Reading as a social act. Noriko Iwasaki SOAS, University of London. Shift in pedagogical focus (Kern 2000). “Shift from ‘what texts mean’ in some absolute sense, to what people mean by texts , and what texts mean to people who belong to different discourse communities.”
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SOAS, University of London
Kern (2000) proposes a synthesis by enveloping the “textual” within a larger framework of the “communicative” -- a framework that links rather than divides these levels of language learning.
1. Demonstrate how reading texts (minimally consisting of a single word) is a social act:
2. I will suggest how we, as language teachers, may want to use texts in the classroom to engage students in reading activities as social acts.
Katakana: コーヒー (107,000,000 hits on Google)
Kanji： 珈琲 (7,470,000 hits)
Hiragana：こーひー (404,000 hits)
Learners typically learn hiragana first, followed by katakana, then kanji.
The meeting tomorrow has been changed to 1pm. Can you come? Please get back to me as soon as possible.
a. :-) b. ;-) c. :-( d. :-o
JPN a. (^_^) b. (^o^) c. (^^;) d. m(_ _)m
Japanese Emoticon dictionary
“When you say email to today’s young people, they would never think of emails you do on the computer. To them, cell phone emails are emails. There are even some users who would say, oh, I didn't know you could do email on a computer, too. This brings up one of the biggest differences between U.S. and Japanese cell phone culture. While most Americans use computers to develop an intimacy with the Internet, the Japanese access the Internet primarily through the cell phone.”
We read newspapers not to merely collect ‘information’, but we read newspapers to:
Some background information about the society and culture is essential to interpret texts.
Each newspaper needs to be situated in the society.
1. Papers focused on serious journalism:
Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Sunday Times
The independent (Centre-left, liberal views),
The Times (Centre-right wing)
2. Middle-market papers: e.g., Daily Express, Metro
Daily Star, The Daily Mirror, The Sun (among others)
May 28, 2009
From Choson Online 9/7/08
‘Speaking of the UK, it is a country of alcohol culture.’
How does one interpret this statement?
There are multiple interpretations from multiple perspectives – depending on the readers’ background, histories, experiences.
Kern (2000) suggests the “needs to provide some mechanisms to allow students to recognize mismatches between their own background knowledge and the cultural assumptions made in the text, as well as to foster in learner a stance of receptiveness to unfamiliar meanings involving new or modified schemata.
to engage learners in reading and writing as acts of communication, and sensitize learners to relationship between language, texts, and social contexts, in order to deepen their understanding of language and culture, and ultimately to enhance their communicative capacity as human beings.
Halliday, M.A.K. & Hassan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. London: Longman.
Kern, R. (2000). Literacy and language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.