The Importance of Critical, Digital & Visual Literacy and Fairy Tales in the Development of Children's Literacy

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  The Importance of each of the following in children’sliteracy development (  reading, writing, listening and speaking  ). Critical Literacy Critical literacy means to break down a text, reading with a knowledge of language and how itworks. By developing critical literacy skills, children are able to identify the author’s intentions behind a text. Critically literate children are able to see the specific word choice used, the choiceof personal pronouns, the style of writing used, they are able to hypothesise what will happennext, and they are able identify specific language techniques used; for example onomatopoeia,metaphors, and anthromorphism. They are able to do all this and then use that in their work.Wind in the Willows is a great example where children can see these techniques used and then, by reading the text and using their critical literacy skills, develop greater writing skills as they pick up ideas on sentence structure, develop greater vocabularies and carefully choose their words, for maximum effectiveness. Additionally with the improvement in their writing, their,speaking skills increase as they apply the new found vocabulary and articulate what they want tosay in a formal and confident way.Critical literacy also has the added bonus of creating a growing appreciation of a text. Whenchildren learn to read in a critical way, they delve deeper into the literature, and becomeconsumed by its fascination, when this happens children continue to read. When childrencontinue to read they absorb so many skills and like with practicing to ride a bike they improve,and their reading becomes more thorough and more efficient (increased reading pace), andalthough they are reading at a quicker pace their comprehension is improved, as they learn to sortthrough the information and retain the most important stuff. Digital Literacy Digital literacy is the ability to use digital technology, communication tools or networks to locate,evaluate, use and create information. Digital literacy makes literature more available, throughinternet articles, emails, online ads, poetry websites and more. Therefore with more exposure  children are able to recite poems, read books, listen to songs on the computer, write creative pieces of work while simultaneously being expose to digital literacy.The use of digital literacy, however also creates a second language, the textual language. Thiscould mean the death of the English language. Already through devices such as text messages,MSN, and even emails to an extent, children are losing the essence of the English languagethrough abbreviations, leading to a dramatic fall in the children’s ability to spell and use correctgrammar. Inevitably at this rate there will be a loss of traditional language, a loss of formality,and a rise of colloquialism.Additionally children’s writing skills will further decrease as children become dependant oncomputers to write. Unable in their HSC to provide and creative ideas for their short story, because they are so use to generating ideas infront of a computer and typing with keyboards,rather than writing with pen and paper. Furthermore children are starting to rely on spell check,and therefore are not worry about correct spelling so much. With the development of digitalliteracy eventually learning will be done completely with online resources, this is when spellingwill make or break. There is a high chanced students become Americanised with their spelling, or due to consistent misspelling of words on websites, students just simple learn words incorrectly.Reading will still exist but now on computer screens, taking us back to the idea of scrolls aschildren cannot see whole text. Slowly we are taking steps backwards in the development of literacy skills through the use of digital literacy, when really we built these technologies to further develop these skills.In conclusion I believe digital literacy has the power to further increase children’s literacy skills,if used correctly. However if general trends continue as they are, we will have an educationalepidemic on our hands, as particularly high school children will begin to progress backwards asthey are exposed more and more to digital literacy.  Fairytales At their simplest fairytales are folktales with fairies and magic. Traditionally fairytales where passed down orally, thus leading to the variety of versions of each fairytale as with each retellingthe stories inevitable would change. Fairytales however now are printed in literature andtherefore can now be read aloud to children. The act of reading aloud, increases young children'scomprehension and vocabulary skills (Cohen: 1968), phonological production (Irwin: 1960),complexity of sentence structure (Cazden: 1965), and concept of story structure (Applebee: 1978)all as a result of being read to from an early age.Children’s literature and in particular fairytales engage children. They create a pattern, a ritualwhereby children continue to read, and thereby learn and grow from all its other benefits.Fairytales immerse children in language, language that may be made up or authentic, whatever the case- the language they are exposed to opens their minds and encourages their imagination torun wild. In effect this creates improved writing, speaking, and listening skills, as they use thelanguage they hear to improve their vocabularies when speaking, open their imagination whenwriting and further use the principals of listening when they need to.Hearing fairytales read aloud or children reading them, themselves, in particular like Cinderella,can assist children in grasping the differences among literary forms and functions. As aCinderella story line is very common throughout children’s literature, this helps children toanticipate story patterns and endings. This in turn helps to develop quicker and more fluentreading. ( Hoewisch: 2000 ) The sheer love of fairytales and their happy endings, creates a love of them, and thus cantherefore improve children’s speaking skills as they share their stories with their parents, friendsand /or teachers. The Harry Potter series has done wonders for fairytales, as with the love for the books so much, children read, then re-read them, telling and re-telling their favourite parts toeach other. Harry Potter also lends itself very well to the older children and brings them back intothe fairytale realm. Improving children’s writing skills as they summaries for each chapter of the book, further understanding the plot and links within the book but also developing greater vocabulary, correct grammar, correct spelling of words and, greater general sentence structure.  Evidently through the points above it can be seen that children’s literature is very important in thedevelopment of literacy skills, and in particular fairytales as they are able to affect children fromsuch an early age and start their cognitive development of literacy skills. Visual literacy Visual literacy is the ability to decode images and analyse the power of the image, in relation towhat it means in a particular context.Visual literacy surrounds us as children from a young age; from the day we are born we are bombarded with information, some of it coming from adults around us teaching us words.Through the use of visual literacy, children from an early age learn word associations andcomprehension. Additionally ESL students are taught words through the use of pictures,associating a word and then being able to identify what they word means through seeing a pictureof it, i.e cat or tree. This then creates a basis for learning to read and speak as children developtheir word banks and articulation of words.The Babar and friends book series is a fantastic resource that can be used with young childrendeveloping language or even with ESL students, as throughout the book words are replaced with pictures; this builds students comprehension as they learn what each word means in relation totheir environment. I.e the word, house. They might know what a house is, but if you show them a picture of a house and they can recognise that looks like place I live in, then you can associate aword to the picture. The book also develops reading skills and in particular fluency as childrenread the words in the book and then continues reading replacing the pictures with the appropriateword.The use of visual literacy and in particular symbolism; understanding signs, symbols and signalsto express many words or a phase in one image, can be used effectively in developing writing.The use of symbolism particularly in poetry, teaches students varied connotations of a word.Additionally students develop the skills of word choice and broaden their vocabularies as they are

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Sep 2, 2017


Sep 2, 2017
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