Monday, December 05, 2005

Take 5--TV as a literacy genre

Karl had emailed us an article (below) that discussed how Finland has consistently had the highest literacy rates worldwide. They believe it is due to the fact that many of their programs are in foreign languages, so people (including kids) have to read the TV to know what is being said.

I love this idea; I am going to try it with my 6-year old. He is an emerging reader learning words it seems exponentially. The Disney Channel will not only sport fun-loving shows, but now could provide another genre for Carter to read.
Hall Davidson, in his keynote at the TechForum a couple of weeks ago inAustin, suggested making sure that closed caption was switched on whenstudents watched TV. I don't recall if he included research, but itmakes a lot of sense to me. He told a couple of stories of peoplebecome more fluent in other languages by having closed caption switchedon.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>One example of how the use of subtitles has a positive effect on literacy isin Finland.I don't know if you've ever heard of PISA -- the Program for InternationalStudent Assessment -- run by OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operationand Development), where they test 15-year-olds around the world every threeyears (see Anyway, Finland has repeatedly come out ontop in terms of the readers it produces.An article on the Finnish reading phenomenon can be found in the October2005 edition of Educational Leadership (see citation and abstract below).The article makes the observation that because half the TV programs onFinnish TV are in foreign languages and there is no dubbing, anyone wantingto watch television has to be able to read. As the article says, children"learn to read quickly — favorite television programs are much moremotivating than any speed-reading exercises assigned in class."That's what it's about -- having a reason to read.....----------------------------------------------------------------------------A Land of Readers. By: Halinen, Irmeli; Sinko, Pirjo; Laukkanen, Reijo.Educational Leadership, Oct2005, Vol. 63 Issue 2, p72-40, 4p, 3bw;Abstract: This article informs that once every three years, the Program forInternational Student Assessment (PISA) tests 15-year-olds in variouscountries around the world in reading, maths, and science. The PISA surveysincluded approximately 40 industrialized countries. Schools surveyed hadcomparable school characteristics, yet the number of extremely low achieverswas smaller in Finland than elsewhere. Comprehensive school has become aplace in which teachers have extensive authority to interpret the contentthey teach. Teachers do not divide students into ability groups in anysubject area, and no school inspection system controls what schools teach.Since the mid-1990s, Finland has committed to promoting literacy on a numberof fronts. In addition to popular library reading campaigns in schools, boththe Finnish Newspaper Association and the Finnish Periodical Publishers'Association organize reading weeks for schools once a year, which targetsuch general literacy skills as fluency and critically reading text.; (AN18491496)


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