The Literacy Dialogues: Episode 1: Manna From Heaven

The Literacy Dialogues are a type of experiment. Each episode presents the characters in a dialogue about a particular text (to be written and/or read). It follows the process of meaning making, and what needs to be in place for meaning to be made. Episode one presents the two character in a discussion over a parable. The dialogues will be designed to be interactive, though this first episode is quite basic.

The dialogues aim to demonstrate a framework for reading comprehension and written composition, whilst also demonstrating that meaning making and responding are highly dynamic. A teacher should not reduce the process to a mechanical exercise. Nor should the teacher avoid establishing routines that move from lower order to higher order skills engagement. Most importantly, the teacher must be careful not to teach beyond the learner's capacity to engage meaningfully, purposefully, enthusiastically and strategically. Each dialogue explores questions such as:

  • How are the characters oriented to the text?
  • Is there a reason for them to attend to the text? and why?
  • Do they have the language and cognitive skills to decode/encode and make meaning from/through the text?
  • Do they have the background knowledge and experiences required to make meaning of the text?
  • How does the meaning making process unfold?
  • Do the readers/writers gain a clear sense of the state of affairs represented in the text? What might be the barriers to comprehension or expression?
  • What conclusions are being drawn? 
  • How is this knowledge interacting with prior knowledge and immediate investigations?
  • Are the readers/writers comfortable with the meanings being expressed? 
  • What can the readers/writers take from this experience? Knowledge? Reflection on practice? Language?
  • What will be memorable? What needs to be in place for this to occur? What needs to occur to consolidate this experience?

Please explore Episode 1: Manna from Heaven.

Read More