' awareness of their pedagogy, 2) what this experience means for their belief system and the knowledge base they hold about teaching linguistically and culturally diverse students, and 3) to prepare future teachers of ELLs to teach in a global society by gaining experience working with multicultural and multilingual learners. This chapter explores the service-learning project.
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Global Literacy

In order to be successful in a global era in which multiple languages and cultures are becoming more visible, students at all educational levels should be afforded numerous opportunities to develop global literacy. Global literacy is “founded in an ability to understand and enter into other cultures. They come through the nexus of language capacities, cross-cultural awareness and sensitivities, and knowledge about nations, cultures, and peoples around the world” (Magnan, 2008, p. 628). The development of this allows students the opportunity to develop knowledge about the world and skills to collaborate across linguistic and cultural boundaries and value, respect, and understand others with differing ideas and opinions from their own (Magnan, 2008). According to Major General Peter Cosgrove, Asia Education Foundation National Summit, 2003, Our future prosperity and security will depend on our ability to understand these cultures and to build bridges to the citizens of these nations and all our immediate neighbours.” To do so, “[t]wenty-first century education needs to . . . develop in learners the knowledge, understanding and attributes necessary for successful participation and engagement within and across local, regional, and global communities . . . Education in a global community brings with it an increasing need to focus on developing inter-cultural understanding. This involves the integration of language, culture, and learning” (MCEETYA, 2005, pp. 2-3).

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