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Integrating Barbadian Students' Out-of-School Literacies into a Third Space

Improving Learning Strategies in Education

Discussant Information

Dr. C.J. Leacock

Author Information:

Ms. Pauline Millar
Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Barbados


Pauline Jan Maureen Millar, multiliteracies, third space, vernacular, adolescents, teachers? discourses

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 9
Date: 3rd June, 2015
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: KARISSA (Room 3)


Students? perceived disengagement from conventional literate practices has been the cause of growing concern among the wider Barbadian community. ?This view is reinforced by the seemingly ubiquitous engagement of youth with various forms of communications technology rather than text. This action research project sought to bridge the existing divide between traditional and semiotic literacies in the context of a Barbadian secondary school. The questions which framed this investigation were: What are the literate behaviours of adolescents? What are the teacher discourses which may ? impact on the development of third space? What are the processes in developing third space linkages to literacies in school - based English classes? How can student? funds of literate knowledge be used to develop third space linkages to literacies in school- based English classes? I investigated these issues by means of a research methodology which ? ? ? ? ?comprised two phases. ?Phase 1 entailed a situational analysis which employed a survey of the out-of-school literacies of 162 students and individual interviews with three English teachers. ?Phase 2 involved a student focus group interview and a collaborative researcher/student intervention to bridge out-of-school literate practices with academic literacies to ? ? ?create a third space. ?This investigation confirmed that students were engaged in literate acts in diverse ways, while at the same time, teachers remain steeped in traditional practices of literacy. Indeed, the creation of third space required ? ? ? revised assumptions about the nature of literacy and redefined roles for teachers and students. ?Specific school factors such as the availability of technology, teachers? and students? competency in the use of computers, timetabling, teacher professional development, the role of the vernacular, and notions of classroom management, impacted on the creation of third space in significant ways. This study concludes with recommendations for increased dialogue, collaboration and ? ? professional development among secondary English teachers on issues related to literacy.