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ERIC Number: EJ825765
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0098-6291
Critical Language Awareness and Learners in College Transitional English
Sanchez, Deborah M.; Paulson, Eric J.
Teaching English in the Two-Year College, v36 n2 p164-176 Dec 2008
Critical Language Awareness (CLA) is one literacy tool that students need in order to examine limit-situations or "what went wrong." Norman Fairclough defines CLA as an awareness of the ways in which ideas become naturalized or taken for granted as "truths" about the natural and social world and how these "truths" are tied up with language in use. The purpose of CLA is to encourage students to uncover the ways that the language of texts is socially constructed and how language may position students in negative ways, both purposefully and inadvertently. Therefore, reading and writing instruction should not be concerned only with basic skills, but rather it should focus on how students use reading and writing to analyze language--in various textual forms--in order to understand the ways in which texts, and the discourse that makes up texts, may impose certain ideas about the world onto readers. Students would benefit from an awareness of how language functions to impose certain beliefs and values about society. The premise the authors are developing is that the teaching of CLA and critical analysis should begin in transitional English courses, in order to prepare students fully for college-level literacy, democratic citizenship, and the realities of work; it should not be deferred for later composition courses, as is frequently the case. This article reviews literature on CLA studies in transitional English courses and with other related student populations in order to build an argument for and give implications for using CLA as a curricular approach in the classroom.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A