ERIC Number: EJ1131415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
Functional Digital Literacy Calls for SOS by a Smuggled Afghan Boy: Teaching Phonics and Pragmatics for Survival Language
Lu, Lucia Y.
Journal on English Language Teaching, v6 n3 p13-21 Jul-Sep 2016
On April 8, 2016 when the class was discussing "digital literacy," a shocking news story from London AP intrigued us. The news was about a brief text message delivered by Ahmed, a refugee Afghan boy of 6-year old. His text message flashed on the cellphone of Liz Clegg, a volunteer at a migrant camp in France. Clegg and other volunteers had handed out hundreds of basic cellphones to children living there, programming in a phone number for them to text in case of danger. The author read Ahmed's text message and tried to "sound it out." My students figured out that the message was "invented spelling" which was Ahmed's call for SOS. The text message was in the Pashto language, and was identified as "broken English"on a no-frills cellphone. The police in London quickly set off a trans-Atlantic search and rescued Ahmed and the other 14 migrants who were smuggled in a locked refrigerator truck which was heading toward England. The author and her students defined this shocking text message as "digital literacy." In this research, they embedded phonics and pragmatics into digital literacy to make literacy education more functional to ELLs like Ahmed whose first language is not English.
Descriptors: Technological Literacy, English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, News Reporting, Refugees, Telecommunications, Volunteers, Emergency Shelters, Invented Spelling, Indo European Languages, Synchronous Communication, Police, Foreign Countries, Phonics, Pragmatics, Literacy Education, Teaching Methods, Language Experience Approach, Daily Living Skills, Semiotics, Phonemic Awareness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia