Technologies and Literacies in Language Education: Looking Beyond Communicative Competence
Rick Kern, University of California, Berkeley
In the current era of globalization and intense social and technological innovation, the teaching of normative language forms is inadequate preparation to deal with the varied communicative contexts in which people work, learn, play, and shape their identities. On the other hand, we also sell our students short if we focus narrowly on electronic literacies. Rather than attempting to distinguish between "new" literacies and "old" literacies (linked to "new" and "old" technologies), I propose an approach that brings attention to relationships between current and past literacy practices in order to prepare learners for the future. This approach focuses on teaching literacy in the broadest sense: traditional literacy, visual literacy, new media literacy - literacy for communicative competence but also for symbolic competence - to show how all technologies and mediums influence the design of communication and embody values and fundamental ideas about what communication is. The presentation will develop a set of principles and goals for this educational approach, then propose ways to achieve those goals through a "relational pedagogy" that focuses on how meanings emerge from interactions among material, social, and individual resources.
Wendy Johnson, 608-262-4077
Doctoral Program in SLA Program, and Language Institute.