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ERIC Number: EJ932699
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1354-0602
Troubling Literacy: Monolingual Assumptions, Multilingual Contexts, and Language Teacher Expertise
Cross, Russell
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, v17 n4 p467-478 2011
The current educational context in many English speaking countries is one where literacy is understood to be essentially monolingual in orientation; that is, an understanding of literacy around a single common language, with the emphasis on identifying universal, normative "standards" and "benchmarks", such as the "National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy" in Australia, the "Primary National Strategy" in the United Kingdom, and "No Child Left Behind" in the United States. This paper aims to problematise such assumptions by examining how teachers, themselves, understand "teaching literacy" when their students come to the teaching/learning relationship with a first language other than English. With a focus on teachers working with bilingual and multilingual students in their early stages of acquiring English as a second language (ESL), the study thus acknowledges the increasingly diverse sociolinguistic profile of students in Australia and elsewhere in the varying degrees of communicative competence they bring to the mainstream in their use of ESL. Moreover, it draws on ESL teacher knowledge and expertise which has been identified as increasingly marginalised within mainstream educational discourse. Through case studies of three ESL teachers in the middle years, salient themes around the interrelated notions of "literacy as learning", "language for literacy" and "language as literacy" were identified with respect to the literacy needs of second language learners. (Contains 1 note and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia