As the linguistic and cultural diversity of the classroom grows, English learners (Els) cannot meet the academic expectations within the current American educational system which leads to ELs' over-enrollment in remedial courses, over-representation of low scores on standardized tests, and disproportionate high school drop-out rates (United States Department of Planning, 2016). The shared theoretical framework of these practitioner research projects drew upon ELs' funds of knowledge and culturally relevant pedagogy to ground transformative literacy instruction within the secondary setting. As a team of agentive teacher-researchers, we have turned to funds of knowledge (Moll et al., 1992; Gonzalez et al., 2005) and culturally responsive (Gay, 2018) theories as a resource for addressing these issues. These two studies explore how secondary teacher-researchers in US classrooms addressed the issue of negotiating differences locally and globally, virtually and actually, against the transnational backdrop of heightened immigration/refugee displacement, precarity, and educational barriers in the US. Data sources included classroom observations, student interviews, student artifacts, field notes, member checking, immigration stories, and critical migration memoirs. Through evaluating immigration/migration stories presented as classroom assignments, practitioners used student knowledge to transform literacy practices in secondary English language and literature classrooms. Recommendations include a call for projects focused on student expereinces in the literacy curriculum, a need for “brave spaces” for students and families, where “courage” and understanding may be necessary when sharing sensitive information with new audiences (Arao & Clemens, 2013, p.141), and a recognition of how immigration shapes lives.
English Additional Language Teachers’ Perceptions of the Digital Learning In-Service Training for Professional Development View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Margaret Malewaneng Maja
In-service training is essential for the English First Additional Language teachers’ professional development. However, a well-presented, organised, and interactive in-service training is determined primarily by the teachers by assessing whether they benefited from the workshop. This study investigates the Intermediate Phase English additional language teachers’ perceptions of the in-service training workshop on how to embrace digital learning conducted at one of the rural circuits in Limpopo. The study is grounded in an interpretivist perspective informed by the technology acceptance model (TAM). Ten EFAL teachers were purposively selected of which four were male and six were female. This qualitative case study utilised semi-structured interviews for data collection. Thematic analysis is used as a data analysis method. In this exploration, the author argues that attaining teachers’ perceptions will assist in whether the conducted workshop objectives have been met or not. It is concluded that if the workshop objectives have not been met, the additional in-service training workshop on acceptance of digital learning will take place.
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Souzana Mizan
The last 50 years, the use of the Internet has become widespread. During the pandemic, digital infrastructure and Internet connections were given to students of basic and higher education so that they could turn their private space into home schooling. However, as Avila (2020) warns us “over the past nearly fifty years, the architecture of the Internet has changed from a largely democratic network of autonomous nodes to a distributed feudal structure, which centralises flows of data into a few hands” (p. 47). Digital culture is constituted in most of the cases by celebratory discourses of equality, diversity, freedom of speech and democracy. On the other hand, the more people adhere to the platformization of our lives, the richer the owners of these platforms become. Avila (2020) is keen on studying “this process of how dominant countries within a global system benefit from the digitisation of poor and middle-income countries in what appears to be a new form of colonialism” (p. 47). Thus, digital colonialism perpetuates the coloniality of knowledge, of power and of being by using epistemologies that seek the concentration of digital know-how in very few places, such as the Silicon Valley, while countries in the Global South are users of platforms and softwares whose source code and algorithms they are forbidden to know. In this study we show that the ongoing process of digitalization is entangled with and led by the logic of colonialism and its ensuing coloniality of power, knowledge, and being (MIGNOLO; WALSH, 2018).
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Paula Saine
In order for adolescents to develop as writers, they must be taught to write through high-quality instruction and given time to write authentic pieces of writing in the classroom. This session focuses on redefined literacy instructional practices that were used to prepare and support high school students during a Writing Project. Findings indicated that having the choice of a valued topic, writing for impact, and receiving feedback that centered on expression rather than conventions created an authentic writing experience for a high school writer. These are important factors for teachers to consider as they redefine literacy instructional practices to enhance the authenticity of the writing experiences. Thus, this study highlights an emergent case from the project to demonstrate the remote writing collaboration in action and evaluate the writing experience of the high school writer. Finally, reflections on the experiences and suggestions for future use are shared.