‘Socio-Cultural’ Approaches to Language, Literacy and Learning

Topics: Linguistics, Meaning of life, Text messaging Pages: 5 (1974 words) Published: October 13, 2010
Socio-cultural can be defined as relating to the social and cultural practices, thoughts, beliefs and traditions within a particular society (Princeton University, 2003). Language is used worldwide, however every individual learns their own and different language and literacy’s in a variety of ways. Everyone creates their own Discourse. As a teacher we must learn these ways and relate them to our own knowledge about learning language and then create a new unknown discourse of language for the students. In doing this we may refer to the 4 Resources Model (Freebody and Luke, 1990), language as a social cultural practice, literacy development and different text types. Without language the world we live in would not exist as it does. Texts are constructed to make meaning. But in saying that how a consumer reads or interprets a text may determine its meaning. Ways in which language is used vary exceedingly from different cultures, different nations and different people. The way we use language can depend on who we are talking to what context we are talking in and what we are talking about. Talking is not the only way we communicate in the world today. There is media e.g. TV and radio and also text message and email as well as written text in books and papers. The context a consumer brings to a text can determine its meaning because they may have a different understanding of the things around them. This is their social and cultural knowledge and their own interpretations; however this does not mean their interpretations are wrong. All children come from a different background or specific cultural beliefs. As a teacher you must be able to communicate with your students on a number of different levels and for this to occur a teacher must be aware of a student’s social context and accommodate appropriately. Through the use of the 4 resources model we are able to recognise that students of different social contexts will interpret texts and different sorts of language in a variety of ways. As a teacher we must be aware of this and be able to accommodate lessons in appropriate ways. In our EML110 workshop with Davidson she handed out a lesson plan on an overview of a unit relating to the three billy-goats gruff. This was an example of planning and pedagogy and focusing on making the reading process more transparent to accommodate for students socio-cultural background and their learning’s of language through the 4 resources model (Anstey & Bull, 2004). The 4 resources model created by Freebody and Luke, 1990 includes code breaking, text participant, text user and text analyst. The Code Breaker which refers to ‘recognising the marks on the page and the patterns of language’ (Green & Campbell, 2004) is the first step to help determine meaning in text. You must pick out the symbols and use prior knowledge to make meaning, however determining the students background they may interpret it different so as a teacher you must support and explain yes that is correct but what about this as well. In the lesson plan the teacher has accommodated all resources and used a number of different activities for the student to do. The teacher has used a code breaking activity of mapping out the story and plotting the story about the 4 billy goats gruff. This teaches the students sequence of events and creates their own meaning of a story relating to the main aspects. The text participant relates to multiliteracies, ‘the reader draws upon, in conjunction with other resources to make sense of text and using prior experience and knowledge’ (Green & Campbell, 2004). This is where teachers need to respect the student’s socio-cultural background and draw upon their own experiences in life which can also teach the other students. In the lesson plan the teacher created a great support for those students that had different backgrounds and made them feel a part of the story and the class. They used children’s writing where they could celebrate and share their own...
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