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Language teacher education
Mizusawa, K., & Kiss, T. (2020). Connecting multiliteracies and writing pedagogy for 21st century English language classrooms: Key considerations for teacher education in Singapore and beyond. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 5(2), 192-214. https://doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol5iss2pp192-214
Background and Purpose: Given the dynamic, global and multimodal character of English in the 21st century, it should be reasonable to expect English language (EL) teaching to accommodate the influences of media and technology on modern communication practices. In Singapore, education policy therefore highlights multiliteracies as one of three foci for the EL classroom. Yet, scant attention has been paid in research and practice to the impact of technology-mediated communication on writing pedagogy. This paper presents the findings of an extensive multiple-case study research project which sought to establish how multiliteracies pedagogy was being utilized in Singaporean secondary teachers’ classrooms and the significant internal and external factors that contributed to classroom practice.
Methodology: The research explored six EL teachers’ practices within one unit of work, focusing on writing skills. Data were gathered through video recorded lesson observations, pre- and post-lesson interviews to explore rationales and justifications for planning and implementation, and focus group discussions to establish common practices, values and beliefs towards writing pedagogy.
Findings: The study found that although teachers were aware of and trained in multiliteracy practices, they dominantly addressed writing as a monomodal form of communication, limited student autonomy and critical development, and neglected culture in their instruction.
Contributions: We argue that writing instruction must be socially situated and multimodal and teacher education must prepare practitioners to empower learners to become critical and effective writers. We also assert that examination-oriented practices make writing in the classroom inauthentic and largely incomprehensible, despite belief that the opposite is true.
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