Wednesday, March 7, 2012

English, LANGUAGE!, and Literacy

So this post may be my way of venting, but I will try to relate it back to digital literacy. At the high school I work at the special education department uses the LANGUAGE! program as a substitute for English. From a literacy and English background, I find it a completely inappropriate substitute. By using this program, I feel the high school is doing a disservice to the students in multiple ways. One, I don't believe it fully covers the High School Content Expectations, with one area being technology. Two, it doesn't properly prepare the students for the ACT/MME. Three, the students know that what they are doing relates nothing to the English classes their peers take. Four, the goal of the program is to be a supplement for the general education classroom. Five...well I think you get my point. I'll move on.

LANGUAGE! is more of a grammar based program. When I say grammar, I refer to more of the grammar that one learns in elementary school. I don't think grammar is bad. Actually I find it completely and totally necessary in education. However, teaching grammar day-in and day-out can become monotonousness to both the teacher and students. So, where's this going?

Well, currently I'm advocating for phasing out LANGUAGE! and phasing in an English resource classroom at the high school I work at. I'm a huge advocate of literacy, which includes technology and digital literacy. However, the students don't get the opportunity in the current program, as they would in a normal classroom. It is so important to teach students to be digitally literate by the time they graduate high school, and I believe teaching of this digital literacy should be incorporated in the English curriculum.

Now, grant it, the below video is more general on the type of classroom where technology can be used, but if the students are on such a structured curriculum, how can a teacher expect to incorporate technology and other aspects of literacy?

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