Last updated: 2015-04-01

[Lecture] Scaffolding first year students into teaching language and literacy: A case study, 7 Apr.

Topic: Scaffolding first year students into teaching language and literacy: A case study
Speaker: Dr Pauline Jones from University of Wollongong, Australia

Time: 8:00-9:30AM, Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Venue: Lecture Hall 315, School of Foreign Languages Building, South Campus, SYSU

Recent Australian English curriculum change mandating the teaching of an explicit, functionally-orientated knowledge about language has significant consequences in a country where any kind of grammar has been largely absent from classrooms for two generations (Jones & Chen 2012). Pre-service teachers face the added challenge of learning how to teach language and literacy at the same time as acquiring a considerable knowledge about language. Their task is further compounded by constant negative media reports about their literacy skills. This paper reports on a project addressing pre-service teachers’ needs with respect to knowledge about language, pedagogic competence and their own literacy skills through a first semester subject ‘Language and Learning’. Drawing on functional descriptions of writing development (Christie & Derewianka 2008) and scaffolded literacy pedagogy (Rose & Martin 2012), I describe how the subject design has unfolded over a number of iterations as we have learnt from successive groups of students and as the university context has changed. In doing so, the subject macrogenre, its complex and multiple fields, the shifting pedagogic relationships and the array of texts and modalities negotiated by staff and students are exposed. The project highlights the challenges for students (and staff) of transitioning to university and to a profession and poses questions about the identity work needed to become the ideal ‘student in the subject’.

Dr Pauline Jones is senior lecturer, Language in Education at the University of Wollongong where she teaches into undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Her research interests are pedagogic discourse, functional linguistics, multimodality and English curriculum, particularly with respect to teacher expertise. Her doctoral students projects reflect these interests. She is lead investigator of TRANSLIT (2014-2017), a UOW research project investigating literacy transitions from preschool to senior secondary. She has considerable experience teaching in schools and adult contexts in Australia as well as in Asia and the Pacific. She is the co-author, with Beverly Derewianka, of Teaching Language in Context (2012 OUP). She is currently president of the Australian Systemic Linguistics Association.