Understanding Literacy in the Modern World
Today, being literate goes far beyond being able to read words printed on a page. The Internet, multimedia and other communication technologies convey meaning through verbal, visual and acoustic elements. In an increasingly culturally diverse world, we have to adapt to the various ways of deriving meaning from language.
The research of Jennifer Rowsell, Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies, on these multiple levels of literacy aims to address these challenges by helping teachers foster the development of new literacy skills among elementary, middle and high school students.
Through the use of creativity, innovation and multimodal communication tools, Rowsell’s work with adolescent children and immigrant families aims to develop a multimodal literacy framework. For example, she incorporates digital story-telling in her research and teaching, and uses social networking to understand canonical texts. She will also create a social inclusion framework meant to bring students from different racial and cultural backgrounds together in Canadian classrooms.
These contributions to the study and understanding of modern literacy will enhance the skills of today’s students and prepare them to be integrated into the workforce and to become the citizens of tomorrow.