Academic journal article Australian Journal of Language and Literacy

Editorial Introduction

Academic journal article Australian Journal of Language and Literacy

Editorial Introduction

Article excerpt

This issue deals with a range of subjects, all of which are very topical at present. In the context of the first year of national testing of basic literacy and numeracy in Australian schools, the first article by Kathy Mills draws our attention to the curricular implications of this kind of large-scale basic literacy assessment, including the extent to which it may impact on the need to reconceptualize the nature of literacy and literacy learning, and indeed what counts as basic literacy skills, in the age of globalised, digital, multimedia information and communication technology.

The second article by Kieran Abel and Beryl Exley is significant from a number of perspectives. It focuses on the difficulties experienced by children in the early years of schooling in negotiating 'worded' mathematics learning and assessment tasks. The authors use systemic functional grammar and discourse to elucidate the nature of the textual difficulties by relating the linguistic structures of these maths tasks to the required syllabus outcomes dealing with the grammatical understandings expected of children of this age. The paper importantly addresses the area of literacy in early mathematics learning and emphasizes the efficacy of functional grammatical concepts as tools for investigative enquiry and pedagogic practice. This paper also exemplifies the importance of teacher critical reflection as a productive form of applied research and the capacity of pre-service teachers to adopt a scholar-teacher role in contributing to such research in the context of effective mentorship by teacher educators. …

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