Academic journal article Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies

Promoting Children's Literature: The Challenges and Possibilities of Using the Internet in a Developing society/Die Bevordering Van Kinderliteratuur: Uitdagings Vir En Moontlikhede Van Die Gebruik Van Die Internet in 'N Ontwikkelende Gemeenskap

Academic journal article Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies

Promoting Children's Literature: The Challenges and Possibilities of Using the Internet in a Developing society/Die Bevordering Van Kinderliteratuur: Uitdagings Vir En Moontlikhede Van Die Gebruik Van Die Internet in 'N Ontwikkelende Gemeenskap

Article excerpt

Abstract

Promoting children's literature: The challenges and possibilities of using the Internet in a developing society

This article explores the possibilities and practicalities of using the Internet in a multicultural society such as South Africa to the benefit of language and cultural identity, media literacy and children's literature. Stories create opportunities for worlds to meet and for cultural and language identities to be formed--especially in the minds of children. It is thus of crucial importance that children's literature should be available and advanced in all indigenous languages. The Internet, the information and communication technology of the future, can play a significant role in the creation and transference of cultural identity, including the advancement of indigenous languages in general, and literature and literacy in particular. The vast technical possibilities of the Internet, its cost-efficiency and interactive and inviting character make it an important option to consider for the advancement of children's literature. Although access to the Internet in South Africa is still relatively limited, the importance of new communication technologies is recognised by various policies, the implementation of which could result in the accessibility of electronic media and the literacy of its users. With "Storiewerf", an existing website for Afrikaans children's literature as a working example, new websites can be developed to provide content and services, for other target groups as well.

Key concepts:

children's literature internet language and identity

Opsomming

Die bevordering van kinderliteratuur: uitdagings vir en moontlikhede van die gebruik van die Internet in 'n ontwikkelende gemeenskap

Die artikel verken die moontlikhede en praktiese implikasies om die Internet in 'n multikulturele gemeenskap soos Suid-Afrika te gebruik tot voordeel van taal- en kulturele identiteit, mediageletterdheid en kinder- en jeugliteratuur. Stories bied die geleentheid vir werelde om te ontmoet en vir die vorming van kulturele en taalidentiteit--dit geld veral ten opsigte van kinders. Dit is daarom uiters belangrik dat kinderliteratuur in alle inheemse tale beskikbaar is en bevorder word. Die Internet, as crie inligting- en kommunikasietegnologie van die toekoms, kan 'n belangrike roi speel in die skep en oordrag van kulturele identiteit en die bevordering van inheemse tale, letterkunde en geletterdheid. Vanwee die tegniese moontlikhede, die kosteeffektiwiteit en die interaktiewe en uitnodigende aard van die Internet is dit 'n belangrike opsie om te oorweeg vir die bevordering van kinderliteratuur. In Suid-Afrika het betreklik min mense reeds toegang tot die Internet; nogtans word die belangrikheid van die nuwe kommunikasietegnologie deur staatsbeleid erken, en so ook die feit dat die toepassing daarvan kan bydra tot die beskikbaarheid van elektroniese media en die geletterdheid van gebruikers. Met "Storiewerf", 'n bestaande webtuiste vir Afrikaanse kinderliteratuur as voorbeeld, kan nuwe webtuistes ontwikkel word om inhoud en dienste vir 'n verskeidenheid teikengroepe te verskaf.

Kernbegrippe:

internet kinderliteratuur taal en identiteit

1. Introduction

Stories are important. Through stories in their various forms one acquires language, knowledge and wisdom, shares ideas, makes friends, discovers worlds and extends horizons. Stories also create opportunities for worlds to meet and for cultural and language identities to be formed--especially in the minds of children.

We are living in the Electronic Era, in a world getting smaller, with electronic media as the communication route of the day and the Internet as the highway to information. This phenomenon, it seems, will also hold true for the future. This given implies that children, and literature for children, also need to communicate through this new media. …

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