Ann

The New Media Literacies
I divided the twelve new literacy skills into three tiers. Within the tiers, the skills are in no particular order:

Level One-Most Important

  • Performance
  • Simulation
  • Negotiation
  • Visualization

Level Two-Middle Importance

  • Play
  • Multitasking
  • Judgment
  • Networking

Level Three-Least Important

  • Distributed Cognition
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Appropriation
  • Transmedia Navigation

Within these three tiers, I feel that the most important skill for a Spanish or other foreign language classroom is negotiation, the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms. Learning a foreign language is exposure to a particular culture or set of cultures that have both commonalities and distinctions from a student's native culture. The culture provides a context for the language, indicating when certain types of conversations are appropriate, when an exchange would occur or how a particular grammatical structure is used. Without the culture, foreign language becomes just another set of formulas, rather than a method of communication. Within a foreign language classroom, students will be exposed to other perspectives and they must know how to respect those perspectives as well as learn how they function in the norms of that particular culture. Knowledge of cultural perspective and norms greatly aids communication, which is why negotiation is so important.

Of the twelve skills, I find appropriation, the ability to meaningful sample and remix media content, to be the least important for the foreign language classroom, at least at the high school level. In the foreign language classroom because the elements of language structure and context are taught, media content is used as another way to expose students to the language and culture. Until students gain enough context and knowledge that they are able to interact effectively with media, remixing the media content wouldn't be very meaningful. Eventually, appropriation would be a good skill to help students utilize their knowledge. However, because of its required knowledge base, appropriation looks to be the last media literacy skill that would be acquired.

Content Area Specialist Article

Alessi, Stephen and Angelica Dwyer. "Vocabulary Assistance before and during Reading." Reading in a Foreign Language. Vol. 20, Issue 2, Oct. 2008: 246-263.

See article here.

The type of content area reading required in a foreign language classroom largely involves acquisition of a complete new vocabulary. In this article, researchers investigated when and how vocabulary assistance such as glossaries was best used to aid reader comprehension and the speed of reading. The students in the study were college students, but were at the intermediate level in Spanish, which could potentially occur in the later high school years. Testing the concepts of schema and pre-reading, researchers had several groups of students read the same passage, while using different methods of vocabulary assistance. From their research, investigators found that during reading assistance was more effective than pre-reading assistance. Through dialogue with my content area specialist, I hope to discuss whether or not she found the same to be true in her classroom, as well as other potential strategies she used to help with vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension.

Jabberwocky…Again

It was dawn and the forest creatures
Did cower and hide in the woods;
All quiet were the trees,
And the green grass overgrown.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird and shun
The fearsome Bandersnatch!"

He took his powerful sword in hand:
Long time the elusive foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in deep thought he stood,
The Jabberwock with eyes of flame,
Came bounding through the dense wood,
And growled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The powerful blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went skipping back.

"And have you defeated the Jabberwock?"
Come to my arms, my wonderful boy!
O fabulous day! Hooray! Hooray!
He shouted in his joy.

It was dawn and the forest creatures
Did cower and hide in the woods;
All quiet were the trees,
And the green grass overgrown.

Reactions

I had to analyze this poem for a high school English class. I did not understand it very well then and it still isn't one of my favorites. However, I know that the discussion we had regarding this poem in high school greatly influenced my translation. We talked a lot about how the poem conveys an adventure of epic proportions, even if the reader isn't exactly sure what that adventure entails. From this information, I knew that my translation had to retain as much of the adventure as possible. As I translated, I discovered how much of the poem actually was comprehensible. The plot of the story could be left intact without too much trouble. However, I think the made-up words certainly add to the mystery surrounding the story and heighten the adventure. That was lost in translation. Still, I think that for the most part, the story itself is still within my translation. The first and last stanzas were the hardest for me because they set the mood for the entire poem and without the made-up words it was hard to create the same intensity and mystery. For this reason, despite the fact that I didn't like "Jabberwocky" in high school, I prefer the original to my translation.

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