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ECML PROGRAMME - Programme 2012-2015

A pluriliteracies approach to teaching for learning

A pluriliteracies approach builds on CLIL approaches to help learners become better meaning-makers, who can draw on content knowledge to communicate successfully across languages, disciplines and cultures. In this way it promotes deep learning and helps develop responsible, global citizens.

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Key questions answered by our team. (January 2014)

1. How will the end-result impact teachers/classroom practice?

 2. What is the added value/what is distinctive about our model? How does it add value to what has    already been done in the scientific community?

 3. What is the contribution of the outside experts so far? What are we looking for in the future?

 4. How have we arrived at the model? What was the process?


Dr. Teresa Ting

1. How will the end-result impact teachers/classroom practice?

Well, first of all, to date, CLIL classrooms have hesitated to move beyond “language” into “literacy”, resulting in fluent and confident speakers who may not, however, be accurate and eloquent writers. This is lack of academic literacy is not a problem unique to CLIL but affects education in general, even in the mother tongue: as learners progress from primary into secondary and tertiary education, disciplinary content becomes deeper and disciplinary discourse becomes more specialized and more difficult to manage, becoming, for those outside the disciplinary community: the language of the discipline often sounds like a foreign language, even in our own mother tongue.

 2. What is the added value/what is distinctive about our model? How does it add value to what has already been done in the scientific community?

Literacy is the ability to use language appropriately so to engage with and expand into and engage with the knowledge of respective communities of practice. This calls upon ‘control’ over a wide range of primary and secondary discourses, and awareness of how experts of the discipline use language to discourse about that discipline. The learning of Language is thus essential for building our learners’ meaning making potential, be it spoken or written meaning-making…

 3. What is the contribution of the outside experts so far? What are we looking for in the future?

The outside experts have contributed to delineating the components of effective meaning making and together we have developed a model of meaning-making progression. This model recognizes that effective meaning making must be sensitive to the context at hand: thus the appropriacy of the language being used, the graphs, the images etc… Thus the importance pluriliteracy, both on the productive as well as receptive end of literacy.

 4. How have we arrived at the model? What was the process?

So, now we are ready to delineate concrete ways of helping teachers first becoming aware of their role as curators of literacy and together, establish and evaluate strategies for regularly cultivating literacy in our learning classrooms.

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