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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Subjects-in-interaction version 3.0 : an intellectual system for modern language student teachers to appropriate multiliteracies as designers and interpreters of media texts Beers, Maggie


This dissertation, which draws on the fields of critical theory, sociolinguistic theory, teacher education, and human-computer interaction, examines issues of culture and intercultural understanding, critical multiliteracies, learning in general and, specifically, the role of new media in the creation and interpretation of (learning) cultures. Critical modern language education theorists advocate engaging in ethnographic studies of one's own and the target language culture as a way to shed traditional, static, product-based notions of culture for postmodern, dynamic, process-based interpretations of culture(s). To this end, how can teacher educators prepare student teachers to be reflexive about their own classroom practice? In this approach, sixty secondary-level student teachers made short digital movies on their cultural interpretations of an object of their choice, such as cars. They filmed each other and were filmed as they worked and reflected on their movies and then used an online video analysis tool to share, annotate and critique the digital representations of their processes and products in relation to the course content. The participants assumed a variety of research roles, such as research initiators, qualitative researchers, video ethnographers, reflective practitioners and beta-testers of previously unreleased software Multimedia profiles of eight participants, presented on an accompanying CD-ROM, illustrate learning experiences that occurred throughout the group. They found it challenging to reconcile their prior schema and new concepts; confusing to develop a teaching approach while their basic assumptions were evolving; exciting to use state of the art tools and take on research roles; rewarding to participate in forums for productive reflection and discover new capacities; effective for making abstract ideas concrete; and empowering to appropriate the technical and intellectual skills to carry out similar projects. This study points to a need for a pedagogical shift in preparing modern language student teachers which positions them to claim the classroom as their own. This includes claiming the right to: include culture in a language driven classroom; choose their own media materials; determine their own curriculum within standardized curricular and textbook guidelines; use non-traditional language teaching approaches; and hold high expectations for their students for critical thinking and use of the target language.

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