Explorations of affective literacy amongst middle school English teachers

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Journal Article
Literacy learning: the Middle Years, 2008, 16 (3), pp. 44 - 57
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Middle school literacy practices serve a crucial role as they are the link between primary and secondary modes of communication. In the primary school, the literacy environment is set up with reference to care, scaffolding and students being facilitated through the various developmental stages of literacy (Annadale et al., 2004). In the secondary cohort, specialist knowledge, applications and the focused use of language determine the literacy teaching and learning that happens. It is possible that students may lose their way in literacy due to the change in emphasis and support that these two environments encourage. Middle school literacy therefore is not only a link between primary and secondary practices, but it also plays a transformative role in this process. This research pinpoints affects as being critical to this transformation. In the primary context, the warmth of the environment and the way in which the class is organised encourage an emotional connection between the teacher, students and literacy. As the students move away from this set up, their emotional response to new literacy learning environments is critical in determining their progress. This movement is known as affective literacy.
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