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Thoughts about this Multilingual_Literacy group

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  • Don Osborn
    I thought I¡¯d take a moment to revisit my vision for Multilingual_Literacy and say a few words about the strategy. The group was set up almost sixteen
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 22, 2004
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      I thought I¡¯d take a moment to revisit my vision for
      Multilingual_Literacy and say a few words about the strategy. The
      group was set up almost sixteen months ago as a way of examining a
      less-often discussed aspect of literacy and was expressedly framed in
      terms of the UN Literacy Decade. There were a couple of reasons for
      this: first, because this gives an adequate timeframe in which to
      begin to explore aspects of literacy in multilingual contexts and to
      hopefully have some impact, and second because any such consideration
      that relates ultimately to policy and practice on a worldwide scale
      needs to have a long-term vision.

      Indeed, my highest hopes for this group is that it may not only be
      useful to its members but also contribute in some way to advancing
      discussion of multilingual literacy among agencies, NGOs and donors
      active in the field. Whether or not that¡¯s reaching too far, I think
      it¡¯s worth the effort, especially since, as far as I (as an
      interested non-specialist in the matter) know, there are no other
      similar efforts.*

      Multilingual_Literacy has attracted a significant membership, both in
      terms of number of members for such a topic (in the 50s) and the
      expertise of the members. While the group has been fairly low traffic
      thusfar, I have tried to take the opportunity to forward a number of
      items both relating directly to multilingual literacy and treating
      topics of multi/bingualism, literacy, and education that at least
      potentially give a broader foundation for discussion of literacy in
      multilingual contexts.

      Along the way we¡¯ve seen some other interesting angles introduced,
      including: second/additional language learning (e.g., ESL),
      multiliteracies, issues of identities, issues of power, strategies
      within families, ... These too help us get a scope on the larger
      field of concerns that relate to the advancement of literacy
      (training and capabilities) in multiple languages for polyglots and
      multilingual families & societies.

      I will continue to pass on items I think are of interest and invite
      comments and other items that others think are relevant. In the
      longer term, as the UN Literacy Decade progresses, I hope that our
      small efforts here can help advance consideration of and attention to
      multilingual literacy needs, planning, and dynamics.

      Don Osborn
      Bisharat.net

      * Lists such as MultiEd-L and 2language notwithstanding. They focus
      on important related issues of multi/bilingual education in schools,
      often with a US focus. Occasionally you will see I crosspost relevant
      items from such groups.
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