A Sociocultural Approach to New Language Literacy: Exploring the Japanese Linguaculture Through Collaboration
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This study explores a sociocultural approach to teaching and learning Japanese and argues that such an approach offers a framework for change in the way a new language is taught. As a starting point The National Statement (MCEETYA 2005), Getting Started (Dellit 2005) and Teaching and Learning Language: A Guide (Scarino & Liddicoat 2009) are examined as it is these policy documents that direct Australian languages educators to adopt the view that language should be taught, not only as words and rules but as knowledge that ‘enables learners to communicate across cultures’ (MCEETYA 2005, p.3). Using these documents I argue that language teachers are experiencing new opportunities, presented by profound social changes, which could change how and what they teach. It is because of this ‘sociocultural turn’ (Johnson 2006) that an opportune time has come to rethink the fundamental philosophies behind languages education, given the potential for further changes to policy and practice. In this thesis, I argue that a sociocultural approach offers a framework for such a change to take place, especially in the field of new language literacy. In building on prior research I extend an emerging interest in the area of languages education which seeks to find inspiration and new research paradigms from the sociocultural approach. Within the thesis I situate scholarship within a New Literacies Paradigm (Swaffer et al. 1991, Kern 2000) that sees new language literacy in terms of how ‘language is shaped and framed by culture’ (Lo Bianco, Liddicoat & Crozet 1999, Agar 2002) or what I term ‘linguaculture’. For the research reported in this thesis I have devised a Social Literacy Model (SLM) which has the potential to act as a guide for students of language to become literate within a New Literacies framework that employs collaboration and discussion (Vygotsky 1986). By adopting the sociocultural approach I argue that, through collaboration with peers a learner’s understanding of language may be transformed through their own participation (Rogoff 1990, Renshaw & Brown 2007) and the integration of ‘schooled’ and ‘everyday’ concepts (Vygotsky 1987) into their discussion around language.
Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Doctor of Education (EdD)
School of Education and Professional Stuudies
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Japanese language teaching