Through studying module ETL402 Literary Learning I have come to realise that embedding fiction across the curriculum in a variety of literacy formats is an effective strategy for students to enrich their literacy skills, become critical readers, perceive connections between texts and gain a deeper understanding of the world around them, particularly as it affects marginalised groups in society. The current research supports the use of embedding fiction across the curriculum resulting it positively influencing an increase in students’ performance (A culture of reading, 2010). When students read for pleasure they are intrinsically motivated and this directly correlates with improving students’ comprehension (Cremin, 2010). However there are also extrinsically motivated readers who are influenced by external factors such as to improve grades and to fulfil others expectations of them e.g. parents and teachers (Cremin, 2010). Krashen (2004) indicates that strategies focused on developing ways to engage unmotivated readers can also enhance engagement for the more motivated students.
These concerns lie at the heart of the Australian Curriculum and also the NSW English K – 10 Syllabus. When designing the teaching program texts were chosen which were accessible by Year 8 students and which were linked by the celebration and recognition of issues affecting the culture and history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Some texts such as The Rabbits enabled differentiation of the curriculum and others such as Dust Echo extended students’ technology skills and emphasised the importance of anecdotal recall and story-telling in this culture. The program contains tasks which encourage students to search the Library collection and with the assistance of the TL, students will be guided to be more discerning information gatherers. The program incorporates writing, reading, speaking and listening skills with a focus on critical information research skills. The collaboration with the English teachers to construct appropriate assessment tasks will also facilitate discussions about teaching time frames and the sequential coverage of the skills and knowledge gained by all students as they complete the program’s tasks.
Keys to the success of this program lie with the collaboration with the subject teachers, a close knowledge of the syllabus and curriculum requirements, quality assessment instruments, creative teaching strategies and the selection of texts from the Library collection which will engage all students. It is also an ideal opportunity to showcase the Library as a rich central school resource centre enabling research and the reading of literary works for students to explore the complex history and social issues affecting one cultural group. My previous professional experience in technology fields has also influenced that dimension in the design of the teaching program and the literary focus has strengthened my ability to critically analyse texts, express my thoughts clearly and argumentatively.
A culture of reading. (2010). Reading today, 27(6), 38. CSU Library.
Cremin, T. (2010). Motivating children to read through literature. In J. Fletcher, F. Parkhill, & G. T. Gillon (Eds.), Motivating literacy learners in today’s world (pp. 11-21). Wellington, NZ : NZCER Press.
Zipes, J. (2009). Misreading children and the fate of the book in Relentless progress the reconfiguration of children’s literature, fairy tales, and storytelling. London: Routledge. (Chapter 2, p. 27-44).
Krashen, S. (2004). The power of reading: Insights from the research (2nd Ed.). Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.
Combes, J. (2015, January 30). Module 1 multitasking [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://forums.csu.edu.au/perl/forums.pltask=print&forum_id=ETL402_201490_W_ D_Sub4_forum&message_id=7254896
Madej, K. (2003). Towards digital narrative for children: from education to entertainment: A Historical Perspective, Acm Computers in Entertainment 1(1).