This is the course outline for Introduction to Computers, Language, & Literacy. I was the course assistant for this course, developed by Professor Jo Anne Kleifgen. I updated the course to include recent developments in the social web and video game literacy.
Do you want to make better use of the Internet in your language or literacy teaching? Are you curious about using wikis, blogs, folksonomies, and other Web spaces for your students to engage in social interaction that supports learning? This course examines the relationship between computer-based learning spaces and various aspects of language use, focusing on ways in which computers can be used to create richer environments for language and literacy development. Students briefly review language-learning theories in order to detect assumptions about language that are embedded in electronic materials. Then, taking a sociocultural perspective, students explore various models of communication and discourse to assess software materials and resources on the Internet for their educative value. The course is open to anyone working with children or adults in the areas of communication, first and second language, foreign language, language arts, reading and writing.
Pahl, K., & Rowsell, J. (2006). Travel Notes from the New Literacy Studies: Instances of Practice. Multilingual Matters Limited.
Halliday, M.A.K. (1989/1997). Language, context, and text: Aspects of language in a social-semiotic perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.
Part I. COURSE INTRODUCTION and SURVEY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING THEORIES
This segment initiates our review of theories that have at one time or another dominated language research and teaching. We begin with Behaviorism and Nativism. We look briefly into how some features of these approaches are embedded in electronic materials. We examine the pros and cons of each approach.
1. Course Introduction; Earlier Theories
2. From Behaviorism and Nativism to Social Semiotics
- B. F. Skinner, “Why we need teaching machines”
- A Review of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior by Chomsky
- On Skinner and Behaviorism
- Critique of Behaviorism: Noam Chomsky
Part II. HALLIDAY’S CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK<
This segment examines in detail the development of a social-semiotic framework for examining Web-based resources (and other electronic materials); the framework takes into account three major features of the context—what is happening on the site, who is taking part, and the role the language is playing in the activity.
3. Context of Situation-Field
- Halliday, Chapter 1: “Context of Situation”
- Sample Essay on Behaviorism
- Lecture Notes on Halliday, Chapter 1
4. Context of Situation-Tenor
- Halliday, Chapter 2: “Functions of Language”
- Magni, “On learner agency”
- Travel Notes from the New Literacy Studies, Alvermann, Chapter 2
- Guidelines for Tenor Analysis
5. Context of Situation-Mode Part I
- Halliday, Chapter 3, “Register Variation” up to p. 38
- ‘Travel Notes’: Foreword and Introduction
6. Context of Situation-Mode Part II
- Kinzer and Leander. “Technology and the language arts.”
- Kleifgen. “Assessing websites for young learners of English: A Hallidayan framework.”
- Travel Notes. Knobel and Lankshear, Chapter 4
- Jewitt, “Exploring Learning Through Visual, Actional and Linguistic Communication”
- Travel Notes. Janks and Comber, Chapter 5
- Jewitt, Kress, Ogborn and Tsatsarelis. “Exploring learning through visual, actional, and linguistic communication”
8. Hallidayan Website Assessments
9. Multimodality and Informal Learning
- Travel Notes. Davies, Chapter 3
- Steinkuehler, C. A. (2004). “The literacy practices of massively multiplayer online gaming”
- Gee, J. P. (2004). Learning by Design: Games as Learning Machines. Paper presented at the Game Developers Conference, San Jose, CA.
- Squire, K. (2002). Cultural Framing of Computer/Video Games. Game Studies, 2(2).
10. The Register of Electronic Communication
- Halliday, Chapter 3, Concept of Register and Coda (pp. 38-49).
11. Final Project Presentations