Languages, Literacies and Literature (LLL) Research Network Showcase

A School of Education seminar presented on December 2nd, 2015 by Dr Susan Feez and the LLL Research Network Team

The languages, Literacies and Literature (LLL) Research Network covers a diverse field indeed. Each of the three Ls spans a terrain featuring multiple disciplines and tools for analysis. At the most general level, however, for members the LLL Research Network, we think of these three terms in the following ways:

  • Language, in combination with other semiotics, is the means through which humans learn. Language is 'the foundation of learning itself' (Halliday, 2004/1993, p. 327). The meanings made by language are shaped by the contexts in which language is used. These include everyday contexts and specialised educational contexts (Halliday, 2007/1991).
  • Literacy is both ‘a set of individual and social resources that enable certain kinds of Research practices, events and organisational arrangements’ (Freebody, 2007, p. 15) and ’a set of interrelated capabilities, as a human capital resource that signals educability, Network team (re)trainability and as an object inserted into debates about the performance of teachers, schools and governments’ (Freebody, 2007, 18). Language and literacy develop through informal interaction with others at home and in the community, and through designed and specialised interaction at school, in further and higher education and in the workplace.
  • Literature, following the Australian Curriculum: English (ACARA, 2015), refers to ‘past and present texts across a range of cultural contexts’ valued for ‘their form and style’ and recognised as ’having enduring or artistic value’

The research network uses the terms language and literacy in their plural form because we recognise that ’at this historical moment, people around the world engage daily in the complicated social, political, cultural, and psychological work of learning and using Literacies in multiple languages and scripts that are enmeshed within other channels or modes of communication and diverse semiotic systems’ (Garcia, Bartlett & Kliefgen 2007, p. 207).
In this seminar the Languages, Literacies and Literature Research Network will showcase the many directions these expansive definitions have opened up for its members.



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