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Accelerating the Literacy Development of Indigenous Students: The National Accelerated Literacy Program (NALP)

Gray, Brian (2007). Accelerating the Literacy Development of Indigenous Students: The National Accelerated Literacy Program (NALP). Darwin, N.T.: Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press).

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Author Gray, Brian
Title Accelerating the Literacy Development of Indigenous Students: The National Accelerated Literacy Program (NALP)
Place of Publication Darwin, N.T.
Publisher Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press)
Publication Year 2007
ISBN 9780980292367   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Total Pages 58
Language English
Field of Research EDUCATION
1303 - Specialist Studies in Education
Abstract In an effort to engage Indigenous students, teachers often set classroom activities at a lower level than activities of their mainstream peers. While teachers are aware of the need to set more academically challenging tasks, in reality this is difficult to achieve. This book looks at the language/literacy teaching goals for Indigenous students and proposes that successful literacy teaching requires a shift in perspective. For example, to write successfully one must first understand what it is a writer is trying to achieve: expectations, orientations and presumptions. Indigenous students often are given little understanding of these 'hidden aspects' of both the production of literate texts and how learning is negotiated. What Gray calls the 'intentionalities' underlying classroom learning negotiation are rarely held commonly by teachers and Indigenous students. Gray provides a theoretical and practical framework for successful literacy teaching, which is rooted in an assertive and positive interpretation of Vygotsky's (1978) notion of the 'zone of proximal development', together with its learning negotiation strategy known as 'scaffolding'. The result is a model for teaching practice with the potential to break through the low-level teaching/low-level outcome cycle that is all too frequent in Indigenous education. Brian Gray first developed this perspective in the early 1980s at Traeger Park School in Alice Springs. It was the basis of his PhD thesis which was awarded the Chancellor's Prize at the University of Melbourne in 1999. Since then, a number of successful projects aiming to test and expand the methodology have been undertaken, the biggest being the current National Accelerated Literacy Program (NALP).
Keyword Teaching & Learning
North Australia
Additional Notes For more information about CDU Press and its titles visit the CDU Press website.

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