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The assignment folio comprises two parts:
Part A: Newsletter article (1000 words +/- 10%)
The first part of the folio looks at some of the key concepts relating to Language and Literacy in Australian education contexts.
Based on either an early childhood or primary setting, you must write a succinct and informative newsletter article for parents/families.
Your newsletter article must cover one of the following topics:
- Visual literacy.
- Language, Literacy and ICT.
Within your article you should:
- define the chosen topic and its role in children's language and literacy development (approx. 100 words)
- benefits and potential risks (approx. 200 words)
- describe learning experiences you provide in the selected setting for children's language and literacy development (approx. 700 words).
Your news article should be written in layperson's language. The tone should be professional, warm, welcoming and inviting. You may be creative in writing your news article in terms of its format and structure. However, it should follow a logical order and it should be coherent and appealing to your target audience. You should cite relevant literature to support your claims.
Part B: Teaching resource (1000 words +/- 10%)
The second part of the folio will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the implications of culture and home language for literacy learning and teaching.
You are required to:
- Identify one teaching resource that could be used in an early childhood setting (eitherearlychildhoodcentre or primary school) to support language and literacy for children from diverse cultural backgrounds and home languages. This resource could be:
- a book
- a web resource
- a piece of software
- an artwork
- some other object.
Note that this resource should be something you find (e.g. online, in a library or early learning centre), not something you create yourself.
- Provide a brief description (including an APA reference if appropriate) of the resource. This description should be clear and detailed. For example, if you choose a song, the lyrics and/or a link to a YouTube video should be attached. (This section is NOT included in the word count.)
- State the aims that you plan to achieve by using the resource.
- Explain how the resource acknowledges the importance of cultural and home language for children's literacy learning and teaching.
Points 3 and 4 together should come to 200 words (+/- 10%).
- Explain how the resource would be used to support literacy teaching and learning for children from diverse cultural backgrounds and home languages. This will require you to:
- provide examples of learning experiences that could use the selected resource within the educational setting. These experiences should be consistent with the aims described in Point 3 above (approx. 500 words)
- describe different ways to adapt and extend the strategies to include the diverse interests and needs of children and cater for different age groups (approx. 200 words)
- justify the learning experiences identified by referring back to the EYLF/Australian Curriculum and relevant research literature (approx. 100 words).
You may use bullet points and headings within this section, which should come to 800 words (+/- 10%).
The audience for this component of the folio is your peers. Your writing discussion and explanation should be succinct and informative while descriptions of the selected resources and activities should be sufficient for other early childhood professionals to ‘take home’ and implement.
Your folio must be properly referenced with in-text citations and a reference list using the APA (6th ed.) referencing system. Note that this reference list will NOT be included in the word count.
Visual literacy is recognized as the ability to understand and apply the visual images for interpreting meaning, and sharing messages for varied purposes (Eliam, 2012). Reflecting back on our own learning experience, it can be construed that language was the primary model of literacy. However, it cannot be denied that world has always used representational image to express meanings. The times have changed now, and the advent of technology and digitalization has further enhanced the virtualization in the lives of the children. At such time, there is a need to unpack visual literacy for children in the early learning years (Zhou et al. 2014).
Understanding the relevance of Visual learning
In the recent years, learning has become multi-modal, which includes incorporation of the visual, linguistic and graphical practices to address the changing interaction needs of the society (Anna, 2016). Visual literacy not only enables an awareness of the visual language, rather also incorporates visual communication, visual thinking and visual perception in the being. Further benefits of the same are represented. This way, a learner becomes prepared to express their opinions through art forms, and creative means within and beyond the traditional (Eliam, 2012).Visual learning adds sophistication, enable an ease of production, and ease of representation to the message and further enhances comprehension for the learners (Gitsaki et al. 2015). This practice has even more relevance for the culturally diverse classrooms, where the use of images has been recognized for enhancing contextual understanding for the learners (Abdelhadi et al., 2011). Most young learners are able to interpret visual images long before they acquire written and oral literacy. However, visual learning can appear apathetic to the young learners, especially in the absence of instructions, and hence cause cognitive overload (Zhou et al. 2014). While, visual literacy has a prominent role in enhancing language literacy amongst early learners, it is restricted by the variability of the comprehension and visual complexities in different cultures (Abdelhadi et al., 2011). Thus, as multi-cultural learning needs increase, the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) classrooms are acknowledging the needs of visual literacy training amongst the professionals to further prepare the early learners.
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