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Critical Literacy and Diversity in Higher Education: A Case Study of a Multilingual Learner

Koo, Y. L.

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 20, Issue 1, March 2012

Keywords: Critical literacy awareness, multilingual learners, qualitative research, cultural diversity,higher education, student voices, language education, literacy practices

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UNESCO (2004a) speaks of the importance of critical literacy (Street, 1995; Wagner, Venezky, & Street., 1999;Robinson, 2003) in an age where symbolic violence and oppression of diverse views threaten democratic civiclife. This paper reports the findings of a post-modern qualitative research which examined a postgraduate student's voice and experiences in terms of a pedagogy committed to building critical literacy for multilingualstudents through a Critical Literacy Awareness (CLA) Perspective and Method. The paper qualitativelyexamined the postgraduate student's talk and reflective logs as a point of entry into her negotiations of plural,intersecting and/or conflicting identities and discourses and in relation to ideological perspectives on literacyand contested ways of knowing (Wallace, 1988; Lankshear & McLaren, 1993; Kress, 2003; Koo, 2008a). Thefindings indicate that for it to be empowering of learner diversity, teacher talk and interventions have to engagewith student's unequally valued language and multicultural resources in context and to work with the competingand dominant discourses which are recognised as legitimate in education and the workplace (Luke, 1993).

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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