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ERIC Number: EJ1260935
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0155-2147
Othering or Inclusion? Teacher Practice around Asian Voices and Identities in Literature
Thomas, Angela; To, Vinh
English in Australia, v54 n3 p18-27 2019
'Asia literacy' can be loosely defined as having 'some understanding of Asia and its languages in order to engage with it and communicate with its people' (Erebus Consulting Partners, 2002). The Australian Curriculum has prioritised children's development of Asia literacy, specifically through articulating the cross-curriculum priority defined as 'Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia'. In terms of the English curriculum, this priority is realised through an emphasis on the representation of Asian voices and characters in literature that is studied in the classroom. However, previous research undertaken in schools to explore the use of multicultural literature by teachers has demonstrated an uncritical approach to literature, with teachers tending to set up binary opposites of 'Australian' and 'the Other' (Leong & Woods, 2017; Mendoza & Reese, 2001; Rodriguez & Kim, 2018). This paper will present the complexities of practice with literature centred around countries from Asia as represented through research with five Tasmanian teachers -- one early childhood teacher, three primary school teachers, and one secondary English teacher. It will examine the factors that influence teachers to use literature from Asian countries, their selection of literature, and their classroom practice with literature. Finally, it will make some recommendations for a stronger future whereby Asian peoples, voices and stories are integrated more inclusively and critically in teachers' everyday practice.
Australian Association for the Teaching of English. English House, 416 Magill Road, Kensington Gardens, SA 5068 Australia. Tel: +61-8-8332-2845; Fax: +61-8-8333-0394; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A