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ERIC Number: EJ762843
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 19
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0782
Cheating Literacy: The Limitations of Simulated Classroom Discourse in Educational Software for Children
Walton, Marion
Language and Education, v21 n3 p197-215 2007
This paper presents a multimodal discourse analysis of children using "drill-and-practice" literacy software at a primary school in the Western Cape, South Africa. The children's interactions with the software are analysed. The software has serious limitations which arise from the global political economy of the educational software industry. The package was structured around the UK National Curriculum's standardised literacy testing, and then adapted or "localised" for use in South Africa. In the localisation process, details of content and language are customised, but the coded structure of the package (together with its educational assumptions) remains essentially unchanged. The children's interactions with the localised program are analysed as a simulation of classroom discourse. Despite the obvious limitations of the software, the study shows the children constructing their own contextual meanings from the rules of the package, and learning to interact with them as a rule-governed text. Their troubleshooting and cheating exploits are a source of pleasure to them, as they focus on the software's game-like economy of scores and marks.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa; United Kingdom