Using Multicultural Literature as a Tool for Multicultural Education in Teacher Education Juli-Anna Aerila

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Becoming a (multilingual) reader and writer

Uffe Ladegaard
Abstract: The project is a four years part time study starting in September 2013.
The aim of the project is to investigate and understand how multilingual children become readers and writers in the Danish education.
Research questions:

• How do multilingual readers and writers develop identities as participants or non-participants in formal educational settings?

• How do these students gain access to or non-access to the literacy practices in the school?
The study is based on an on going longitudinal study of literacy in multilingual classrooms called ‘Signs of language’. The main part of my data material comes from this project. The empirical basis is collected over a period of seven years in one class and consists of video-based classroom observation, field notes, pictures, interviews with the students and what can be characterized as quasi-experimental activities. Furthermore I have access to multi-modal products made by the students.
In practice I am following two multilingual children in the first eight years of their schooling. The study has two components:

1. An analysis of the video-based classroom observations, interviews and the quasi-experimental activities for an understanding of the trajectories of identities as readers and writers which the two students makes.

2. An analysis of their multimodal products in order to understand the linguistic transformations that occurs during this period.
The project takes a social perspective on the development of language and literacy and draw on a social semiotic perspective (Kress 1997) and the New Literacy Studies (eg. Barton 1994, Barton and Hamilton 2003). To understand the relation between literacy and identity I draw on what Packer (2001) refers to as the ‘ontological’ approach to learning (se also Lave 1993, Wenger 1998, Wortham 2005) where academic learning and social identification are seen as interrelated processes.

Signs of literacy identity



Social identification processes

Semiotic Transformations

Educational affordances of iPads: How iPads can support first language teaching

Else Lauridsen & Jens Jørgen Hansen
Abstract: During the last couple of years many Danish schools have invested much money in buying iPads for educational use. But research is needed on if and how iPads can support the students’ learning process. Therefore, the aim of this project is to study the affordances of iPads and how iPads can support students in primary and lower secondary school in achieving the objectives of teaching Danish in Denmark.
The study is conducted within the framework of affordances as a concept for describing the possible uses of an artefact. Based on Bærentsen and Trettvik’s (2002) approach to affordances we aim to identify the operational, the instrumental and the need related affordances of iPads in relation to the learning objectives of teaching Danish. The paper therefore contributes to the contemporary international discussion on the educational affordances of iPads (Miller and Doering 2014, Karsenti and Fievez 2013, Burden et al. 2012, Jahnke 2013).
The paper is based on a case study of a Danish 6th grade class where the students are equipped with iPads. Data is gathered through observations of the Danish lessons, interviews with students and their teacher, questionnaires answered by the students and study of teaching materials as well as the students' own products. The data is analysed in relation to the four primary learning objectives of first language teaching: understanding texts, producing texts, understanding communication and establishing basic reading and writing skills (Hansen 2012). The study shows practical examples of how iPads can afford support to reaching the four objectives of teaching first languages and the general objective of teaching students study techniques. Based on the findings we develop a model that can be used by first language teachers as a pedagogical tool for inspiration, planning and reflection, by policymakers who consider investing in iPads for teaching purposes, and by researchers as an analytical tool. The model is centred around the learning objectives of first language teaching and it identifies subsidiary objectives that can be achieved with support of iPads.
Keywords: First language teaching, case study, iPads, affordances.

Burden, K., Hopkins, P., Male, T., Martin, S., Trala, S. (2012): iPad Scotland Evaluation, Faculty of Education, The University of Hull

Bærentsen, K. B. and Trettvik, J. (2002): An activity theory approach to affordances, NordiCHI '02 Proceedings of the second Nordic conference on Human-computer interaction, ACM, 51 – 60

Hansen, J.J. (2012): Dansk som undervisningsfag - perspektiver på didaktik og design, Dansklærerforeningens Forlag.

Jahnke, I (2013): Teaching Practices in iPad-Classrooms: Alignment of Didactical Designs, Mobile Devices and Creativity, International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 5(3), 1-16

Karsenti, T. and Fievez, A. (2013). The iPad in education: uses, benefits, and challenges – A survey of 6,057 students and 302 teachers in Quebec (Canada). Montreal, QC: CRIFPE.

Miller, C. and Doering, A. (ed.) (2014): The New Landscape of Mobile Learning: Redesigning Education in an App-based World, Routledge

An integrated teaching programme for written composition and literature study through the media

Michael L. A. Le Cordeur
Abstract: This research concerns L1-teaching of Afrikaans at secondary level as an integrated and merged approach of writing composition and literature. There is currently a big debate in South Africa on the issue of teaching Afrikaans as an L1-language given the fact that our country has eleven official languages. Schools are under pressure to teach all children through the L2-teaching of English. Research is required to determine what path the teaching of Afrikaans will have to embark on. Technological development puts the media within reach of more people each day. Pupils spend a great deal of time watching television, movies and videos; listening to CD’s, surfing the internet, writing on social media or chatting on their iPhones. Neuropsychological research has shown that the human brain functions optimally when teaching is integrated. Therefore the aim of this study is twofold: First the researcher will show that for secondary learners to read and write with comprehension, reading and writing must be taught simultaneously as it is two sides of the same process.

Secondly the study aims to incorporate learners’ interest in the mass media into the reading-and-writing programme. Hence the research question that guides this research is as follows: Is there a need to integrate the media into the teaching of writing composition and literature? Secondly, is it possible to have this integration in the reading-and-writing programme by focussing on the media? The theoretical framework that underpins the study is Piaget’s theory of cognitive development as well as Vygotsky’s social constructivist theory who emphasise that the learners are active participants in the learning process (Woolfolk 2010:43) as well as the role of language in facilitating cognitive development (Louis 2009:20). The method used in this study entailed an investigation of the relevant literature by means of the theoretical-scientific approach of the integration teaching model. Many current educational theories and practices can be understood better in terms of experiences from the past. The knowledge and insights acquired from the literature study offered valuable data in terms of integrating writing and literature and whether those changes will be effective and sustainable.

Keywords: L1-teaching of Afrikaans, integrated approach; media, writing composition; literature.

BAYLES, Kathryn. 1981. Language and the brain. In: Clark, Virginia. 1981: Language introductory readings. New York: St. Martin's Press, 172-189.

BEACH, Richard & JoAnne LIEBMAN-KLEINE. 1986. The writing/reading relationship: Becoming one's own best reader. In: Petersen, B.T. (red. ) Convergences: Transactions in reading and writing.Urbana, National Council of Teachers of English, 64-81.

BIRNBAUM, June. 1986. Refelctive thought : The connection between reading and writing. In: Petersen, Bruce T. (red.). Convergences: Transactions in reading and

writing. Urbana, National Council of Teachers of English, 30-45.

CELCE-MURCIA, Marianne. 1978. Language Teaching aids. In: Newbury House Publishers, 307-314.

DOUGHERTY, Barbey N. 1986. Writing plans as strategies for reading, writing and revising. Transactions in reading and writing. Urbana, National Council of Teachers of English, 82-96.

DOWHOWER, S.L. 1999. Supporting a strategic stance in the classroom: A comprehension framework for helping teachers help students to be strategic. The Reading Teacher, 52(7):672-688.

DENSCOMBE, M. 1998. The good research guide for small scale social research projects. Philidelphia: Open University Press.

HAIRSTON, Maxine. 1986. Using nonfiction literature in the composition classroom. In: Petersen, Bruce T. (red.) Convergences : Transactions in reading and writing. Urbana, National Council of Teachers of English, 179-188.

LE CORDEUR, M.L.A. 2004. The improvement of reading by means of media reading strategies for Afrikaans (grade 7): a case study. PhD-dissertation. Stellenbosch University.

LEMMER, E.M. 1995. Selected linguistic realities in South African schools: problems and prospects. Educare, 24(2):82-95.

Louis, G.W. 2009. Using Glasser’s choice theory to understand Vygotsky. International Journal of Reality Therapy, 28(2):20-23.

STANOVICH, K.E. 2000. Progress in understanding reading: scientific foundations and new frontiers. New York: Guilford.

WOOLFOLK, A. 2010. Educational psychology. 11de uitgawe. New Jersey: Pearson Education.

"Call to teach" of Estonian and Finnish teacher students of mother tongue and literature

Kersti Lepajoe & Satu E. M. Grünthal
Abstract: The aim of our paper is to investigate the motivation of career choice and career orientation of Finnish and Estonian subject teacher students of mother tongue and literature. The research data was collected through an e-survey in the spring term of 2014 amongst Finnish students from the University of Helsinki and Estonian students from the University of Tartu.

The data is analyzed as well quantitatively as qualitatively. Results of Finnish and Estonian student groups are discussed in comparison to each other and, respectively, in the context of national subject teacher education curricula and teachers’ socio-economic situation.

The research is theoretically anchored to D. T. Hansen’s concept of ‘call to teach’ (1995), and it takes into account the recent research on beliefs about teaching and career choice (e.g. Löfström, E. & Poom-Valickis, K., 2013; Rots, I. & al, 2010) and the sociological context of teacher’s profession (Darling-Hammond, L. & Bransford, J., 2013). The research data is analyzed in the framework of different dimensions of teacher’s vocation, such as the social and ethical aspects of teaching, teacher’s constant professional development, and the emotional rewardingness of teaching. Also, the very concept of vocation in comparison to career choice is questioned in the analysis.

The weight students gave to the importance of subject knowledge, research-based teacher orientation and multicultural aspects in mother tongue and literature education are also scrutinized in the paper. In this respect, Higgins’ (2005) suggestion of seeing professions as ways of interacting with the world turns out useful.

First results of the data analysis reveal remarkable differences in, for example, the social status of teacher’s profession in Finland and Estonia. Despite of this, the ‘call to teach’ of Estonian mother tongue and literature students seems to be even stronger than that of Finnish students. In both countries the students’ inner motivation to become teachers is clear, and, therefore, the challenge of teacher education is to foster this career choice and to evoke awareness of the social orientation and social dimensions of teacher’s profession.
Keywords: career choice, vocation, motivation

Darling-Hammond, Linda & Bransford, John (Eds.). 2013. Preparing Teachers for a Changing World. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Dewey, John. 1916. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education,

Hansen, David. 1995. The Call to Teach. New York: Teachers’ College Press.

Higgins, Christopher. 2005. Dewey’s conception of vocation. – Journal of Curriculum Studies vol 37, nr 4, 441–464

Löfström, Erika and Poom-Valickis, Katrin. 2013, Beliefs about teaching: Persistent or malleable? – Teaching and Teacher Education 35/2013.

Rots, Isabel & al. 2010, Teacher education and the choice to enter the teaching profession – Teaching and Teacher Education 26/2010.

Language teachers' perspectives on mother tongue language education in a multilingual post-colonial region

Wai H Leung
Abstract: Language learning is more than acquisition of linguistic skills but also a social, psychological and cultural process (e.g. Lin, 2012; Ochs, 2002; Vygotsky, 1987). Mother tongue language (MTL) is a core subject in most countries/regions' school curriculum. Usually, the language is both the tool with which knowledge and skills are taught and learned, and the vehicle for students to learn about the traditions of the countries' literature and culture (e.g. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013; Department of Education, UK, 2013a, 2013b; Department of Elementary Education, 2011; Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, 2011; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, 2011). However, MTL education in Hong Kong is complicated by the colonial history. Traditionally, Chinese language education was a mixture of education on philosophy, history, politics and literacy. On the other hand, as a British colony, the previous Hong Kong MTL curriculum emphasized more on linguistics skills instead of transmission of Chinese cultural, literary and ethical values. With the sovereignty of Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, the new Chinese language curriculum seems to reflect a shift to a more all-rounded model. This study looks at the role of culture in MTL education in postcolonial Hong Kong. It takes a critical perspective on the ways in which a language teacher views the aims and objectives of the language subject he/she is teaching as immediately affecting both the design and pedagogies in the curriculum.
So what are Hong Kong language teachers' perspectives on mother tongue language education in the post-colonial period? Interviews were administrated to explore how language teachers view the aims and objectives of MTL education as well as their current practice. Results of the interview on seventeen teachers indicate that although teachers agreed that culture is an important element in MTL education, their practice contrasted this view in focusing on linguistic skills and knowledge. This points to a strong influence of the previous colonial skills-based language curriculum on their modern day pedagogical practices. Attempts will be made to identify implications for culturally transformative teacher education in post-colonial Hong Kong.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2013). The Australian curriculum English. Retrieved from

Department for Education, UK. (2013a). National curriculum in England. English programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2. Retrieved from

Department for Education, UK. (2013b). National curriculum in England. English programmes of study: key stage 3. Retrieved from

Department of Elementary Education. (2011). 國民中小學九年一貫課程綱要語文學習領域(國語文) [Elementary Secondary and Primary Education Grades 1-9 Curriculum Guidelines Language Learning Area (National Language)]. Retrieved from國語文課綱1000406.doc

Lin, W.C. (2012). Language competition and challenges in plurilingual education: the case of a Hakka school in Taiwan. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 12, 1-19.

Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. (2011). 義務教育語文課程標準 [Basic Education Language Curriculum Guide]. Retrieved from

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. (2011). The revisions of the Courses of Study for elementary and secondary schools. Retrieved from

Ochs, E. (2002). Becoming a speaker of culture. In C. Kramsch (Ed.), Language acquisition and language socialization (pp99-120). London: Continuum.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1987). The collected works of L.S. Vygotsky. New York: Plenum Press.

The efficacy of using digital lecture in language learning contexts

Pamela P.W. Leung
Abstract: To cater for the learning needs of students who have been intensively exposed to computer-based technology, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the higher education sector is becoming increasingly popular in the 21st century (Shivetts, 2011). Apart from the use of Learning Management System (LMS), such as Moodle and Mahara, a team of nine lecturers in a higher education institute in Hong Kong have attempted to explore innovative means of e-learning for the "Net Generation". The focus of exploration was on the development of digital lectures (DL). The attempt was based on the positive experiences that students wished to develop online DL libraries for their flexible access of course materials at anytime and anywhere (Demetriadis & Pombortsis, 2007) and for catching up on face-to-face lectures that had been missed (Boffey, Gerrans & Kennedy, 2010). Working in a non-ICT background, the team has adopted a "start from small" approach and completed a teaching development project which sought answers to two questions:

1. What are the effects of DLs in facilitating students to learn in the respective course contexts?

2. What lessons have the lecturers learned in the attempt to adopt DLs as an additional resource to augment conventional face-to-face lectures?

By a “one course one digital lecture” principle, a total of nine DLs were produced for various courses, ranging from language studies, literature to language teaching methods. These DLs were uploaded to a LMS of each course for students’ reference. After the semester finished, a voluntary online survey was conducted to solicit students’ feedback. A total of 58 students (16%) responded. In addition, two focus groups, each involved five and seven students, were organised to invite elaborated comments. Reflections of the lecturers were collected through in-depth interviews on an individual basis.

Overall, the students involved agreed that the DLs were conducive to their learning in various aspects but they disagreed that these could replace the face-to-face lectures. The lecturers regarded the process as a valuable opportunity for reflection on quality learning and teaching rather than personal advancement in ICT competency.
Keywords: digital lecture; blended learning; e-learning in higher education

Boffey, R., Gerrans, P., & Kennedy, S. (2010). Using digital lectures to assist student learning. eCULTURE, 3, 169-186.

Demetriadis, S., & Pombortsis, A. (2007). E-lectures for flexible learning: A study on their learning efficiency. Educational Technology & Society, 10 (2), 147-157.

Shivetts, C. (2011). E-Learning and blended learning: The importance of the learner a research literature review. International Journal on E-Learning, 10(3), 331-337.

Narrative imagination and narrative voice in narrative texts written by students in early school years

Caroline Liberg
Abstract: In curriculum studies more extended ways of teaching and learning in different subject areas have been discussed in terms of fostering citizens who are able to give voice to a critical and reflecting position (1). The purpose of this study is to investigate students’ writing of narrative texts in early school years (grade 1 to 3) in order to see in what way this writing could contribute to students’ development of such a citizenship.
The study is based on the perspective of Bakhtin’s dialogism in order to identify students’ voices (2). In this perspective students’ writings, their utterances, is viewed as a voicing and also a re-voicing of earlier utterances. Furthermore a narrative voice in a text will be interpreted in terms of the use of narrative imagination as discussed in Nussbaum´s work (3). The question in focus is thereby to what degree the texts give the possibilities to take the perspective of the other and to cultivate one’s “inner eye” that will e.g. promote a respect for the voices and rights of others, and/or challenge our conventional wisdom and values. In order to describe how these voices are expressed in language a social semiotic perspective as developed in Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL; 4) is used. In SFL the semiotic systems are considered to form a meaning resource from which we choose when we articulate ourselves. By these choices, certain aspects are put in the background while others are foregrounded. The selected language forms are thus highly significant and colored with ideology.
Four hundred texts written on eighteen occasions are examined. Preliminary results indicate that these texts can be placed on a scale from texts realizing a plain narrative voice to texts realizing a combination of narrative voices. Such combinations contribute many times to a more or less complex thematic rhythm in the text.
In the presentation critical examples of students’ texts will be described concerning the narrative voices they realize, and language characteristics of these voices. The results will be discussed concerning what writer positions the texts could be said to realize and what reader positions they could be said to invite to.
Keywords: narrative texts, narrative imagination, narrative voice, writing, early school years

(1) - Englund, T. (1986). Curriculum as a Political Problem. Changing Educational Conceptions with special reference to Citizenship Education. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

- Liberg, C., Wiksten Folkeryd, J., af Geijerstam, Å. (2012). Swedish - An updated school subject? Education Inquiry, 3(4), 471-493.

- Roberts, D. (2011). Competing Visions of Scientific Literacy: The Influence of a Science Curriculum Policy Image. In C. Linder, L. Östman, D.A. Roberts, P-O. Wickman, G. Erickson & A. MacKinnon (Eds.), Exploring the Landscape of Scientific Literacy (pp. 11-27). New York: Routledge.

(2) - Bakhtin, M.M. (1986). Speech genres and other late essays. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

- Smidt, J. (2011). Finding Voices in a Changing World: Standard Language Education as a Site for Developing Critical Literacies. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 55(6), 655-669.

(3) - Nussbaum, Martha (1997). Cultivating Humanity. A classical defenseof reform in liberal education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
(4) - Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An introduction to functional grammar (3. ed.). London: Arnold.
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