Effective Literacy Instruction for Adolescents

Effective Literacy Instruction for Adolescents

The author of the article, Effective Literacy Instruction for Adolescents, is Donna E. Alvermann from the University of Georgia. The article focuses on the effective ways of addressing adolescent literacy instruction. One of the most important ideas from the article is that every student has their strengths and abilities even though they may be perceived as struggling readers or academically illiterate. Society judges students based on their academic writing capabilities. Those students who do not possess a mastery of academic writing are usually considered less able. Students must exhibit a specific set of academic skills to be considered successful scholars. However, these models do not take into account the fact that academic literacy has a conflicting and contested nature. Every student is capable of learning as long as teachers are willing to work with them and nurture their strengths. I believe the problem is not within the students as the society tries to portray; instead, it is within the teaching methods.

The article focuses on reading and writing as the best methods to address adolescent literacy.  However, it is essential to ask ourselves if participatory approaches that engage young people in project-based learning is an excellent choice to teach the youth especially those who struggle to read and write. Use of software in software authoring of hypermedia documents and other Project based instructions rarely involves teaching reading and writing. I believe a skill-based approach should be the dominant model of academic literacy.

There are several student-centered approaches proposed in the article that teachers can use. For instance, teaching that considers the patterned interfaces between the school literacy practices and the community. These approaches seek to identify the students’ unique cultural strengths and nurture those strengths to promote the achievements of the student. They also create a sense of well-being about the cultural place of the student in the world. Effective teachers must learn how to integrate writing and to read in their teaching approaches such that they offer multiple ways of representation, expression, and engagement of students. For instance, this article proposes the use of technology and other project-based approaches to teaching. This strategy helps learners with various ways of acquiring knowledge and information, provides alternatives for demonstrating what they know and attracts their interests, therefore, increasing motivation.


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