Toward a Participatory View of Early Literacies in Second Language Contexts: A Reflection on Research From Colombia

Toward a Participatory View of Early Literacies in Second Language Contexts: A Reflection on Research From Colombia

Claudia Cañas, Ángela Patricia Ocampo, Ana Karina Rodríguez, Mónica López-Ladino, Raúl Alberto Mora
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3955-1.ch015
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This chapter will introduce a pedagogical framework to engage with literacy practices in early childhood contexts and English language learners (ELLs), based on the commonalities across three research studies carried out in three schools in Medellín, Colombia. In this chapter, we argue that developing strong pedagogical proposals for PreK-5 spaces entails breaking the traditional compartmentalization of children's practices between in or out of school and carefully integrating multimodality and critical literacy in our curricula. Besides the explanation of our pedagogical framework and its link to our current research, the chapter also provides some insights for early childhood teachers working with ELLs around the world to draw from these frameworks and transform their curricula. Although language context may differ, there are developmental commonalities across the board that practitioners and teacher educators can draw from, regardless of whether the children are in English-speaking contexts or not.
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Background: A Revised Conceptual Framework For Pre K-5 Children’S Literacy Practices

Our pedagogical framework weaves the main concepts that the first four authors have developed in their individual studies with a composite revision of the different articles all authors first reviewed separately. The composite framework from our studies calls for a new way to face literacies in early childhood contexts that transcend words to empower students’ voices in the classroom, as the main participants in the learning and teaching processes.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Picturebooks: Complex books where words and images, or the verbal and visual, are interdependently connected, both sharing equal partnership in the construction of meaning ( Rodríguez Martínez, 2017 ).

Critical Literacy Read-Alouds (CLRA): The experience of a picturebook read-aloud where readers are provoked to engage in critical conversations that emerge from asking critical questions based on a text being shared. Within early childhood education classrooms, CLRAs provide a space for teachers and students to collaboratively explore and develop a critical perspective towards texts ( Rodríguez, 2016 ; Rodríguez Martinez, 2017 AU54: The citation "Rodríguez Martinez, 2017" matches the reference "Rodríguez Martínez, 2017", but an accent or apostrophe is different. ).

Critical Literacy: A perspective towards texts where readers identify, question, disrupt, reimagine and reshape the different versions of the world that are portrayed, understanding that language and texts are never neutral ( Rodríguez Martínez, 2017 ).

Children’s Literacy Practices: “All the ways of expression that children use to convey meaning to themselves and to the others regardless of the setting where they are. We think they do not make any distinctions between their in- and out-of-school literacy practices, they intertwine them using the resources they get in both settings to enrich their personal literacies” ( Cañas Mejía & Ocampo Castro, 2015 , p.13).

Multimodality: “We consider a multimodal text as any way that children use to express their ideas. Teachers can also use multimodality in their classes by including different ways to present the information” ( Cañas Mejía & Ocampo Castro, 2015 , p.22).

Multiliteracies: “A class process where teachers must go beyond the basic practices of reading and writing helping students know the world and transform it. We think that this change in perspective makes the whole class different because students have the opportunity to get involved and engaged in their own learning process” ( Cañas Mejía & Ocampo Castro, 2015 , p.8).

Multimodal Storytelling: It is a teaching strategy that mixes storytelling and multimodality. It relies on different ways to present a story by integrating modes, such as: gestures, audio, videos, images, labels, words, textures, or smells to create meaning, in this case, the story. While traditional storytelling mainly requires the usage of hearing and sight senses, multimodal storytelling involves five senses to decode the message of the story and foster multisensory perception ( López-Ladino, 2017 ).

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