Course Descriptions

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Students will investigate key literary theories and research studies related to literature for children and adolescents. The focus will be on the use of literary theoretical perspectives that have been used to critically analyze the literary works and to inform the teaching of literary works in schools and other learning contexts. Topics include the application of reader-response theory, semiotic perspectives, materialism/cultural studies, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, critical race theory, queer theories, critical disabilities, ecocriticism, and methods of spatial analysis in the study of children’s and adolescent literature.

Twenty-first Century literacy practices require the ability to “read” and “write” complex texts comprised of multiple modes including linguistic, visual, audial, and gestural. Pedagogical designs must now take into consideration how a range of modalities might contribute to meaning-making alongside and interrelated with, rather than subordinate to, language. In this view, multimodal meaning-making practices in the diverse backgrounds of students must be considered for their educational potential rather than as incidental background to linguistic practices. This interest is broad-based, extends across international borders and linguistic communities. It is driven by more than three decades of research in education, in linguistics and semiotics, and in fields as diverse as internet and communication studies and has led those within the field of language and literacy education to rethink how meaning is made in contemporary classrooms and the world beyond.

Topics for this seminar include: literacy and multimodality as social practices; perspectives from New Literacy Studies, multiliteracies, and new literacies; multimodal storytelling; gaming and multimodal learning; rethinking “the basics” in literacy education; multimodality and “funds of knowledge”; multimodality, multilingualism, identity texts, and pedagogical practices; multimodality and ethnography; and visual interpretation and analysis.

Often overlooked as a form of education, dance, song, and chant are for some an entry point to (re)learning and (re)claiming Indigenous languages. This course will demonstrate how dance, song, and chant are embodied practices of language that are deeply embedded traditions in Indigenous cultures. As an introduction, students will engage in language-rich immersion experiences of hula (dance), mele (song), and oli (chant) in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian) that will reveal historical, linguistic, and cultural knowledge. We will also draw upon other Indigenous language experiences and practices that are represented in the class and by guests, and learn how these traditional and contemporary practices not only documents, but contributes to the revitalization and maintenance of Indigenous languages broadly.

Energy is one of the most complex and defining issues of our age. Society needs forms of energy to survive, but the most consumed form of fossil fuel energy is not only finite, but also the primary cause of climate change. Without an understanding of the environmental and social impacts of energy use, people cannot fully engage in the development of better practices and policies as students, educators, and citizens. This course overviews basic knowledge about energy systems, while it also highlights how energy functions in cultural, social, and educational contexts. Throughout this course students and educators will learn about basic functions of energy systems (e.g., fossil fuels, solar, hydro), where the sources of energy emerge, social and ecological impacts of energy, and ways of understanding the role of energy in our daily lives. These factors contribute to our ability to communicate about energy and literacy in meaningful ways. Developing energy epistemologies (and pedagogies to support them) enhances the ways we can think and know about our ecological and energy histories and futures. Both quantitative and qualitative methods contribute to energy literacy, but this course emphasizes the need for qualitative approaches in arts and humanities education to augment environmental literacy and sustainability education about energy.

Narrative and poetic inquiry will be explored within a broad, interdisciplinary, arts-based context, supporting research and teaching inquiries and orientations that concern the creative methods by which language and other semiotic resources can be used to illuminate deeper connections between related phenomena in their area of study. Students are expected to undertake or continue to refine their own arts-based research and inquiry projects within the framework of academic scholarship. This course will provide students with grounding in the theory and application of narrative and poetic inquiry to a variety of real-world problems. In light of recent changes in the British Columbia Ministry of Education curriculum to a more open and inquiry-based model of pedagogy, this course will also consider how researcher and teacher inquiry can serve as a model for how inquiry into big ideas, understandings, and creative actions can be promoted and sustained in school-based and community learning environments.

This online course focuses on the literacy processes and practices among adolescents in schools (at the upper intermediate through secondary levels) and out of schools. Topics include cognitive, sociocultural and critical perspectives on adolescent literacies, supporting struggling readers, literacy support for English language learners, Aboriginal literacy perspectives, reading and writing across the curriculum/disciplinary literacies, multimodal, media and digital literacies, community literacies, assessment, and policy related to adolescent literacy practices. The 500 (LLED 565) level of this course will include additional readings and assignments. We will engage with a variety of media, virtual group activities, and one-hour synchronous class meetings.

This course comprises an overview of the application of digital technology in and as literacy research, while considering possible future directions for methods of data collection and analysis, representation, and knowledge mobilization. We look at how automation of literacy practices compels literacy researchers to adopt new research sites and approaches to findings and their relevance for the future of language and literacy education. Globally, reading and writing practices have shifted in response to new devices and genres of expression, from emoticons and memes to collaborative composition and rapid distribution, and hot topic concerns involving privacy, copyright, identity, ethics and politics. Bridging between qualitative data, natural language processing and other algorithmic processes, a re-envisioning of literacy research is long overdue. Among the topics covered are using voice recognition, automated translation, optical character recognition, online forums, social media and streaming data sources, big data, open data and pre-existing software packages, libraries and databases, data visualization and sonification, data performance, multimedia and arts-based inquiry using digital tools. In each of these areas we will explore digital ethics, anonymity and the means by which information is translated and transmediated into code or scalable values, and how lexicogrammatical topographies of meaning might be crystalized as findings through these processes.

The rationale for this special summer graduate course (LLED 565N: LLED at CSSE) is to make the best use of a national research event that is being hosted by UBC in the summer 2019. LLED 565N will help mentor LLED graduate students into conference participation, the state of the art in Canadian scholarship, and Canadian research journals. The central question the course poses is: “What are some of the most exciting circles of conversation to be found in language and literacy education at Congress 2019?” LLED graduate students will be expected to register for and participate actively (as a presenter or participant) in at least one of the many conferences associated with this event, such as CSSE, LLRC, CAAL/ACLA, CASIE/ACÉÉA.

This course will provide an opportunity for students to engage in the comparative study of issues associated with language and culture education of Indigenous peoples and communities on an international scale with universities in Hawaiʻi, Arizona, Alaska, Montana, and Aotearoa (New Zealand). We will review various practices, theories, methodologies and epistemologies that have emerged from diverse Indigenous cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

In this course, we will examine how children negotiate relations of power and the politics of age/maturity, race, gender, sexuality, and class (among other discourses) through their language and literacy practices across a variety of social settings and societies. Theoretical perspectives will include sociocultural linguistics, critical race theories, feminism, and queer theory. The primary emphasis will be on qualitative work.

This course is about the “doing” of qualitative research as a practical, ethically regulated engagement in “knowing, doing and being”. Investigating, interrogating and interpreting values, meanings and purposes unspoken and taken largely for granted in the course and conduct of everyday life is what distinguishes the study of human action from all other forms of inquiry. It is because questions of value, significance and agency form the core of such inquiry that, for qualitative researchers, epistemological and ethical issues converge in the very idea of what it is to conduct educational research. To that end, we will look both at the centre, and at the edges of what counts as a “methodology” and thereby, “research”. Class activities will provide a guided apprenticeship into basic research practices, including observations, ethical review, fieldnotes, interviews, data interpretation, analysis, reporting and write-up. Students will read exemplary research studies and methodological approaches, and will propose and initiate a study of their own. Questions such as “What kind of story does this research tell?”, “Whose story is told, how, by whom, and for whose benefit?” and “How can qualitative research pursue ‘validity’?” will guide a comprehensive inquiry into contemporary qualitative research methodologies, methods and processes in education. We will also consider ways in which research practices are technologically reconfigured, and how this technological re-mediation impacts qualitative research methods and practices.

This course examines current issues in theory and research in English language education, with a particular focus on English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The course will discuss relevant theories of discourse and social context and will emphasize analysis and presentation of academic discourse, relative to the context in which class members are likely to work. The course seeks to bridge the gap between theory and practice in EAP, whether the context is higher education or K-12 school settings. Key course aims are to provide students with a firm understanding about and expertise in: integrating language and content; approaching and analyzing academic language from a functional perspective; and exploring how as educators, we might draw on and utilize the ways of meaning-making that learners bring to the classroom.