Developing Advanced Literacy in First and Second Languages: Meaning with Power

Developing Advanced Literacy in First and Second Languages: Meaning with Power

Developing Advanced Literacy in First and Second Languages: Meaning with Power

Developing Advanced Literacy in First and Second Languages: Meaning with Power

Synopsis

This book addresses the linguistic challenges faced by diverse populations of students at the secondary and post-secondary levels as they engage in academic tasks requiring advanced levels of reading and writing. Learning to use language in ways that meet academic expectations is a challenge for students who have had little exposure and opportunity to use such language outside of school. Although much is known about emergent literacy in the early years of schooling, much less has been written about the development of advanced literacy as students move into secondary education and beyond. Developing Advanced Literacy in First and Second Languages: Meaning With Power:

• brings together work on first and second language acquisition and emphasizes the importance of developing advanced literacy in the first language, such as Spanish for bilingual students, as well as English;

• spans a range of theoretical orientations and analytic approaches, drawing on work in systemic functional linguistics, genre theory, and sociocultural perspectives;

• addresses the content areas of science, history, and language arts;

• provides specific information about genres and grammatical features in these content areas; and

• presents suggestions for teacher education.

What unites the contributors to this volume is their shared commitment to a view of literacy that emphasizes both the social contexts and the linguistic challenges. The chapters collected in this volume contribute in important ways to research and pedagogy on advanced literacy development for the multilingual and multicultural students in today's classrooms. This book is particularly useful for researchers and students in language and education, applied linguistics, and others concerned with issues and challenges of advanced literacy development in first and second languages.

Excerpt

This book addresses the challenges that advanced literacy presents for students from all backgrounds in our ever-changing society. As directors of university programs in which students from diverse linguistic and social backgrounds are learning to write in Spanish and English at advanced levels, we recognize the need for more research that explores the issues involved in the development of advanced literacy. Our book brings together work that addresses a range of student populations and disciplinary contexts.

In February 2000, we invited many of the contributors to this book to a conference on advanced literacy at the University of California, Davis, sponsored by a grant from the Humanities Research Institute of the University of California at Irvine. This book includes some of the findings presented there together with work from other scholars. It offers insights into the social and linguistic challenges that face students as they engage in academic tasks that require advanced levels of reading and writing. It is intended to serve researchers, teachers, and students, presenting both theory and practice related to the literacy contexts and genres that engage students from the late elementary grades through secondary and tertiary education. Disciplinary areas that are addressed include science, history, language arts, and teacher education.

This book illustrates approaches to research and pedagogy appropriate for first-language development across languages as well as second-language development. It brings together research on students' development of advanced literacy skills in English and Spanish, with a focus both on bilingual contexts and English as a second language (ESL) contexts. It also addresses the challenges of advanced literacy for native speakers of English, including students for whom standard English is a second dialect.

This research spans a range of theoretical orientations and analytic approaches, drawing especially on work in functional linguistics and sociocultural theory. Students in an academic environment have to use language to negotiate different social identities as they interact with new textual genres. This book emphasizes the linguistic perspective on these challenges, while still highlighting the more widely studied social perspective.

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