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Saturday, September 15, 2007

More than books 


text decay
Originally uploaded by YanivG.

Shifting patterns in the media consumption of children and young people have serious implications for literacy educators. Although there seems to be little evidence of a decline in book sales, uses of literacy are clearly becoming more diverse. Book reading must find a comfortable place alongside video-gaming, social networking and virtual world play. Research findings on the role of sharing storybooks in promoting reading success are certainly convincing. But does this simply reflect the nature of schooled literacy and how we define and assess reading success? Apart from the work on rhyme and wordplay, there is little empirical study of other literacy practices and their influence on reading development. Research on digital literacy tends to focus on older children, often drawing attention to the gaps between what is valued and taught in schools and the practices of children in out of school contexts. Perhaps it is time to start using this knowledge about the diversity of literacy to close these gaps. In order to do this we need more work that profiles changing patterns of literacy development in early childhood and at the start of compulsory schooling. (Many thanks to Yaniv Golan for his ‘Text Decay’ picture, which you can also see here)

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