Factors Influencing Primary Teachers' Conceptualisations of Literacy: Does Bilingual Education Make a Difference?

Factors Influencing Primary Teachers' Conceptualisations of Literacy: Does Bilingual Education Make a Difference?

Raquel Fernández-Fernández
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2588-3.ch002
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This chapter tries to discover how primary school teachers understand what literacy is and to what extent this conceptualisation is influenced by factors indicated by previous literature, such as training, previous experiences, or beliefs (see Korthagen, 2001; and Pozo et al., 2006), while also considering whether working in a bilingual context or being a bilingual teacher may be influential to produce certain types of definitions. Data was gathered using an online questionnaire directed to teachers in Years 3 and 4 in the Madrid Autonomous Community. The responses from the participants (n=115) were categorised and analysed using SPSS. The findings indicate that most definitions rarely fulfil the requirements to be considered complete or entirely accurate. Results also show that only age is a significant variable in producing better definitions. Finally, the study recommends reshaping and offering appropriate teacher training on literacy to update teachers' knowledge and ultimately boost leads to better learning in the classrooms.
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Literacy is not a new construct. In what follows an overview of the evolution of the definitions literacy as well as a short review on previous research will be provided.

Key Terms in this Chapter

New London Group: It is a group of ten scholars who gathered in London (New Hampshire, United States) with the aim of improving and reshaping classroom teaching, adapting it to the new times. In relation to literacy, they coined the term multiliteracies in 1994.

Literacidad: A recently-coined equivalent to ‘Literacy’ in the Spanish language, which co-exist with the traditional term ‘alfabetización’.

UNESCO: It is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. It is a specialized agency of the united Nations (UN) based in Paris.

Alfabetización: Traditionally, an equivalent to ‘literacy’ in the Spanish language. However, it has been historically related to the early years’ development of reading and writing.

Sustainable Development Goals: They are targets to address the global challenges and the changing world we are facing. They encompass key issues such as poverty, climate or education, to mention just a few. They will be developed until 2030.

Pre-service Teacher Training: Educational programmes delivered to teachers before they enter the profession.

In-Service Teacher Training: Educational programmes for teachers who have already started teaching.

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