Analysis: Becoming School Literate Parents

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The two articles I have chosen to discuss in this assessment task are Chen,H. & Harris, P.(2009), Becoming school literate parents: An ESL perspective and Thurston, J. (2004) Teaching and learning the reading of homepages. Research shows that parents’ involvement into their children’s literacy learning has a significant impact on the children’s literacy development. The first article by Honglin Chen & Pauline Harris discusses the stages of development of an ESL parent into a school literate parent who understands the school’s expectations for English literacy; it analysis the process of identity formation of this ESL parent through the three powerful sources: access, negotiation and participation. Mary, the ESL parent with a Chinese background has tried to get involved into the literacy development of her three children. She was encouraged by the school teacher through the volunteer reading program that she started to get involved into her daughter’s school life.. With her first daughter she tried to resort to her past beliefs about Chinese literacy practices as she was not aware of the Australian school literacy practices. Her interpretation of literacy was reduced to the ability to read and write alphabetic letters, simple sentences and paragraphs whereas her daughter’s school aim was reading for meaning. Mary herself had a very basic experience with learning English, through the traditional grammar translation method. Due to this fact she was unable to get more involved with her daughter’s literacy learning and her role was limited to helping her child with homework. However, Mary started understanding what was expected at school and she started having access to English literacy practices by the time her second da... ... middle of paper ... ...d often lacks punctuation. The advice for teachers of ESL regarding the selection of websites for students includes the following points: 1. Websites where one can easily predict where to find the information 2. Visible links 3. No ambiguous terms used in links 4. Limited number of links 5. No embedded or wrapped links In conclusion, the teachers need to work out and teach the students useful content of homepages, teach them to anticipate characteristics and search styles of websites and by using skimming skills to understand how the text is presented. “The basic message to teachers is that students can be helped to understand this text type (homepage) and thus anticipate its structure and certain characteristics, and that this will facilitate their reading and use of the Web.” Thurston, J. (2004) Teaching and learning the reading of homepages p307.

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